A judge has ruled a Blackwell, OK, police lieutenant was justified in shooting at a pickup driver who had fired at another driver, her own mother and a police officer after suffering a mental break.
Lt. John Mitchell, 41, was facing a first-degree manslaughter trial over the 2019 fatal shooting of Micheal Ann Godsey.
On Thursday, Kay County District Judge Lee Turner dismissed the case, the Oklahoman reports.
Mitchell joined in a pursuit of the pickup driver early May 20, 2019, after shots were fired across the city. The suspect reportedly fired at officers twice and had also shot at her mother and a motorist.
Mitchell fired an AR-15 rifle during the pursuit and after Godsey stopped. He then fired further with a handgun.
"Hey, I put 60 rounds in that dude, man. Hopefully, she's down," he told other officers, according to dashcam videos entered into evidence at the preliminary hearing.
The prosecutor had argued the lieutenant never gave Godsey a chance when she turned a corner and appeared to be surrendering. He argued three other officers didn't engage in gunfire at that time, only Mitchell.
The judge called Godsey, 34, a violent fleeing felon who was a threat to officers as long as she was in possession of a handgun and not in custody. He specifically addressed the possibility she was surrendering, writing that it is highly unlikely she suddenly became lucid given the extent of her delusional break.
Mitchell could still face trial if the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rules against him. Any decision, there, would likely not come until next year.