By Staff Writers
Tulsa Officer Betty Shelby accused of manslaughter in the death of 40-year-old Terence Crutcher last year returned to court Wednesday, Feb. 1 2017, as “Black Lives Matter” supporters looked on.
Shelby’s attorneys asked a judge to dismiss the charges against her, but that motion was denied.
The judge said the state did their job by presenting enough evidence for this case to be bound over for trial. The judge set Shelby’s trial date for May 8 at 1:30 p.m.
Shelby’s attorney say they plan on appealing the judge’s ruling. They have 10 days to file an appeal with the court of criminal appeals.
Last September, Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by Officer Shelby after his car was stopped in the middle of a roadway.
Officers at the scene say Crutcher was acting erratically and was not following commands.
According to the affidavit, Shelby asked Crutcher if the vehicle was his and if it was disabled.
“He was mumbling to himself and would not answer any of Officer Shelby’s questions. Mr. Crutcher kept putting his hands in his pockets and Officer Shelby kept telling him to show his hands. At that point, Mr. Crutcher began walking towards the abandoned vehicle with his hands held up and was not responding to any of Officer Shelby’s commands to stop,” the affidavit claims.
In the dash cam video, you see Crutcher walking away from an officer and toward his vehicle with his hands up.
Shortly after that, Crutcher was shot. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler charged Shelby with one count of first-degree manslaughter.
The Associated Press reports that Shelby’s lawyer claims she was hyper-focused on the situation at the time of the shooting, adding that she didn’t hear other officers arrive at the scene or even the shot she fired.
Attorney Scott Wood claims Shelby experienced “auditory exclusion,” a condition in which people in high-stress situations often don’t hear sounds around them. Her defense claims Shelby acted in self-defense.
Shelby’s attorney Shannon McMurray said, “As I’ve always said, as the evidence continues to unfold in this case, I’m confident a jury will find Betty not guilty.”