Former Lincoln County Judge Turns Himself In To Authorities

Thursday, April 25th 2013, 5:18 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A former Lincoln County judge is now finding himself on the other side of the bench. Craig Key turned himself into Lincoln County authorities Thursday and made a first appearance in court.

Key first faced scrutiny for his part as the judge in the child death case Kelsey Smith-Briggs.

Now he's facing seven felony counts.

Key, along with Joshua Anderson, 36, and Leslie Bottger, 47, were all arraigned Thursday. According to the Grand Jury Indictment, the three conspired in September to steal cattle and a trailer from an individual in Lincoln County.

Last March agents raided Key's law office. The judge turned attorney has also been indicted for forging checks and embezzling more than $70,000 from two injured clients.

Today, Clay's attorney says he maintains his innocence.

"Of course, of course and we want the preliminary hearing and will have one," said Cheryl Ramsey.

Key immediately posted a $10,000 cash bond and was released. His attorney says he will now spend his time helping with his defense but no longer as an officer of the court. Key also surrendered his license to the Oklahoma Bar. and resigned as an attorney.

"He wanted to do that, it's not necessarily connected to the criminal case in any way," said Ramsey.

Key was ordered to wear an ankle bracelet with GPS tracking, must stay within a 100-mile radius of Chandler, surrender his passport and have no contact with witnesses or co-defendants.

Anderson and Bottger, also were arraigned Thursday.