Tulsa man accused of killing officer will face trial

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A Tulsa man accused of shooting two police officers and killing one of them will proceed to trial on first-degree murder and other charges.

Special Judge April Seibert on Wednesday also found probable cause for David Anthony Ware to face trial on charges of shooting with intent to kill, drug possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, the Tulsa World reported.

The shooting happened during a June 29 traffic stop. Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson was killed and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan was wounded.

Ware had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf in July. Co-defendant Matthew Hall also has pleaded not guilty. Hall waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges of accessory to murder and accessory to shooting with intent to kill.

Both defendants are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

Defense attorney Kevin Adams renewed his call for the release of videos of the shooting, telling Seibert their contents don’t match public comments made by officials.

Seibert kept a July order from another judge in place that blocks the videos’ release. But she partly agreed with Adams’ claims that there are some inconsistencies, though she did not specify which parts.

Adams said that Police Chief Wendell Franklin made a false statement to the media about Ware “slowly” walking away from Johnson.

In response to Adams, District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said, “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.”

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.”