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Oklahoma Supreme Court rules in favor of pipe shop

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ended a two-year legal fight between a pipe shop and a Republican prosecutor in a liberal college town.

The court on Monday ruled in favor of returning hundreds of glass pipes that were seized in 2015 from the now-closed Friendly Market in Norman.

The local district attorney pursued drug-related charges against shop owner Rob Cox and manager Stephen Holman, alleging they sold drug paraphernalia. They said the items were legal, refused plea deals and insisted on trials, which ended in acquittals and a hung jury.

“I guess you could describe it as a Hail Mary by the district attorney’s office,” Holman said. “Their order was to uphold the ruling that Judge (Steve) Stice made, which was to return all the property.”

Cox has been trying to recuperate seized inventory valued at $15,000.

Holman said attorneys for Friendly Market are seeking to have the property returned by next week.

“In the coming days we will be filing some motions with the district court in an effort to enforce Judge Stice’s ruling and set a date for the return of all of the property,” attorneys for Cox and Holman said in a statement.

Cox has said he hopes to eventually resume sales and reopen the shop.

The Supreme Court rejected the state’s attempt to revisit a judge’s decision ordering the property returned. The lower-court judge said he couldn’t determine whether the confiscated items were drug paraphernalia.

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