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Sentencing phase in the David Ware trial begins Monday

Posted at 6:09 AM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 07:09:48-04

TULSA, Okla. — Sentencing begins Monday for David Ware, the man found guilty of killing Tulsa police Sgt. Craig Johnson and injuring Officer Aurash Zarkeshan.

It took jurors less than 3 hours to find Ware guilty on all five counts, including first-degree murder. Ware now faces a possible death sentence.

The Chief of Police and President of the Fraternal Order of Police spoke with 2 News after the verdict was announced on Friday.

The jury will return to the courtroom at 9:30 a.m. again on Monday.

After hearing more testimony, they will consider whether to sentence Ware to life in prison with the possibility of parole, life without parole, or give him the death penalty.

Throughout the trial, countless police officers testified, including Zarkeshan.

TPD Chief Wendell Franklin says he is proud of his officers and commends their courage this week for taking the stand in the Ware trial.

Franklin also talks about the courage it takes to be an officer, saying police officers do the ultimate thing. He continues to say that they sign up and swear they will give their lives to protect their country and Johnson made the ultimate sacrifice.

Meanwhile, the President of the Fraternal Order of Police says he was for three things."

"Justice for the community, closure for all the parties affected negatively in this, and healing so we can move forward. The process is working and we are a step closer to that."

Counseling services and a peer-to-peer program are available to the officers who testified.

The prosecution is satisfied with the outcome and convictions, however, they say their work isn't finished. This week, the state will attempt to prove "aggravating circumstances" or facts that make a crime worse while asking the jurors to consider the death penalty.

The defense is set to argue "mitigating circumstances" or facts that don't excuse an act but may reduce the degree of moral culpability. Their goal is trying to prevent the jury from choosing execution.

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