Crutcher family tries to gain control of estate after officer acquittal
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
The family of Terence Crutcher was back in the courtroom Wednesday, fighting for control of his estate. One month ago, Officer Betty Shelby was found not guilty of manslaughter in Crutcher's death.
Now the family wants to remove the court-appointed special administrator, Austin Bond, who stepped in after the mother of Crutcher’s children claimed she was his common-law wife and deserved rights to the estate. The judge found Frenchel Johnson was not his wife and not entitled to any claims.
In court, Judge Glassco denied a temporary restraining order sought by the family to freeze the estate's assets, including about $130,000 from a GoFundMe account set up last September after Crutcher's death. The judge said the funds fell under the estate, but the family says it belongs to Dr. Tiffany A. Crutcher, twin sister of Terence, who is now liable for any refunds or tax issues that might accompany the donations.
“The court has now ordered support for the children. My client is not opposed to that, because that is what the money was intended for,” said attorney Jim Goodwin, who represents Tiffany Crutcher.
Tiffany and her mother, Leanna Crutcher, are asking to become administrators, but Bond, who was appointed, says they missed the 30-day deadline and are not eligible.
Off camera he told us that the money is for the children and not for Tiffany Crutcher. His attorney Catherine Welsh says their position is to protect the children.
“We are here solely to protect the children of Terence Crutcher. This is an estate that was set up for their benefit so that the funds may be provided to them when they attain the age of majority,” said Welsh.
The Crutcher family says they deserve the right to manage any monies and the estate, as the Crutchers now are guardians of three of Terence Crutcher’s children.
Goodwin says the family is losing a lot under the color of law.
“They used the cover of law to commit an act that caused the death of Terence Crutcher and now the law is being used to deprive the Crutcher family from administering the affairs of the person they lost,” said Goodwin.
Both sides return to court Aug. 11 for a hearing on all remaining issues related to the estate.