Opening Statements Conclude In Betty Shelby Manslaughter Trial
TULSA, Oklahoma - A jury was seated on day three of the Betty Shelby manslaughter trial and opening statements were made. Twelve jurors and two alternates will serve on the panel of the case that has drawn national attention.
The prosecution and defense made their opening statements following jury selection. Opening statements serve as a sort of road map to outline the case and let jurors know where the attorneys expect evidence to take them.
The witness list for the district attorney's office has 22 potential witnesses they could call during the trial of Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby. Most are police officers, and there are two doctors.
Their evidence list includes a vial of PCP, Officer Shelby's gun, a shell casing from the scene, diagram from scene, chopper video, dash cam videos, Shelby's police interview, and photos.
The witness list for Officer Shelby's defense includes a lot of officers as well and some police training experts. Their evidence list includes a replica of Terence Crutcher's car door, 911 calls, dash cam footage and chopper footage, TPD's policies on use of force, Shelby's personnel file, training file, ME's report and Crutcher's toxicology report.
Members of the Terence Crutcher family and Officer Betty Shelby family were both in court Wednesday morning as attorneys chose the jurors who will serve on the panel, and the rest were dismissed from this case.
When selecting a jury, each side gets to dismiss five potential jurors for whatever reason they want as long as it's not based on race, sex or religion.
When the defense chose to dismiss a black woman, they said it was because of her past arrest and they said they felt she was lying to get on the panel. The judge allowed the defense to dismiss the woman since it was a race-neutral reason.
Shelby's attorney asked the judge to not allow the district attorney to argue that officers at the scene failed to give aid to Crutcher, but the judge decided to allow it.
The judge will also allow the defense to tell the jury that Shelby, who is an EMT, wanted to give Crutcher aid but was told no by other officers.
Attorneys questioned a few potential jurors Wednesday morning and one woman was excused because of bereavement. She had just lost her husband and said it would be hard for her to serve.
Another woman was excused because of medication issues that she felt would make it hard for her to stay awake.
Attorneys asked the jurors similar questions as before. Can they be fair to both sides, can they follow their oath to follow the law, etc.