Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby To Return To Court December 15
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby will stand trial for first-degree manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher, a Tulsa judge ruled Tuesday.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler argued Shelby might've been justified in arresting Crutcher that day but was not justified in shooting him because he didn't obey her commands.
The defense argued Shelby didn't shoot him for ignoring her commands and that she was with him for three minutes without him following commands.
Shelby's defense said that she only shot when she felt threatened when she said he reached into the window of his vehicle.
Before court began, Shelby's daughter, Amber, asked the media and the public to give her mother a fair shake.
"My mother is an incredibly loving, supporting woman," Shelby's daughter said. "She's a wife, mother, and grandmother with a heart of gold."
Kunzweiler called one witness, Tulsa homicide sergeant Dave Walker.
Walker testified that all the windows on Crutcher's SUV were halfway down, that the vehicle was running, operable, abandoned and blocking two lanes of traffic.
He testified no weapon was found on Crutcher or in his vehicle.
Walker also testified that a vial of PCP was later recovered from the vehicle and the medical examiner said Crutcher was intoxicated on PCP when shot.
Shelby's attorney argued that Shelby's actions were legally justified when looking at all the circumstances.
But Kunzweiler argued the video shows Crutcher never tried to attack Shelby, and Crutcher did raise his hands at times. They said she acted in the heat of the moment.
"Officer Shelby enjoys that presumption of innocence," Kunzweiler said. "My job is to protect her rights as well as assure we ultimately achieve justice in this case, whatever that will be, a judge or a jury will decide that."
The next court date for Shelby is December 15 when she appears for her district court arraignment.