Earlier this month, a preliminary hearing wrapped up for three men accused of beating and causing paraplegia an Oklahoma City Police Officer. The Oklahoma County Special Judge ruled that the three men could stand trial.
The officer was attacked when he was escorting the defendants out of a northwest Oklahoma City bar last February after the bartenders there asked him to. The men were allegedly trying to start fights with customers. Witnesses testified that one of the men held the officer in a headlock and lifted his body. This is likely when the officer’s neck broke. The operating surgeon said the officer suffered a complete spinal cord injury. A spokesperson indicated that the injury likely shortened his life by 10 to 15 years. Witnesses also reported that another of the men threw haymaker punches at the officer’s head while the third kept anyone from coming to the officer’s rescue. All three men are charged with one count of maiming or assault and battery by means of force that is likely to cause death. If convicted, each defendant could face a life sentence in prison. The judge dismissed another charge of conspiracy to assault and battery of a police officer. He agreed with defense attorneys who insisted the three men did not plan the attack. The District Attorney reported that the man’s family has remained strong throughout the testimony, even if they were disappointed with the conspiracy charge being dismissed. The possibility of life imprisonment seems “just” enough to them, at this point.
The DA is expected to appeal the dismissal of the conspiracy charge. The three men are to be arraigned on June 10. The pre-trial date will be set then. Oklahoma City Police Officers have initiated a bowling and auction event set for June 11. The proceeds are to go to the officer and his family. Police in Queens and New York City are sympathetic to the officer in this case.
Spinal injuries can be devastating, completely changing the victim’s way of life forever. “I can’t imagine having a child in the position that Chad is in right now. Being a parent myself, I don’t know how you’d wake up every day and put your foot on the floor and get out of bed,” the District Attorney said.
Contact a New York Spinal Injury Attorney today to answer any questions you have about any legal proceedings or compensation you face.