Attorneys for an Oklahoma police officer charged with first degree manslaughter for killing a woman who had fired at officers told a judge the case should have never been sent to trial.
The hearing became contentious at times as attorneys for Blackwell Lieutenant John Mitchell argued the state hadn’t presented any evidence their client used excessive force. On the other side, prosecutors told Judge Lee Turner, Mitchell’s attorney had told the court more inaccurate than accurate statements.
“There’s a lot riding on this with what’s going on in the world today,” Oklahoma State Fraternal Order of Police President Jason Smith said.
Dozens of people showed up to support Mitchell with shirts reading “we’ve got your six.”
In February, a different judge ruled the state presented enough evidence, sending the case to trial.
Attorneys for the officer are now asking Judge Turner to throw out that decision.
State prosecutors argue Michael Godsey was no longer fleeing as she pulled her pickup over last year after firing at officers.
Prosecutors said Mitchell fired 60 rounds from an AR-15 into the cab of Godsey’s truck two seconds after it stopped. They told the judge the woman didn’t have time to surrender.
“If a person is a violent fleeing felon, if they committed crimes that are violent and they are trying to flee apprehension, you have a right to use deadly force to stop them,” Mitchell’s defense attorney Gary James said.
Attorneys for Mitchell also argued the state could not show their client fired the fatal shot killing the woman. They said another officer had fired three rounds into the truck.
Prosecutors told News 9 they aren’t commenting on the case.
Attorneys for Mitchell called on Judge Turner, a former Lawton police officer, to recall his experience; asking him to consider the circumstances in the heat of the moment not in the calm of the court room.
Following arguments from both sides Turner reassured the court that he will fairly adjudicate the case, despite his history in law enforcement.
“She was a dangerous person that had to be stopped and that’s what lieutenant Mitchell did he did his duty and he stopped her,” James said.