Betty Shelby Takes The Stand On Day 6 Of Manslaughter Trial
TULSA, Oklahoma - The sixth day of the Tulsa Police officer Betty Shelby manslaughter trial continued Monday morning and the defense will continue calling witnesses. Shelby took the stand in her own defense around 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 15.
She was questioned about her law enforcement career and her training.
Shelby said she started her law enforcement career in 2007 at the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. In 2011, she joined the Tulsa Police Department.
She talked a lot about why she pursued multiple extra certifications, including becoming a Drug Recognition Expert. She said she did it because she wanted to be "better at her job."
She addressed the fact that her course instructor told the jury that she had become so upset when she received a bad grade on pop quiz one day that she yelled, screamed, and stormed out of the classroom. Shelby says she was simply upset because she didn't get anything wrong on the quiz, she had just abbreviated some of the words, which they apparently weren't allowed to do.
The defense asked Shelby if she had ever fired her weapon in the past few years she served as a patrol officer for TPD. She said no.
They asked her if she had ever fired her weapon before, she said no, but that she had pulled her gun out "dozens" of times. She said any time she did that to assist an arrest, the person always complied.
Also on Monday, one juror was dismissed due to illness and an alternate now will become one of the 12, although will not be told that until deliberations.
Shelby's attorneys brought up some of Terence Crutcher's criminal history in court Monday.
On Friday, the judge said he would allow it because the district attorney called witnesses last week who said Crutcher was acting peacefully the day of the shooting.
The judge said the defense is now allowed to tell the jury that Crutcher has resisted arrest or obstructed officers four times.
Monday, one officer testified that he arrested Crutcher for resisting arrest in 1995 and had to use physical force.
An OSU officer also testified Monday that he encountered Crutcher in 2014 and he refused many commands to stop, to show his hands, to get on the ground and pulled his rifle on Crutcher, who kept walking away. The officer said he Tased Crutcher twice, and he was convicted of obstruction and public intoxication for that incident.
One officer didn't testify before being dismissed because he was giving too much detail about other aspects of the arrest which weren't allowed in court.
On Friday, May 12, testimony was heard from the lead homicide detective, who said he was upset that he didn't have time to complete his report before charges were filed.
The defense called many witnesses, including two instructors who said Shelby was a great student although one said she started screaming and yelling and tearing up when she got a zero on a pop quiz.
He said she later apologized to the class.
Shelby's attorneys have said they plan to call their final witnesses soon, which could happen as early as Tuesday.