Terence Crutcher Estate Battle Takes Center Stage At Tulsa Courtroom

Tuesday, October 25th 2016, 2:32 pm
By: News On 6

The probate hearing to determine control of Terence Crutcher's estate is underway Tuesday at the Tulsa County Courthouse.  The court is expected to decide whether Crutcher's parents or the mother of his three children should be appointed administrators of his estate. 

Crutcher was shot and killed by a Tulsa police officer last month, now a judge has to determine who has the rights to his estate - his parents or the mother of his children.

Special Coverage: Terence Crutcher Police Shooting

Frenchel Johnson, the mother of his three children, filed to be administrator of his estate, and his parents objected. A neutral attorney was appointed temporarily.

It's been made clear by both sides that there was never a ceremony or marriage certificate; but when it comes to common law marriage in Oklahoma, there are several elements: the two people must mutually agree they are married, share a common residence and address, and show publicly they are married.

Many witnesses for Frenchel Johnson said they just always assumed the two were married. Some said they even referred to one another as husband and wife to friends, and, at times, even on social media.

Witnesses said the two lived exclusively together for over 16 years.

Johnson also showed the court a wedding ring and band with her and Crutcher's name engraved on it.

But Crutcher's parents' attorneys said, on all government documents, like tax records, bank accounts, college financial aid, and even jail records and renters paperwork, everything lists both as single.

Crutcher's parents’ attorneys also said Terence used multiple addresses, but for his permanent address, he listed his parents’ home.

Attorneys for both had little to say when court ended today for recess.

Crutcher family attorney, Damario Solomon-Simmons, said, "We appreciate what happened in court today and look forward to tomorrow."

Johnson’s attorney Dan Smolen said, "We're just gonna wait for tomorrow."

The defense will question its four witnesses Wednesday morning.