Officer Shelby's attorney sheds light on case and new motion filed

Attorney Shannon McMurray represents officer Betty Shelby. (Clemmer/KTUL)

It's a case that's grabbed the national spotlight, and the legal ramifications are enormous.

"The future of all police work and use of force in my opinion," said Shannon McMurray, attorney for officer Betty Shelby.

McMurray is going over everything with a fine-tooth comb. Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the Sept. 16 shooting death of Terence Crutcher, who was unarmed at the time.

RELATED | Crutcher family present as Officer Betty Shelby pleads not guilty to manslaughter

One point of contention: the driver's side window seen in footage from a police helicopter. There's been a lot of debate about whether or not that window was up. Attorneys for the Crutcher family says enhanced helicopter video shows the window was up.

"Rough, I mean this is again, I'm a lawyer, not an artist, but I did the measurements as close as I could, and it's roughly 65 percent down," she said. "It proves the window was down and he was able to reach inside."

That means Shelby thought Crutcher could have been reaching for a gun inside the vehicle, McMurray said.

MORE | Tiffany Crutcher: 'I know my brother was scared'

"She absolutely, 100 percent believed his firearm was in the car," she said.

McMurray said Shelby's legal team has eyewitnesses who say Crutcher was firing a gun the night before he died. Some wonder how that would be relevant to the night of the shooting.

"State of mind, habit, routine is always relevant," she said.

MORE | Medical professionals weigh in on Crutcher's toxicology, effects of PCP and TCP

All the media coverage on the trial, which is still about a year away, McMurray said the legal team will potentially request a change of venue. Doing so would mean they don't believe they can get a fair trial in Tulsa.

We asked McMurray if Shelby's defense team would accept a plea deal for a lesser charge.

"No," she said. "She acted intentionally and she's going to stand by, she thought he had a weapon."

"If the [district attorney] wants to dismiss, we will accept that."

Read more about the Crutcher case in our special section.

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