A judge was expected to rule on a case where a police officer from The Village shot and killed a man last year.
Chance Avery was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter after he was accused of fatally shooting Christopher Poor in July 2020.
After Thursday's hearing, Avery’s charges are being thrown out. Judge Lisa Hammond agreed the state did not show enough evidence that Avery used excessive force when he killed Christopher Poor.
The fatal shooting followed a domestic dispute call. The defense argued that Avery was defending himself and in alignment with state law.
“The state has to bring evidence of excessive force before you are subject to the criminal laws against the state. That’s the legal issue we’ve been fighting over, briefing over and dealing with,” Gary James, Avery’s attorney said.
“Frankly if you look at the intent behind the statute as the legislature passed it, actually is more of an expansion for the liability of police officers and subjects them to the law just like any other citizen. So, we believe she’s completely misconstrued the statute as it was written and intended,” District Attorney David Prater said.
James argued all charges should be dropped due to another case, Oklahoma versus Blackwell officer John Mitchell.
“It’s precedential. It may change the complexion of the law as police officers,” James said.
In that case, a Kay County Judge dismissed charges because the state failed to prove Mitchell used excessive force during shootout with Michael Godsey. Prater still stands by his charges and immediately filed an appeal.
“There’s some that cross the line. There’s some that should’ve never been hired as police officers. We will continue to hold them accountable. I don’t care what any court says. The next one comes down the line I’m going to file on them as well if they violate the law,” Prater said.
Prater gave immediate notice that he would appeal. The next hearing scheduled for Oct. 1.