Homicide

Lawyer: Jury should hear about cop's 'auditory exclusion'

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Tulsa Oklahoma Police Department shows officer Betty Shelby. Police say Tulsa officer Shelby fired the fatal shot that killed Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16, 2016. Shelby's attorney Scott Wood said Thursday, Sept. 29 that she was so hyper-focused on the situation that she didn't hear other officers arrive on the scene or even the deadly gunshot she fired from her handgun. Officer Shelby is expected to enter a not-guilty plea at her arraignment on Friday. (Tulsa Police Department via AP, File)

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Tulsa Oklahoma Police Department shows officer Betty Shelby. Police say Tulsa officer Shelby fired the fatal shot that killed Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16, 2016. Shelby's attorney Scott Wood said Thursday, Sept. 29 that she was so hyper-focused on the situation that she didn't hear other officers arrive on the scene or even the deadly gunshot she fired from her handgun. Officer Shelby is expected to enter a not-guilty plea at her arraignment on Friday. (Tulsa Police Department via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016 file photo, a man holds a copy of the program for the funeral of Terence Crutcher during services to honor him in Tulsa, Okla., Crutcher was fatally shot Sept. 16 by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby. Shelby's attorney Scott Wood said Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, that she was so hyper-focused on the situation that she didn't hear other officers arrive on the scene or even the deadly gunshot she fired from her handgun. Officer Shelby, who is expected to enter a not-guilty plea at her arraignment on Friday. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016 file photo, a man holds a copy of the program for the funeral of Terence Crutcher during services to honor him in Tulsa, Okla., Crutcher was fatally shot Sept. 16 by Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby. Shelby's attorney Scott Wood said Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, that she was so hyper-focused on the situation that she didn't hear other officers arrive on the scene or even the deadly gunshot she fired from her handgun. Officer Shelby, who is expected to enter a not-guilty plea at her arraignment on Friday. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)  (The Associated Press)

A lawyer for a white Oklahoma police officer charged in an unarmed black man's death says she was so hyper-focused on the situation that she didn't hear other officers arrive on the scene or even the deadly gunshot she fired.

Tulsa officer Betty Shelby, who is expected to plead not guilty to first-degree manslaughter at her arraignment on Friday, experienced what is commonly called "auditory exclusion," a condition in which people in high-stress situations often don't hear sounds around them, her attorney Scott Wood says.

He says that while Shelby's defense won't hinge on whether she was aware of other officers when she shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16, it would be important for jurors to know.