OK prosecutors argue Uber driver accused of murder may flee
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma prosecutors are seeking to revoke bond for an Uber driver accused of murdering his passenger during a June altercation to ensure he won’t flee the country to avoid prosecution.
Prosecutors say Omar Emran Ba-Abbad’s defense has indicated that Saudi Arabia may pay his bond. He has dual citizenship there and the U.S., Tulsa World reported.
On Thursday, the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to get Ba-Abbad’s bond revoked after a Tulsa County judge reinstated his $500,000 bond on Wednesday.
Thomas Adler, Ba-Abbad’s attorney, said “there are no restrictions under Oklahoma law with regard to who can post a person’s bail.”
“To make a blanket assertion that, because a foreign government is involved, there’s a higher risk of flight is, I think, tenuous at best,” Alder said. “Frankly, it’s a case we believe he’s completely innocent of and is happy to fight. So I don’t think we have anything to run from.”
But Assistant District Attorney Mark Collier said Jeremy Shadrick’s family has “some legitimate concerns” that Ba-Abbad is a flight risk. Shadrick died June 26.
“The government of Saudi Arabia attempted to post a cash bond for (Ba-Abbad) on Tuesday of $500,000,” Collier said. “I can’t name names, but that is concerning.”
The office of the Saudi Arabian Consulate General in Houston did not immediately return the newspaper’s request for comment.
Police say that Ba-Abbad ran over Shadrick with his car after Shadrick got out following a physical attack in the car.
Adler said a preliminary hearing testimony established that Shadrick assaulted Ba-Abbad while intoxicated and forcibly took his phone.