DELIBERATION: What’s at stake as jurors decide Ware’s punishment for first-degree murder

TULSA, Okla. — UPDATE, 4/27/2022, 1:34 p.m.: The judge has moved both jurors. Two alternates have been added.

UPDATE, 4/27/2022, 12:15 p.m.: Two jurors have asked to be excused from the case. There are two alternates. The judge will make a decision after lunch, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations this afternoon.

Jurors will soon deliberate on David Ware’s punishment for first-degree murder.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler is fighting for the death penalty. Jurors have already handed down recommendations for Ware’s non-capital charges, including shooting with intent to kill.

For that particular charge, the jury recommended life in prison with a $10,000 fine.

Wednesday, the defense will present mitigating factors while the State will prevent aggravating factors. The State has previously shared its aggravating factors in the Bill of Particulars.

Ware’s defense team listed 15 mitigating factors. The list states that Ware was emotionally abused as a child, was exposed to drugs and alcohol from an early age, and had an unstable childhood.

The list also claims that Ware has a young child and would like to have a relationship with the child. Ware’s defense team claims that he feels empathy and has formed positive relationships with others.

Meanwhile, the State claims that Ware knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person, and that the murder of Sgt. Craig Johnson was especially heinous.

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Prosecutors also claim that there is a probability that Ware would continue to commit criminal acts if released from prison.

Now, the jury must decide three things:

  • Determine if the State proved at least one of aggravating factor beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Determine if the evidence of aggravating factors outweighs the mitigating factors.
  • Determine a sentence.