Texas prosecutor slayings have Oklahoma district attorneys attention

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn says ways to protect attorneys and investigators deserve ‘a closer look' in wake of fatal shootings in Texas.
by Tim Willert Published: April 7, 2013
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Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater declined to comment for this story.

Sheriff's deputies patrol the Oklahoma County Courthouse, providing a presence inside and outside of courtrooms to keep the peace when tempers flare.

Personal experience

Mashburn knows firsthand about the risks that come with fighting crime.

In November 2009, a convicted sex offender pulled a knife in court and cut his own throat. He then stabbed a deputy who tried to subdue him.

In August 2009, deputies discovered a loaded gun in the purse of a woman Mashburn said became agitated while visiting him in his office.

After the stabbing, an X-ray machine and a metal detector were installed at the courthouse and a private security firm was scrapped in favor of sheriff's deputies for protection, Mashburn said.

Michael Fields, district attorney for Garfield, Blaine, Canadian, Grant and Kingfisher counties, and Jason Hicks, district attorney for Stephens, Caddo, Grady and Jefferson counties, did not return calls seeking comment.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is considering action after the shooting deaths of the prosecutors in Texas, according to agency spokeswoman Jessica Brown.

“We are in the process of working on a plan to offer personal defense training to prosecutors across the state,” Brown said. “This is only in the planning stages.”

Brown didn't mention any specific threats to prosecutors or other law enforcement officials in Oklahoma, only that the events in Texas are giving OSBI the chance to be “proactive.”

“In law enforcement, so much of what we do is reactionary,” she said. “We are always thinking of Oklahoma first, so if we can be proactive, get out ahead of something like this, we want to do that.”

Brown would not say what kind of training is being discussed and planned by the statewide law enforcement agency, stressing that all plans are cursory at this point.

“It might not happen, but we are discussing it right now,” she said.

Contributing: Staff Writers Randy Ellis and Andrew Knittle

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
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 FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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