Oklahoma police lieutenant to stand trial in fatal shooting
PERRY, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma police lieutenant has been ordered to stand trial on a first-degree manslaughter charge for killing a woman who shot at other drivers, including another police officer.
A grand jury indicted Blackwell police Lt. John Mitchell in November in the fatal shooting of 34-year-oldMichealAnn Godsey during a car chase in May.
Noble County Associate District Judge Nikki Leach said Wednesday during a preliminary hearing that evidence shows there is probable cause that the 40-year-old lieutenant committed a crime and ordered him to stand trial.
If convicted of first-degree manslaughter, a felony, Mitchell would face at least four years in prison up to a life sentence.
On May 20, police responded to reports of gunfire coming from a white pickup truck at various locations in Blackwell, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City. Officers pursued Godsey’s truck and exchanged gunfire with her before the vehicle stopped, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Godsey was alone when she died in the driver’s seat of the pickup truck.
“Hey, I put 60 rounds in that dude, man. Hopefully, she’s down,” Mitchell said in dashcam videos entered into evidence.
According to testimony presented during the hearing, Godsey had fired at another driver, her own mother and another police officer.
Prosecutor Jason Hicks argued that Godsey appeared to surrender when her truck stopped and said Mitchell didn’t give her a chance. Meanwhile, defense attorney Gary James said Godsey was “out to kill people.”
“If police officers can’t fire at her in this case, when can they fire?” James said.
The May indictment said Mitchell engaged in “imminently dangerous conduct.”
Mitchell’s arraignment is set for March 18 in Kay County.
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