Mitchell to face trial in May shooting death

Ponca City Now - February 19, 2020 11:30 am

A May shooting spree ended in the death of a woman who had been firing shots at several locations from her truck. (Photo by Wendy Spence)

PERRY — In the second day of a preliminary hearing for Blackwell Police Lieutenant John Mitchell, Associate District Judge Nikki Leach ruled Wednesday Mitchell will go to trial. The judge found probable cause for Mitchell to be bound over on the alternative count of Manslaughter in the first degree.

The case began in Kay County, but the venue was changed to Noble County.

Blackwell police Lieutenant John Mitchell was indicted by a grand jury last year for killing a woman, identified as Michael Godsey during a pursuit on May 20, 2019.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation looked into the shooting. Kay County District Attorney Brian Hermanson recused himself from the case and the OSBI issued its findings to Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks for review. Hicks submitted the evidence to the multi-county grand jury, and Mitchell was indicted on a count of second-degree murder in November.
The preliminary hearing began at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Perry  and continued Wednesday morning. Judge Leach  ruled there was enough probable cause to proceed with a trial.

A graphic dash-cam video was shown Tuesday during the first day of the hearing, which included yelling, sirens, and two different officers firing their guns, including Mitchell.

Mitchell has received support from the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police. Several FOP members packed the Noble County courthouse during the hearing.
“The outcome of this case could determine how law enforcement is handled in the state of Oklahoma. It couldn’t be more important to us, and we want to support our brother that we believe had to do a bad thing. He had to do a horrible thing, but he had to do it to save lives,” Jason Smith, president of the Oklahoma FOP said.

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