- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A judge dismissed a first-degree murder charge Thursday against a former Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy for a fatal shooting at a motel but ordered him held as a material witness against others still facing charges.

The Tulsa World reports (https://bit.ly/1J7ZGmL) that the charge against Warren Crittenden, who had pleaded not guilty in the Jan. 27 shooting death of Michael Jones at an east Tulsa motel, was dismissed. The murder charge against three co-defendants remains while Crittenden, 44, is now listed as a material witness in the case.

Crittenden, a deputy from 1995 until 2011, was mentioned in a 2009 Internal Affairs memo that raised questions about whether now-former reserve deputy Robert Bates, who is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the April 2 shooting of an unarmed suspect, was properly trained. In that report, Crittenden said he felt pressured by then-Capt. Tom Huckeby to produce reports showing Bates was trained despite his belief otherwise, and said many training documents containing his signature were forged.

Bates has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In the motel shooting, an affidavit alleges Crittenden admitted driving a co-defendant to and from the motel where Jones was shot after answering a knock on his door. However, Crittenden’s booking report states he told police he did not shoot Jones and was held at gunpoint himself during the attack.

Investigators have said the shooting came after a woman, who is charged with attempted assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in the case, called the four to confront Jones after she got in a fight with him.

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