David Ware sentenced to death for the murder of a Tulsa police officer
A Tulsa County jury sentenced David Ware to death for the murder of Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson. The jury deliberated for three hours. When they returned with the death, Ware didn’t show much emotion in the courtroom. He looked straight down.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he was proud of the 12 jurors for their attentiveness and for enduring the horrific things they had to watch and hear during the trial. He said the jury did justice for Craig Johnson’s family, the Tulsa police and the Tulsa community.
Just before the jury began to deliberate, prosecutors told the jury, “Today is about accountability. This isn’t the first time David Ware has gotten violent with the police, but it has to be the last. Prosecutors apologized to the jury for the graphic videos they had to watch and things they had to hear during the trial. They said these are things they can take with them for a very long time.
Prosecutors argued that Ware not only shot the officers, he shot them in the head, then fled and left them to die.
After the verdict, Sergeant Johnson’s wife said in a statement: “I would like to thank the jury for all the time and attention they devoted to the case. I know they must have seen a lot of difficult things which I imagine will stay with them for a long time. I pray that they are able to heal from the experience, I thank the prosecutor’s office for all their hard work. My request right now is that the silent majority I have seen and heard start speaking up and changing the anti-police culture being created.”
Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin said, “I think every man and woman in uniform, whether it’s a TPD patch or whatever patch, I think that says long on this piece of cloth that we wear. It resonates with all of us, whether we have someone or something bigger than us supporting us in the background. Chief Franklin also praised Sergeant Johnson’s family for their strength through this tragedy. He said it’s a step towards healing for everyone. .
David Ware was convicted of the murder of Sgt. Craig Johnson last week and now faces the death penalty. Two jurors were removed from their duties at their own request on Wednesday just before the start of oral argument. The judge agreed to call the alternate jurors. The jury made its final decision after three hours of deliberation.
Previous story: David Ware found guilty of murdering Tulsa officer and wounding another
On June 29, 2020, Sgt. Johnson and Officer Zarkeshan stopped David Ware during a traffic stop. They said he refused to get out of the car, even after being shocked and pepper sprayed.
Then, as officers attempted to pull Ware from his car, he opened fire, hitting both officers, killing Sgt. Johnson. Later that day, Tulsa Police Chief Wendall Franklin announced that Ware and another man had been arrested. Franklin said after the shooting that Ware left the scene with the help of Matthew Hall.