Tulsa police sergeant’s family testifies in second day of David Ware sentencing

TULSA, Okla. — The wife and son of Tulsa Police Sgt. Craig Johnson took the stand in the second day of sentencing in David Ware’s trial.

Ware was convicted of first-degree murder on Friday for shooting and killing Johnson at a traffic stop in June 2020.

Kristy Johnson, who is Johnson’s widow, and their son testified Tuesday, as jurors consider the punishment for the first-degree murder conviction. Ware faces either life in prison with the chance of parole, life in prison without the chance of parole, or the death penalty.

Kristy detailed how her family has now spent 643 days without her husband. She said he used to take the kids to school, and every day when they go to school, they are reminded of him. She said her youngest child says he thinks of his father all day at school because of it. She added that the 643 days are just the beginning of what Craig will miss in his boys’ lives.

She said she still remembers getting the phone call that Craig had been shot, and remembers having to tell the boys and Craig’s parents.

“I watched our oldest son standing at the bed saying, ‘Daddy, don’t leave me’,” said Kristy. “There will always be a hole in our lives where Craig should be.”

Kristy said the public nature of the case has made an unthinkable situation even worse. She said, since the video of the shooting has been released, her children can see their dad being killed at any point.

Kristy said she finds it difficult to help manage the big emotions of her kids, and at the same time she is also trying to manage her own emotions. She explained how she still finds herself wondering how much pain Craig was in, hoping adrenaline made it not hurt as much. She said she is also still angry about what happened, wondering how anyone could do this.

Ware was also found guilty of shooting with intent to kill for shooting Tulsa Police Officer Aurash Zarkeshan, among other charges.

Monday, a jury handed down its sentencing recommendations for Ware’s four non-capital convictions:

  • Shooting with Intent to Kill: life in prison with a $10,000 fine
  • Possession of a Firearm After Former Felony Conviction: 30 years and $10,000 fine
  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Drug with Intent to Distribute: 25 years and $10,000 fine
  • Obstruction (misdemeanor): 1 year and $500 fine

>>WARE TRIAL: How does sentencing work in a death penalty case?

Jurors must be unanimous on their decision. The judge will have the final say in the punishment.