Terence Crutcher Killer Faces First Trial

Police Officer Betty Shelby, who is facing manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, faced the jury on Wednesday.

The judge seated a jury of two Black women, seven white women and three white men and two alternates: one Black man and one white woman.“It was just a couple of minutes. You’re gonna spend the next week or so listening to evidence about those couple of minutes,” Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray announced.

Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office charges say that Betty Shelby “reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation from a confrontation with Mr. Crutcher, who was not responding to verbal commands and was walking away from her with his hands help up, becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted.”

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler told jurors that “skin color is an issue in the case,” though Shelby denied that fact.

“She gave him every opportunity to comply, the evidence will show you,” defense attorney Shannon McMurray told the court. “This was a rush to file charges. … And when you look at the whole picture, all the evidence will show this.”

“Somebody did act unreasonably and in the heat of passion and out of fear, but it was not Betty Shelby.”

“When someone’s going for lethal, you do not go less lethal,” McMurray added referencing Shelby’s decision to draw her gun rather than her Taser. She said it now, being fully aware of the fact that Terence Crutcher did not have any weapon on his body or in his vehicle.

The trial also involved 6 witnesses including Officers Tyler Turnbough—Shelby’s backing officer—and Michael Richert, who was in a helicopter overhead with Shelby’s husband.

“It was obvious there was something that transpired before I arrived,” Turnbough said, adding that “the situation made me a little uneasy, a little edgy.”

I didn’t know that she had fired,” he explained. “When I fired my Taser … I thought it was extra loud.”

This woman is trying to make jury sympathize with her though she didn’t show any sympathy pulling the trigger.


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