Former Tulsa mayor believes Shelby, Crutcher family will have fair trial in Tulsa

Betty Shelby spoke publicly for the first time Sunday night in an interview on 60 Minutes. (KTUL)

Former Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett says he believes both the family of Terence Crutcher and Officer Betty Shelby will get a fair trial in Tulsa County.

“There’s no question in my mind about it,” Bartlett said.

Shelby's attorney, Shannon McMurray, agrees.

“As I meet citizens and start talking to them about the case, and can she get a fair trial, they say no,” said McMurray. “But I say what if you knew this and this and this and they come around, and say why isn’t this being told?”

That’s about all the two agree on.

RELATED | Officer Betty Shelby's daughter: My mother 'deserves to be heard in the courtroom'

One point of contention: Whether or not Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter because of political pressures and fears of rioting.

“That was the DA’s decision. I knew whatever the decision was, it would have been done properly. If it had been done the other way, I would make that same statement,” Bartlett said.

“Dewey Bartlett admitted on 60 Minutes they were afraid of civil unrest. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put that together,” said McMurray.

Bartlett disagrees, saying they knew there was a possibility of riots but that had nothing to do with deciding to charge Shelby.

MORE | Officer Betty Shelby's attorney believes they'll win manslaughter case in Tulsa court

“Some have said that, the defense lawyers have said that before, and that’s simply not true,” said Barlett.

He says, at the time, he was confident in the friendships that he had built with community members over the last six years. He says he believed those friendships helped people know they were being heard and prevented riots.

“If I relied upon political relationships, I think we would have seen riots in the streets," Bartlett said. "We would have seen the same thing that happened in Charlotte."

But the former mayor isn't sure if the same friendships are present with current Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.

RELATED | Toxicology report shows PCP in Terence Crutcher's system at time of death

"Whether Mayor Bynum has that relationship with somebody, I have no clue. He’s a pretty good politician, but does he have that friendship? I don’t know,” Bartlett said.

For McMurray, she’s saving her arguments for the courtroom.

The trial is set to start May 8.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off