Attorney: OKC Police Had ‘No Reason’ To Chase Suspect Before Fatal Crash That Killed Pregnant Mother


Wednesday, June 2nd 2021, 9:45 pm
By: Barry Mangold


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Family and friends of Star Shells, 28, held a candlelight vigil Wednesday in northeast Oklahoma City at Northeast 16th St. and Martin Luther King Ave., where the pregnant mother of two was fatally struck by a stolen truck. 

Police said Shells was fatally struck by Wacey Mikles, who allegedly stole the truck earlier that morning. Mikles is booked at the Oklahoma County Detention Center on complaints of murder, attempting to elude police and other charges. 

According to a probable cause affidavit, Shells was driving east on NE 16th St. and had a green light at the time of the crash. Shells had just dropped off her two kids at school prior to the crash. 

Related: Innocent Woman Killed In OKC Pursuit Was Pregnant Mother Of 2 Boys, Family Says

“There was no reason to engage in this chase,” said Cameron Spradling, attorney for Shells’ family. He claims there is evidence to support state and federal lawsuits against Oklahoma City police for the fatal incident. 

A few hours before the crash, on May 24, police responded to a report of a stolen truck in southeast Oklahoma City. The owner of the vehicle told police he could track the location of the car, a 2021 Ford F-350, on his phone. 

Officers located the car on Lincoln Blvd., north of the state Capitol. Police chased the vehicle, reaching a top speed of 95 mph, according to the affidavit. 

MSgt. Gary Knight, an Oklahoma City police spokesperson did not provide comment Wednesday on the circumstances of the chase and crash.

“This was a tragic event. Our hearts and our prayers go out to the victim and their family,” he said. 

Spradling questions the legitimacy of the chase given the truck owner’s phone was tracking its location. 

“They know where the truck is at all times,” he said. “They could follow that truck until it runs out of gas. They never need to engage in a chase at all.” 

Mikles, according to the affidavit, narrowly missed multiple other cars before ultimately hitting Shells. 

“I don’t know what went through their minds that they thought it was OK to drive 95 mph through residential areas on the eastside,” Spradling said. “It makes no sense at all.” 

Shells is set to be buried on Monday. Spradling said he is considering legal action against the city but will first meet with family and community members. 

“The Oklahoma City police department cannot investigate themselves on this,” he said.