Increased Security In Place On Day One Of Betty Shelby Manslaughter Trial

Monday, May 8th 2017, 2:04 pm
By: News On 6

The Betty Shelby manslaughter trial got underway Monday with jury selection. Less than a year after Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher, jurors will decide whether or not she is guilty of manslaughter.

Potential jurors filled out questionnaires, telling the court what kind of information they've been exposed to in regard to the highly publicized case. 

Judge Doug Drummond asked jurors what they've heard about the Crutcher shooting, both in the news and on social media, and to describe what kind of discussions have they had concerning the case.

Several jurors say they have discussed the case with family, friends and co-workers - some as recently as the morning the trial stated. One man told Drummond he doesn't want the responsibility of deciding such a large issue, but if chosen, he will be fair.

All the potential jurors said they have heard about the Shelby case on news and social media but can set aside what they've heard.

Special Coverage: Betty Shelby Trial 

The judge is trying to keep the juror pool from being influenced. Anyone wearing a shirt supporting either side or with a political message must turn that shirt inside out in the courtroom.

Extra security is in place for the high-profile trial. An extra metal detector has been set up outside Drummond's courtroom. 

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is in charge of all security within the courthouse. They have assigned extra staff. The undersheriff said they were rather plan for too much and not need it than be caught unprepared.

"What you'll notice is an increased presence of uniform deputies in and around the courthouse," said Undersheriff George Brown, TCSO.

"We do have some plain clothes who are working with us. Other than that, I can't get into a lot of specifics about our security here. But what I can tell you is everyone will have to go through the security checkpoint."

Tulsa Police are in charge of security outside the courthouse for any people who gather there.