The Tulsa man accused of killing Tulsa Police Sergeant Craig Johnson and injuring Officer Aurash Zarkeshan was found guilty in court on April 22.
The jury found David Ware guilty of first-degree murder, shooting with intent to kill, possession of firearm, possession of drugs and obstruction. On Friday, the judge in the case ruled against giving the jury self-defense instructions.
The judge said sentencing would begin on Monday. The jury will be asked to consider: Life in prison, life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
On June 29, 2020, Sgt. Johnson and Officer Zarkeshan pulled over David Ware during a traffic stop. They said he refused to get out of the car, even after being tased and pepper-sprayed.
Then as the officers were trying to pull Ware from his car, he opened fire, hitting both officers, killing Sgt. Johnson. Later that day Tulsa Police Chief Wendall Franklin announced that Ware and another man had been arrested. Franklin said after the shooting Ware left the scene with the help of Matthew Hall. Tulsa Police arrested Ware at a house about 2 miles away from where the shooting happened and arrested Hall in Broken Arrow. In March of 2021, Hall was sentenced to two 12-year sentences for “accessory to a felony" which will run back-to-back.
Tulsa mayor G.T. Bynum released a statement following the jury's decision.
“A verdict can’t bring Sergeant Johnson back, or erase what Officer Zarkeshan has endured. It doesn’t compensate for the pain experienced by their families and fellow officers, or for the loss to our community. But I am grateful for the jury’s wisdom in rendering it, and for the masterful prosecution of the case by District Attorney Kunzweiler and his team. I ask all my fellow Tulsans who see a law enforcement officer in the days ahead to please tell them how thankful you are for all they and their loved ones risk to keep you safe.”