Ok­la­homa cop’s man­slaugh­ter trial heads to clos­ing ar­gu­ments

Cape Breton Post - - World -

TULSA, Okla. — At­tor­neys on Tues­day fin­ished call­ing wit­nesses in the man­slaugh­ter case against a white Ok­la­homa po­lice of­fi­cer who fa­tally shot an un­armed black man last year, clear­ing the way for clos­ing ar­gu­ments. Tulsa of­fi­cer Betty Jo Shelby’s lawyers asked Judge Doug Drum­mond to de­clare a mis­trial on Tues­day, say­ing prose­cu­tors im­prop­erly im­plied that Shelby was guilty be­cause she took sev­eral days to make an of­fi­cial state­ment about her ac­tions on the night of the Sept. 16 shoot­ing. Drum­mond re­fused the re­quest and later told ju­rors to re­turn Wed­nes­day for clos­ing ar­gu­ments.

Shelby pleaded not guilty to first-de­gree man­slaugh­ter in the death of 40-year-old Ter­ence Crutcher. If con­victed, the 43-year-old of­fi­cer faces four years to life in prison. Prose­cu­tors ar­gue that Shelby over­re­acted when she shot Crutcher. Shelby’s at­tor­neys have said Crutcher re­fused Shelby’s com­mands to lie down dur­ing a twominute pe­riod be­fore po­lice cam­eras recorded the shoot­ing.

Shelby tes­ti­fied that she feared for her life and thought Crutcher was reach­ing into his stalled SUV for a gun.

He didn’t have one on him or in the ve­hi­cle.

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