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Oklahoma City pastor will face trial in fatal shooting of son-in law

Michael Scott Elder, 53, is charged with first-degree murder in Feb. 20 death of son-in-law, Gary Davidson, 27
by Tim Willert Published: May 25, 2013

An Oklahoma City pastor accused of fatally shooting his son-in-law will face trial, a judge ruled Friday after hearing conflicting testimony from the victim's emotional wife and girlfriend.

Michael Scott Elder, 53, is charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 20 death of Gary Davidson, 27, who was married to Elder's daughter.

Elder is pastor at The Cross Baptist Church, 1615 SW 96. He is being held without bail in Oklahoma County jail.

He is accused of shooting Davidson as the estranged couple struggled for control of a truck being driven by April Davidson.

A tearful April Davidson told Oklahoma County District Judge Ray C. Elliott she feared for her life the day her husband jumped in the front seat of the couple's moving truck.

She said Gary Davidson was physically abusive and had previously threatened her life, adding that he intended to push her out of the vehicle the day Elder intervened.

“He started pushing on me, pulling on me, trying to get the vehicle,” Davidson testified. “I was scared.”

She testified hearing one shot and seeing her husband crawl from the front seat to the back seat before falling out of the vehicle.

The wife, who told police her father ran alongside the vehicle and shot Davidson, testified Friday that she did not see her father fire the gun.

Gary Davidson was unarmed.

April Davidson told police she drove away from a residence in the 2700 block of NW 12 when Gary Davidson refused to give her their 2-year-old daughter. The couple had been separated for nine months.

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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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