Tulsa officer Betty Shelby accused of shooting, killing Terence Crutcher due in court for hearing

Posted at 8:03 AM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 19:31:26-05

TULSA -- A judge has ruled that Betty Shelby will stand trial in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher.

A judge announced Tuesday that Shelby's formal arraignment will be held December 15.

Officer Betty Shelby is facing a first degree manslaughter charge for the shooting death of Crutcher, an unarmed man, on Sept 16.

The only witness to take the stand Tuesday was Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker.

Walker testified that Shelby was very emotional during her interview days after the shooting...saying she was “in the moment.”

Prosecutors argue those emotions came from fear.

SPECIAL SECTION: The fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher

Crutcher's death sparked protests nationwide as well as calls for justice from his family members, friends and many activists across the country.

Shelby began working at the Tulsa Police Department five years ago, and now many members of the law enforcement community are standing behind her.

A group called Law Enforcement and Supporters for Media Accountability held news conference at 8:30 a.m. ahead of Shelby's preliminary hearing. The group says it will "remind the media to tell the whole story."

Shelby's daughter, Amber, spoke to the media during the news conference, calling her mother a woman of character with a "heart of gold."

"Sometimes officers get put in difficult positions that we ourselves cannot fathom,” she said. “I'm here to tell you all that my mother is a woman of character and integrity. She is not just the image you saw plastered on the television screen for two weeks straight."

Shelby's attorneys later argued in closing remarks in court that Police Chief Chuck Jordan pressured the District Attorney's Office to file charges to avoid “civil unrest.”

As Shelby was escorted out of the courtroom, defense attorney Shannon McMurray only said:

"We're not surprised. Thank you very much."

Crutcher's family says they're now one step closer to justice.

“I really like what Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray said,” said attorney Demario Solomon-Simmons. “'Here in America, we cannot shoot first and ask questions later.'”

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