Tulsa County DA argues for death penalty against Ware in police shooting case

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa County District Attorney presented evidence for the death penalty Monday against the man accused of shooting two police officers.

David Ware is accused of shooting Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson and Officer Aurash Zarkeshan during a traffic stop on June 29, 2020.

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Johnson died from his injuries, and Zarkeshan has since recovered after an extended stint of rehab out of state.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the prosecution’s first notice of evidence for the death penalty against Ware in court on Monday.

In a 13-page document submitted to the court, prosecutors lay out five main points as to why Ware should face the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Ware knowingly created a risk of death to more than one person by killing Johnson and attempting to kill Zarkeshan.

Secondly, Kunzeiler says the murder of Johnson was especially heinous, additionally, in the third point, saying the murder was committed as a way to keep Ware from getting arrested.

The fourth point says Kunzweiler feels that Ware would be a continuing threat to society, and the fifth point pushes for capital punishment as Johnson was killed in the line of duty.

Ware’s trial isn’t expected to begin until June 2021. Zarkeshan is expected to testify.

The other man suspected of being involved in the shooting is expected in court Monday as well.

Matthew Hall, accused of helping drive Ware away from the scene of the shooting that morning, will be in court for a hearing.

Hall’s trial is set for March.