Tulsa police Officer Betty Shelby, who has been charged with 1st Degree manslaughter for fatally shooting unarmed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher will be in Tulsa County District Court for her Preliminary Hearing. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday November 29, 2016, at 9:00am in Courtroom 347, and will be Shelby’s second court appearance. Shelby plead not guilty to the charges back on September 30, 2016. Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons will attend the hearing with members of the Crutcher family, including Terence’s parents.
WHAT IS A PRELIMINARY HEARING?
Unlike many other state, Oklahoma guarantees all individuals charged by information with a felony the right to a Preliminary Hearing. A Preliminary Hearing is an evidentiary hearing at which the State of Oklahoma, by and through the District Attorney’s Office for the county in which the Defendant is charged, must present enough evidence to give the judge probable cause the alleged crime was committed. Specifically, the prosecutor must present enough evidence to show the court:
1. probable cause that a crime was committed, and
2. probable cause that the defendant committed the crime.
If the judge presiding over the preliminary hearing finds the prosecution has met its burden, then the judge will “bind over” the Defendant for trial. The Defendant will then have to appear for District Court Arraignment in front of the District Judge assigned to his or her case.
Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons of the law firm of RiggsAbney serves as lead counsel for the Crutcher family and can be contacted at 918-587-4161.