Oklahoma judge arrested in Texas capital, accused of shooting parked cars and causing collision

The Associated Press - September 23, 2023 8:01 am

By KEN MILLER Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma judge was arrested in Austin, Texas, last week after authorities say he opened fire on parked vehicles while out driving, striking at least one of them, and intentionally crashed into a woman’s vehicle, telling officers later that she had cut him off.

Brian Lovell, an associate district judge in Garfield County, Oklahoma, was arrested on September 11th on a misdemeanor count of reckless driving. A felony count of engaging in deadly conduct with a firearm was forwarded to a grand jury for consideration.

Lovell was released on a $10,000 bond and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

“We have zero comment,” said a woman who answered a phone call on Friday to a number listed as Lovell’s. The woman identified herself as Lovell’s wife, but declined to give her name.

Lovell didn’t immediately reply to a phone message left at another number listed as his, and he declined to comment to a KFOR-TV reporter who went to his home in Waukomis, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Oklahoma City.

According to an Austin police affidavit, officers were called just after 4 p.m. on the 11th by a witness who reported a man firing “approximately five times while driving down the street,” striking at least one of the parked vehicles.

About 90 minutes later, police responded to a call about a crash less than 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the shooting scene, where a woman said a man had deliberately collided into the rear of her vehicle twice.

Lovell and his SUV matched the description of the shooter, according to the affidavit. He told police he believed the woman had cut him off in traffic and although he acknowledged their vehicles had collided, he “did not admit the collisions were intentional,” according to the document.

Lovell told police there were two handguns in his vehicle, but he said “he did not know why he would have shot his gun and could not recall any part of the shooting incident,” according to the affidavit.

Paul Woodward, the presiding administrative judge for the Garfield County district, said Lovell agreed to not preside over any cases until his own case is resolved.

“He’s been a good friend and colleague for years. It’s hard for me to believe any of this,” Woodward said.


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