DA Files Charges Against OKC Officers Involved in Nightclub Drive-By Shooting
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed criminal felony charges against two Oklahoma City Police officers Friday.
According to a probable cause affidavit, 30-year-old Diron Carter and 34-year-old Michael McKethan are both being charged with one count each of using a vehicle to facilitate the intentional discharge of a firearm, also known as drive-by shooting.
Carter and McKethan were off duty June 16 at Night Trips nightclub, 220 S. Vermont Avenue, when the incident took place.
Police were called to the scene as the bar was closing by patrons saying there were shots fired, according to the affidavit. Club patrons said they saw one officer fire shots near the club. When officers arrived on the scene they recovered a bullet casing near where witnesses said the shooting took place.
The affidavit states the two officers were identified as the suspects involved upon investigation at the scene. An officer made contact with Carter on his cell phone who admitted to having been at the club with McKethan the night of the shooting, but denied having a connection to it.
According to the affidavit, Carter later told a fellow officer that the shooting was an "accidental shooting."
But Scott Adams, the attorney for Officer Michael McKethan, said the state was wrong when deciding to charge his client with a felony that could put him away for years.
"Officer McKethan did absolutely nothing wrong," Adams said. "His reputation is ruined even if we get him aquatinted or the charges are dismissed. Whatever happens there is always going to be that cloud of uncertainty over him and that bothers me."
District Attorney David Prater said evidence recovered at the scene combined with witnesses' statements proves the officers broke the law that night.
"This is sad that they're Oklahoma City police officers, but if they want to act like gang bangers we'll treat them like gang bangers."
But McKethan's attorney said those key witnesses are far from credible.
"The people making the allegations against this officer, Officer McKethan, have been gang members and strippers, people of that nature," Adams said.
And while Adams said he will work to clear McKethan's name, the Oklahoma City Police Department is doing some clearing of its own.
"We did what was right and did the right thing and policed our own police department, and hopefully the citizens will know we don't condone this type of behavior and are taking care of it," said Oklahoma City Police Capt. Steve McCool.
Both Carter McKethan turned themselves into police and bonded out.
Officer McKethan has been of the force for 7 years. Officer Carter is a Sergeant and 8-year veteran.
Both men worked at the Spring Lake Division.