Mike Huff, right, Betty Shelby’s defense investigator, and Shelby exit a courtroom on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

Tulsa Police Department officer Betty Shelby will return to court in February when a judge is set to rule on motions pertaining to the criminal trial she will likely face sometime next year.

Shelby, appearing in court with just one of her two lawyers, did not speak in court on Thursday. Neither did she or Scott Wood, who is one-third of her defense team, speak with the media following the hearing.

Shelby’s other attorney, Shannon McMurray, did not attend the hearing. Mike Huff, a former TPD detective who serves as Shelby’s defense investigator, did attend the hearing, but also did not speak with the media.

District Judge Doug Drummond ruled in the hearing that Shelby’s attorneys have until Jan. 13 to file any motions with the court prior to a trial date being set. Drummond told Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray the state will have until Jan. 26 to respond to those motions.

Drummond will then hold a motions hearing on Feb. 1, at which point he will likely set a trial date.


Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray speaks with the media. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

Shelby faces the possibility of a minimum of four in prison after being charged in September with first-degree manslaughter.

Shelby was bound over for trial in late November following a short preliminary hearing in which McMurray alleged Police Chief Chuck Jordan, District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and then-Mayor Dewey Bartlett conspired to file charges against Shelby following the officer’s fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher.

Shelby was charged in September after she killed Crutcher following an interaction the two had in a rural north Tulsa street. Crutcher, who an autopsy report showed had PCP in his system, had stopped his SUV in the middle of the street when Shelby, on her way to a different call, came upon the vehicle.

Shelby said Crutcher had refused to follow her commands, and footage filmed from a nearby police helicopter, as well as other arriving patrol officers, showed Shelby shoot Crutcher once in the chest after Crutcher approached his SUV.

Crutcher, who family members described as a loving father and brother, had held his hands in the air as he approached the vehicle, but lowered them near the driver’s side window when he was shot. Shelby’s defense has alleged that the officer believed Crutcher to be reaching inside the vehicle for a gun.

During the preliminary hearing last month, Shelby’s defense attorneys were not allowed to call witnesses — she mentioned possibly seeking to call Officer Tyler Turnbough, who witnessed the shooting, as well as Jordan. Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray spoke with the media Thursday following the hearing and said the defense may seek to file a motion to present witnesses prior to the Feb. 1 date Drummond set.

The Terence Crutcher shooting

“I don’t know what they may choose to do, but this would be the appropriate moment to file that,” Gray said.

Wood told Drummond Thursday that he would need a copy of the preliminary hearing transcript before filing any motions, and that transcript isn’t expected to be complete until late December.