Retired Homicide Investigator Defends Detective Accused Of Withholding Evidence

Tuesday, October 2nd 2018, 11:06 pm
By: Justin Shrair

Former Tulsa homicide investigator Dave Walker is disputing accusations that one of his detectives withheld evidence in a murder case.

Charges against William Bridges were dropped Monday because some information was not given to the District Attorney’s office soon enough.

Retired sergeant Dave Walker supervised now retired detective Dianna Baumann for six years in the homicide unit.

“She was an experienced investigator,” said Walker.  “She came from the child crisis unit.  She had a lot of qualities we need.”

Baumann was the lead detective on the William Bridges case.  Bridges was arrested in 2017, suspected of killing Christopher Coffelt.

Prosecutors say they dropped the case because they received new information shortly before the trial was to begin – evidence they say needs to be investigated before prosecution can proceed.

10/1/2018 Related Story:  Murder Case Dismissed Against Tulsa Man Accused Of 2017 Killing

Bridges’ attorney also claims that Baumann falsified and hid evidence.

“The lead detective picked a narrative and withheld evidence and falsified her reports to meet that narrative of Mr. Bridges’ guilt,” said attorney Shannon McMurray.

“Knowing Detective Baumann … maybe she has some faults but being a liar and a cheater is not one of them,” said Walker.

He says he agrees that there is information that should have been given to both sides, but he says Baumann would never leave out anything intentionally.

“Everybody’s job is to get to the truth and how we get there is what we need to do,” stated Walker.  “I agree, the things she found should have been in her hands.  There’s no doubt about it.”

Walker says he believes the information was in the police file, but it never made it to the attorneys.  He says, while the homicide unit isn’t perfect, they would never do anything on purpose to harm the integrity of the investigation.

“There is not anybody over there that wants to convict somebody just to convict somebody,” he said.  “I will fight you tooth and nail on that.  That just doesn’t happen.”