Tags: betty shelby | pleads | not guilty | tulsa | shooting

Betty Shelby Pleads Not Guilty in Tulsa Shooting Death

Image: Betty Shelby Pleads Not Guilty in Tulsa Shooting Death

Betty Shelby pleaded not guilty Friday at her indictment on first degree manslaughter charges related to the Sept. 16 shooting death of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
(Tulsa County Inmate Information Center via AP)

By    |   Friday, 30 Sep 2016 04:40 PM

Betty Shelby, the police officer accused of shooting and killing an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, pleaded not guilty Friday at her indictment on first degree manslaughter charges.

Attorney Shannon McMurray entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Betty Shelby, who did not address the court except to confirm her name, according to The Associated Press. Shelby was charged in the Sept. 16 shooting death of Terence Crutcher.

A video of the shooting showed Crutcher with his hands up, moving away from responding officers before he was shot, according to the USA Today. Shelby was arrested less than a week after the shooting and was released on $50,000 bond the same day. Crutcher’s family was present at the hearing and a representative called the indictment the first step toward justice for Crutcher and his family.

McMurray said Shelby “feared for her life” when Crutcher allegedly moved his hand toward his pocket or car window. Another attorney for Shelby, Scott Wood, said she was suffering from “auditory exclusion” and did not hear fellow officers who had arrived on the scene.

In a news conference on Thursday, Wood said, “She didn’t hear the gunshot, didn’t hear the sirens coming up behind her just prior to the shot,” the New York Daily News reported. “It’s not only a common phenomenon described in literature, but it’s the No. 1 perceptual distortion by people I have represented who have been involved in shootings—diminished sound or complete auditory exclusion.”

Tulsa officials moved quickly to release video footage and investigate the shooting, unlike a similar shooting in Charlotte where police were reluctant to release footage, according to USA Today. The manslaughter charge carries a sentence of four years to life in prison.

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Betty Shelby, the police officer accused of shooting and killing an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, pleaded not guilty Friday at her indictment on first degree manslaughter charges.
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Friday, 30 Sep 2016 04:40 PM
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