Oklahoma jury recommends death sentence for convicted cop killer

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An Oklahoma jury on Wednesday recommended a death sentence for a man convicted of shooting and killing a Tulsa police officer. 

David Anthony Ware had been found guilty in the killing of Sgt. Craig Johnson during traffic stop in June 2020. Ware was also convicted of shooting with intent to kill Officer Aurash Zarkeshan.

David Ware was convicted of killing a Tulsa, Oka., police officer and wounding another. 

David Ware was convicted of killing a Tulsa, Oka., police officer and wounding another. 
(Tulsa County jail )

The death recommendation from the Tulsa County jury recommended death for Ware after almost three hours of deliberation. The jury already had recommended a life prison sentence for the wounding of Zarkeshan during the stop.

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Defense attorney Kevin Adams asked the jury for mercy for Ware.

“This is an ugly … awful case,” Adams said.

“David Ware believed he was acting in self-defense when he shot Sgt. Johnson,” Adams said. “They were kicking him.”

Prosecutor Steve Kunzweiler said Ware made the choice to shoot.

“He knew exactly what he was doing, he was shooting at police officers,” Kunzweiler said.

Earlier Wednesday, Judge William LaFortune dismissed two jurors and replaced them with the two alternates. LaFortune said the man and the woman both told him they could not continue but did not specify their reasons.

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“They cannot fairly deliberate with their fellow jurors.” LaFortune said. “The court is beyond suspecting they might not be impartial, way beyond.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Mojtaba Sadira

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