Some In Law Enforcement Say Tulsa Courthouse Shooter Getting Off Easy

Saturday, January 25th 2014, 11:05 am
By: Dee Duren

Though the jury in the trial of Andrew Dennehy found the defendant guilty and recommend a prison term of 20 years, some law enforcement officials feel it is not enough considering the nature of the Tulsa man's crime.

Andrew Dennehy opened fire outside the Tulsa County Courthouse on March 7, 2012. He wounded Tulsa County Sheriff's Deputy David Adam Fortenberry who was shot in both hands.

"It just seems like the guy got off pretty easy," Major Shannon Clark of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said after the jury's verdict and sentencing recommendation Friday.

1/24/2013 Related Story: Jury Reaches Decision On Courthouse Plaza Shooting Trial

"We in law enforcement believe that when you are going to step into that level to try to shoot a law enforcement officer, take the life of a law enforcement officer, there's nothing that you won't do to society, and he should have been given the maximum authorized by law," Clark said.

Corporal Dennis Miller, Deputy Stephen Culley and Deputy David Adam Fortenberry were all awarded the Medal of Valor for their response that day. Fortenberry also received a Purple Heart.

6/6/2012 Related Story: Sheriff's Office Honors Law Enforcement For Tulsa Courthouse Shooting Response

Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Evans said that he was happy Dennehy was found guilty and he is pleased that the jury "saw past" the insanity defense.

"I recommended that they sentence him to life because of the fact that frankly, if Deputy Fortenberry's hands hadn't been where they were, he very likely would have died," Evans said following the trial.

"A .357 round to the neck would have very likely killed him."

Evans commended the officers who responded to the shooting for their bravery and the way they protected the citizens of Tulsa.

Major Shannon Clark said he admires the jury for their service and understands it's a challenging task. He said it was obvious in the courtroom, however, that 20 years was not a satisfactory result to Deputy Fortenberry.

"The value for his life or the attempted taking of his life - that the jury put on it - was 20 years," Clark said.