Dash Cam Video Documents Events Leading To Murder Conviction

Friday, September 16th 2011, 8:06 pm
By: News 9

Ed Murray, News 9

MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma – Police dash cam video from different angles shows a wild series of events that would eventually lead to a murder conviction.

Friday, Midwest City Police released the video of the chase which occurred earlier this year. It shows 22-year-old John Holt nearly ran over a police officer before he crashed, killing one of his passengers.

Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said it's very unfortunate bad decisions resulted in the death of a young man, but he said the video is an example of textbook police work in which officers make instant decisions to keep citizens and themselves safe at 1 a.m. on a Friday morning outside Snarky's Hideaway bar.

"It's a bar fight call early in the morning, so, of course, you know there's probably going to be several people involved," Clabes said.

And that's exactly what the video from Sgt. Art Trujillo's dash cam shows--a beating victim on the ground, one suspect jumping into the bed of a pick-up while another runs away. The driver of the pick-up, Jason Holt, then attempts to make his getaway almost hitting the beating victim and Sgt. Trujillo before slamming into the police car leading to a pursuit.

Clabes said officers didn't realize at the time that someone was in the back of the pick-up as speeds exceeded 100 miles per hour.

"You have a very serious felony that just occurred in the presence of police officers. It's just a dangerous situation for everybody involved and we don't like to do that, but you also in this situation can't let the defendant run free," he said.

The short chase ended when Holt flipped the truck on the access road near I-40 and Scott Street.

John Spencer was ejected from the back of the pick-up and died later that morning. A simple case of assault and battery became a murder charge because of bad decisions.

"Maybe that'll help somebody in the future realize that, hey, you know, if I get into a situation like that, make some good decisions because obviously they didn't that night and this is what the results are," Clabes said.

Spencer was actually walking around after the crash, but once in custody he went into shock. The man that jumped the fence was quickly caught and charged with obstructing an officer.

Holt was sentenced to 15 years for second-degree murder. He is required to serve at least 85 percent of that sentence.