Thursday, September 27, 2007

First Degree Manslaughter Charges Filed in Tulsa "Road Rage" Case

Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris filed a first-degree manslaughter charge Wednesday against Kenneth Ray Gumm, 67, in the shooting death of Dale Turney, 47.

Gumm, a retired security guard, is accused of killing Turney in a River Parks parking lot on June 10.

The shooting occurred about 4 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon near 19th Street and Riverside Drive. Witnesses said there were many people in that area of the park at that time.

''An alleged road rage confrontation ended in a tragic result,'' said Harris said in a prepared statement. ''Every situation has specific facts and circumstances unique to itself. These individualized facts are applied and analyzed under the law.''

Oklahoma law allows a person to use deadly force in self defense if that person has a reasonable belief such force is necessary to protect himself from imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, Harris said.

''We have reviewed evidence and investigation presented by the Tulsa Police Department,'' Harris said. ''Further investigation was conducted by the DA's Office, which led to the decision to file the charge. The defendant is presumed to be innocent under the law, but we will be prepared to present evidence in court at the appropriate time,'' he said.

First-degree manslaughter carries a minimum sentence of four years to a maximum sentence of life in prison.