New reports allege that an Oklahoma judge was arrested in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 11, after he allegedly fired a weapon while driving and intentionally crashed into a woman’s vehicle.
Local outlet KFOR reported that veteran Garfield County judge Brian Lovell was charged with reckless driving and deadly conduct with a firearm. An Austin Police affidavit stated that Lovell fired at several parked vehicles while driving, successfully hitting at least one, according to The Associated Press.
Witnesses to the crime say they spotted a man leaving the scene in a white SUV after the alleged shooting incident.
This occurred at the intersection of Matamoros Street and Santa Maria Street, nearly 500 miles from Lovell’s home in Waukomis. It remains unclear why Lovell was in Austin.
However, Lovell also crashed his white SUV into the back of a woman’s car at an intersection, KFOR reported. He “intentionally” attempted to push the woman’s vehicle into oncoming traffic after hitting it again, following an argument with the driver in what appears to be a road rage incident. Lovell himself “did not admit the collisions were intentional,” according to AP.
Responding officers found a gun and magazine in Lovell’s car, but he reportedly told officers he “did not know why he would have shot his gun and could not recall any part of the shooting incident,” KFOR reported.
Lovell has served as a special district judge in Garfield County, Okla., since January 2011. He was promoted to associate district judge just this year, 12 years after starting in the county. Judge Paul Woodward, a longtime colleague of Lovell’s, told KFOR he “had a lot of respect” for Lovell.
Lovell was released after posting a $10,000 bond and must undergo a mental health exam. When contacted by the AP, a woman who said she was Lovell’s wife said “we have zero comment.”
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