Jury Deliberating In Tulsa Courthouse Plaza Shooting Trial
TULSA, Oklahoma - The trial of a man who opened fire on the plaza on the north side of the Tulsa County courthouse almost two years ago is entering its final stages.
The jury is deliberating on the fate of Andrew Joseph Dennehy Friday afternoon. Dennehy faces two counts of shooting with intent of kill along with several other charges.
Closing arguments by both sides centered on Dennehy's sanity at the time of the shooting.
Prosecutors say he was sane and deserves to go to prison for shooting a deputy and firing shots that could have hurt any number of people.
They argued Dennehy knew right from wrong that day and could appreciate the consequences of what he did, which is the legal definition of sanity in Oklahoma.
However, Dennehy's attorney said he was out of his mind that day, that he didn't go there to kill anyone, but, to die.
The defense attorney told the jury Dennehy believed Christians were going to be slaughtered so the only way to save his family was to sacrifice himself, but he couldn't commit suicide because he wanted to go to heaven.
If the jury finds Dennehy was not sane during the shooting, he'll be sent to a mental hospital until a judge decides Dennehy is no longer a danger to himself or others. His first review could be within 45 days, and he could be eligible for weekend passes.
If the jury decides he was sane, he'll go to prison where he'll have to serve at least 35 years before being eligible for parole.
Earlier Friday, the presiding judge removed a juror from the trial of the man accused in the Tulsa Courthouse Plaza shooting nearly two years ago.
The juror was seen talking with Dennehy's mother in the hallway during a break, even though jurors repeatedly were told not to have contact with anyone involved in the case.
The juror told the judge the two women only talked about cats. An alternate juror will finish the trial.