TULSA, Okla. — Opening statements for the trial of David Ware begin on Monday.
Before the trial could begin, a jury had to be selected. Jury selection began two weeks ago on April 4th and up to 200 potential jurors were brought in to fill out a 16-page questionnaire.
The attorneys asked questions about following the law when it comes to the death penalty, whether jurors are willing to consider the death penalty and if their family has any ties to the victims.
A final count of nine men and three women was chosen.
Ware's attorney Kevin Adams claims Ware feared for his life and that his civil rights were violated. Adams says trials are a search for the truth and that's what they hope to show the jury.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray argues the traffic stop was legal and the officers had probable cause to arrest Ware. He says Ware did not have the right to use deadly force while resisting arrest.
Gray states he is confident in the state's case and the competency of the jury.
“A group of citizens are going to walk in and start seeing evidence. They’re going to see exactly what happened on that day," says Gray. "They’re going to hear from eyewitnesses about what happened. They’re going to hear about the investigation, and sadly they’re probably going to have to watch one of the most difficult footage they’ll ever watch in their lives.”
After reviewing three body cam videos, a Tulsa County District judge ruled the defense could not claim self-defense until more evidence supporting that is brought in.
When the prosecution seeks the death penalty, the sentence is decided by the jury and must be unanimous. If even one juror disagrees, a sentence of life in prison will be issued and there will not be a retrial.
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