Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby pleads not guilty to first degree manslaughter

Posted at 12:29 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 12:29:59-04

TULSA - Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby formally entered a plea of not guilty in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher, in her first court appearance Friday morning.

Shelby is charged with first degree manslaughter.

The family of Terence Crutcher was in the courtroom. They occupied the second and third rows. The family did not make a comment following the court proceedings.

“We expected that she would plead not guilty, so that’s part of the process. Very standard," said one of the family's attorneys.

Shelby arrived at the courthouse early on Friday and waited inside the Tulsa County Sheriff's office. She left the building through a back door flanked by sheriff's deputies.


Judge Deborrah Ludi-Leitch set the preliminary hearing for Nov. 29.

Shelby's attorneys tried to get the arraignment pushed to an earlier date for safety concerns, but the judge denied their request.

In the motion the attorneys said the judge's unwillingness to move the date shows an intent to sensationalize the case.

Shelby fatally shot Crutcher after she came upon his abandoned vehicle Sept. 16 in north Tulsa.

SPECIAL SECTION: Fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher