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Shelby's attorneys file motions to dismiss charges; to remand case for further prelim

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-12 08:16:00-05

TULSA - Tulsa Police officer Betty Shelby's attorneys Wednesday filed two motions on her behalf, one to quash and dismiss charges against her for the shooting of Terrence Crutcher and the other to remand the case for further preliminary hearing.

The 40-year-old officer is charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Crutcher last year.

Shelby’s attorneys said Sgt. Dave Walker told Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan he planned to complete his case by the end of the week, and that he did not see probable cause to file charges. Attorney Shannon McMurray says Jordan and Kunzweiler worked around Walker, and that investigator Doug Campbell was assigned to write a report using Walker’s interviews and evidence.

Walker told 2 Works for You when Kunzweiler charged Shelby on September 22, he had not finished his investigation, and that it was unusual for a prosecutor to file charges prior to police completing their report. The motion filed on Wednesday reiterated Walker's claim that it was the first time in his career a DA had preemptively filed charges in one of his cases.

Shelby’s defense said the state made an “unfounded leap” in characterizing Shelby’s demeanor in her interview with Walker, saying she acted “in the heat of passion when she used deadly force.”

According to the motion, “There is no competent evidence contained in Shelby’s statement” to hold Shelby for trial.

The motion included an offer of proof in which the defense alleges, had Walker were allowed to testify his opinion of whether the shooting of Terence Crutcher was justified during Shelby’s preliminary hearing, he would have testified Shelby was within her constitutional right to use deadly force.

Another offer of proof involved the officer shown in police video with Shelby at the time Crutcher was shot. According to the motion, Officer Tyler Turnbough pulled his Taser instead of his gun because he knew Shelby was using lethal force. The motion states that Turnbough would have pulled his gun if he would have seen Shelby was using less lethal force.

The filing pointed to a 2014 case involving the officer-involved shooting death of an unarmed man which defense attorneys said was similar to Crutcher's case. That shooting was found to be justified by Kunzweiler, according to the motion.

A second motion requested a further preliminary hearing, saying Shelby was not allowed to confront DA investigator Campbell during the November 29 preliminary hearing. The filing states Shelby was denied her right to produce evidence, and that the state had not provided the defense with all law enforcement reports related to the case. Walker revealed there were more reports in the state's possession that were not contained in the discovery provided to the defense, according to the motion.

The state has until January 26 to file its response to the defense motions filed Wednesday. A hearing on the motions is set for February.

Stay with 2 Works for You for updates to this story.

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