Preliminary Hearing Begins For Blackwell Police Officer
The preliminary hearing for a Blackwell police officer began Tuesday.
Witnesses testified and evidence was presented to a judge in the Noble County courtroom, although the case originated in Kay County.
It all began in May of 2019, when a man called police about a woman shooting at his car in Blackwell.
Police responded and identified the suspect as Micheal Godsey.
At first, Blackwell Corporal Keith Denton tried to talk to Godsey.
According to video, Godsey was uncooperative and fired at Denton. Denton fired back.
As Godsey began driving away, a pursuit began, eventually leading to more gunfire.
Blackwell Lieutenant John Mitchell pursued Godsey and fired several rounds at her vehicle.
Godsey’s car eventually came to a stop as she died in the shooting.
Blackwell officers then approached Godsey’s vehicle with caution, eventually calling an ambulance when they reached her.
The OSBI investigated, and a grand jury eventually indicted Mitchell late last year.
Evidence and testimony presented throughout the preliminary hearing will help a judge determine whether or not the case will go to trial.
If the case goes to trial, the indictment specifies that Mitchell will either face a manslaughter or second degree murder charge.
During the hearing Tuesday, numerous Blackwell officers were questioned by both the Kay County District Attorney and Mitchell’s attorney.
The officers described the incident from their perspectives.
One officer indicated that police had interacted with Godsey in the past, and she had likely been experiencing mental delusions.
In addition to law enforcement, the man who originally called 911 regarding Godsey testified.
The man explained how his car was shot at, and a brief interaction with Godsey where she inquired if he was alright.
Dash camera video from two different Blackwell patrol cars, including Mitchell’s, was also played for the judge.
Verbal interactions, vehicle acceleration, and shots fired were all audible from the video.
The courtroom was packed with law enforcement from several jurisdictions, as the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police continues to support Mitchell.
“The outcome of this case could determine how law enforcement is handled in the state of Oklahoma. It couldn’t be more important to us, and we want to support our brother that we believe had to do a bad thing. He had to do a horrible thing, but he had to do it to save lives,” Jason Smith, president of the Oklahoma FOP said.