An Oklahoma man will face trial for the murder of one police officer and the shooting of another, a judge ruled Wednesday despite partially agreeing with defense claims that videos of the incident differ from police statements.
David Anthony Ware is charged with first-degree murder, shooting with intent to kill, drug possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. He pleaded not guilty, as has co-defendant Matthew Hall, the Tulsa World reported.
Hall waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of accessory to murder and accessory to shooting with intent to kill.
Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson was killed and officer Aurash Zarkeshan wounded during a June 29 traffic stop.
Defense attorneys are pressing for videos of the shootings to be released, saying the events don’t match statements made by authorities. Special Judge April Seibert watched the footage privately and kept an order in place from another judge that prohibits the public from viewing the videos.
“I don’t disagree that there are some inconsistencies,” Seibert said of the videos, without going into detail.
Attorney Kevin Adams said police Chief Wendell Franklin falsely claimed to the media that Ware walked slowly away from Johnson.
“I think that Chief Franklin certainly kind of articulated that there were some things that may have been said that were later corrected by, I think, (Homicide Lt. Brandon) Watkins in his report to what — how things unfolded on the video,” District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said of Adams comments.
Kunzweiler told reporters that he believes the case is “eligible” for the death penalty and noted there is an internal case review “in the works.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.