Oklahoma City’s Fraternal Order of Police will pay thousands of dollars for an officer’s murder trial.
Expert witnesses were brought in on Thursday to testify for Sergeant Keith Sweeney. He is on trial in Oklahoma County for an officer-involved shooting that killed a suicidal man. Officials said the FOP legal defense fund will foot the bill for Sweeney’s witnesses. To date the bill is more than $20,000. It is not uncommon for defense attorneys to hire expert witnesses for high-profile trials. Jurors sitting on Sweeney’s murder trial have heard from two so far.
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A video analyst took the stand for six hours to explain the police body camera footage from the deadly 2017 officer-involved shooting. The witness broke down the video to more than 4,000 frames or images to demonstrate the movements of 29-year-old Dustin Pigeon and the officers who responded to the call, including Sweeney.
He also testified that his involvement in Sweeney’s trial will cost more than $15,000.
The second witness, a retired Tulsa Police Department homicide detective now private investigator, was brought in to form an opinion of the deadly shooting investigation. He testified there were problems from the beginning. He said the responding officers lacked leadership, the case lacked details and homicide investigators failed to use available resources and personnel.
He said, “The facts were not collected and that’s sad.”
The witness testified he will be paid $175 an hour and has worked about 30 hours on the case.
Sweeney’s attorney Gary James called for a mistrial late in the day. However, Judge Natalie Mai denied his motion.