Judge To Allow Use Of Self-Defense Argument In David Ware Trial

Thursday, April 14th 2022, 5:29 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A jury has now been picked in the David Ware murder trial. The bigger news today is that the judge made a ruling on whether David Ware’s attorney can use a self-defense argument during the case.

The judge said he watched all three body and dash cam videos from the traffic stop and said he will allow Ware's attorney to argue self-defense.

However, he made it clear that he doesn’t believe the videos alone show self-defense and said he will not allow the jury to consider self-defense unless there is other evidence that would show self-defense.

Judge Bill Lafortune spent around 10 minutes explaining his observations of the videos in the courtrooms. He said the officers spent several minutes calmly asking Ware to get out of the car, then spent several minutes ordering Ware to get out of the car, then spent several minutes warning Ware he would be tased.

The judge said it took the officers a long time to get to the point of using physical force against Ware to get Ware out of the car. He said when they eventually did, Ware continued to resist.

The judge said he didn’t see or hear any threats of great bodily harm or death from the officers toward Ware and said the officers never pulled out a lethal weapon.

The judge said he reviewed Oklahoma case law and said this was a lawful traffic stop, lawful arrest and lawful commands by the officers to get Ware out of the car. The judge called the officers’ actions reasonable with dealing with someone who refuses to get out of the car. 

Attorneys for both sides will give their opening statements to the jury Monday morning, April 18.