Final Decisions Being Made Before Betty Shelby Manslaughter Trial

Wednesday, May 3rd 2017, 6:16 pm
By: News On 6

The judge and attorneys hammered out some last minute details before Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby's manslaughter trial begins in five days. 

Seventy potential jurors will be called. They'll fill out questionnaires Monday morning. After that, some of them will be questioned.  And, of course, a big issue will be pre-trial publicity.

Attorneys don't have to choose jurors who have never heard of the case against Officer Betty Shelby, but they need jurors who can promise to put aside anything they've heard and decide the case only on what they hear in court.

For example: 

"Things you might hear on the outside that a jury is never going to hear because it's flat out inadmissible," said Steve Kunzweiler, Tulsa County District Attorney. 

"I encourage people not to make decisions on what people print, write or say. This decision ought to be based on what's legally admissible in court."

The judge ruled the D.A. can show the jury videotape not only of Terence Crutcher being shot and killed but also lying on the ground afterward with no one coming to his aid.

Special Coverage: Betty Shelby Trial

Shelby's attorney says Shelby offered to help him.

"She said, I'm an EMT, I need to go help but was advised to her to stand back because it not being appropriate since she was the officer involved in the shooting," said Shannon McMurray, defense attorney for Betty Shelby.
McMurray said a doctor will testify giving first aid would not have saved Crutcher, because he died instantly.

The judge also ruled Shelby's lawyers can use a life-sized replica of the door to Crutcher's vehicle in court. Prosecutors argued the pictures would've been enough.
The judge reminded the attorneys Betty Shelby is on trial, not the Tulsa Police Department. He told them to bring their A-game next week and said, ultimately, a jury will decide this case.