Jury to hear closing arguments in Oklahoma officer's trial
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 11:02
She had denied race was a factor in the killing, caught on video, and insisted her actions were driven entirely by the behavior of the man she shot, Terence Crutcher, 40, after his vehicle was left blocking a road.
But prosecutors said Shelby recklessly ratcheted up tensions and blame her for turning a routine traffic matter into a deadly confrontation.
Speaking after a jury found Shelby not guilty of manslaughter, Rev. Joey Crutcher, father of Terence Crutcher, said: "Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder". Shelby has pleaded not guilty.
Deliberations are underway Wednesday afternoon in the manslaughter trial for Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby, who faces up to a life sentence for fatally shooting Terence Crutcher Sept. 16.
The jury will decide whether Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby went too far September 16 when she killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on a city street where his SUV had stalled.
Shelby testified that she feared for her life and thought Crutcher was reaching into his stalled SUV for a gun. She testified that Crutcher put his hands on the SUV and moved to reach into the vehicle.
On cross-examination, Shelby said she did not initially mention in her interrogation interview that Crutcher smelled like PCP chemicals.
The Tulsa World reported that Walker, who started his testimony Thursday, detailed his role in the investigation of the shooting, which was captured on police helicopter and dashcam video.
Prosecutors said Shelby recklessly ratcheted up tensions.
McMurray said, "If a man had raised his voice, would he have had a meltdown? I just ask that they do so in a peaceful manner". Tulsa police have said Crutcher was unarmed and there was no weapon in his vehicle, which was blocking a road. "We're going to break the chains of police brutality", Tiffany Crutcher said. An autopsy showed PCP was in Crutcher's system. The statements outraged Crutcher's family, who said the statements indicated a racial bias.
Shelby's attorneys called police officers to testify who described past run-ins with an allegedly noncompliant Crutcher.
Dr. Rodney Goss with Morning Star Baptist Church disagreed with how the victim has been made to be the villain. "But that doesn't mean it is a crime", McMurray said in closing arguments. Shelby's manslaughter trial began on May 8, 2017.
Frank also criticized the Tulsa Fraternal Order of Police, which filed an ethics complaint with the Oklahoma Bar Association against Kunzweiler for allegedly charging Shelby too quickly due to public and political pressure. "They are such a big institution and they should not be in the middle of this, they should not be trying to sway public opinion".