A longtime Oklahoma judge will not hear any cases after he was charged with shootings and reckless driving in Austin, Texas, earlier this month.
Brian Lovell, an associate district judge in Garfield County, Oklahoma, was arrested in a Sept. 11 incident in which at least five vehicles were shot up. He is accused of intentionally hitting another vehicle at a red light and almost pushing it into the vehicle. traffic with the SUV he was driving.
He faces a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving during his arrest, according to an Austin police affidavit filed in the City of Austin Municipal Court. And could face a charge of deadly conduct while discharging a weapon once a grand jury hears the evidence, according to Travis County District Court documents.
Police stopped Lovell’s vehicle on Sept. 11 about two miles from a report of shots fired about 90 minutes earlier. Lovell told police he had two handguns in his car, but “he did not know why he would have fired his gun and he did not remember any part of the shooting,” according to court documents.
Lovell told police the other driver cut him off in traffic and he hit the back of his vehicle, documents state. He also recalled a second time the rear of the vehicle (the other) being struck, but did not admit the collisions were intentional, police said.
Lovell, 58, could not be reached for comment Thursday by The Oklahoman, part of the USA TODAY Network. He declined to speak to a reporter from KFOR, the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City, who visited the judge’s home Wednesday.
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Videos showed rear of accused judge’s SUV, affidavit says
Police recovered shell casings — including one from a struck vehicle — and observed video of the white SUV in the area where vehicles had been shot up, according to court documents. Police also obtained video evidence of Lovell’s vehicle hitting the car at a red light, according to the documents.
Lovell was jailed after the road rage and shooting incidents, then released on $10,000 bail and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation. He faces a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving and could face a felony charge for the shooting once a grand jury hears the evidence.
Lovell became an associate district judge in January after running for the position unopposed. He previously served as a special judge in Garfield County, since 2011.
Paul Woodward, the administrative judge who presides over the Garfield County district, said Lovell agreed not to preside over any cases until his own case is resolved. “He’s been a good friend and colleague for years. It’s hard for me to believe all of this.”
Contributor: Associated Press.
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