Formal sentencing delayed for Oklahoma tea party leader on blackmail, computer convictions

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Formal sentencing for the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party on felony blackmail and computer crimes convictions has been delayed.

Al Gerhart was set to be sentenced Tuesday by Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott, but the sentencing date was delayed until Aug. 19.

Gerhart was convicted in May after sending a politically charged email to a state senator who testified he felt threatened by the email's tone.

The March 2013 email warned state Sen. Cliff Branan that if he didn't take up a bill favored by Gerhart's political group, that Gerhart would "make sure you regret not doing it."

Gerhart could have faced up to five years in prison for each of the two counts, but the jury that convicted him recommended he not serve any prison time.

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