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An Oklahoma County sheriff's major confronted his attackers shortly before being shot, witness testifies

Christopher Travis Baker is charged in a May 2011 shooting and robbery outside Cattlemen's Steakhouse in Oklahoma City that left John Waldenville blind in one eye.
by Tim Willert Modified: December 5, 2012 at 9:51 am •  Published: December 4, 2012

A police officer grew emotional Tuesday as she recounted holding the hand of a sheriff's major as he lay bleeding with a gunshot wound above his right eye.

“I was just telling him to keep fighting, that he could make it through,” Katie Lawson testified during the trial of a man charged with shooting and robbing John Waldenville who was carrying $6,000 for Cattlemen's Steakhouse.

Lawson knew firsthand what Waldenville was going through. She was shot six times in May 2010 after assisting a sheriff's deputy with a traffic stop. Her attacker fired 20 rounds into Lawson's patrol car with a civilian version of an M-16 military assault rifle.

Two months after returning to work for the Oklahoma City Police Department, Lawson was one of the first officers to come to the aid of Waldenville.

Lawson knelt down beside the off-duty deputy, who was conscious and trying to communicate.

Christopher Travis Baker, 30, of Oklahoma City, is charged with shooting with intent to kill and robbery with a firearm.

Prosecutors allege Baker shot and robbed Waldenville after he left Cattlemen's to make a bank deposit just after midnight on May 21, 2011.

Waldenville, 61, worked as a security guard for the restaurant when he was ambushed. He was robbed of two bank bags containing $6,000, a Cattlemen's manager testified.

A co-defendant in the case, Keonte Stephen Terrell Prince, 19, of Oklahoma City, is awaiting trial.

Prince previously testified that Baker shot and robbed Waldenville; prosecutors told the jury they plan to introduce a transcript of Baker's testimony into evidence.

Waldenville, it turns out, may have confronted his assailants about 30 minutes before he was gunned down, according to witness testimony.

Loitering in parking lot

Tim Green, a night manager, said Waldenville talked to two black males wearing hooded sweatshirts and shorts seen loitering in the parking lot, after two female patrons asked the deputy to escort them to their cars.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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