- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A Tulsa County District Court judge has ruled there was no common-law marriage between a man who was fatally shot by a Tulsa police officer and the mother of three of his children, ruling her as unable to inherit his estate.

Monday’s ruling said Frenchel Johnson’s relationship with Terence Crutcher did not meet the state law requirements for common-law marriage, The Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2gZFrkQ ) reported. The judge said Johnson and Crutcher filed taxes individually, held separate bank accounts and did not legally share property or a rental agreement under both of their names.

Judge Kurt Glassco ruled that Crutcher’s heirs are his children - three with Johnson and another child from a previous relationship.

More than $150,000 is at stake in a GoFundMe account established for Crutcher’s estate after he was shot and killed Sept. 16 by Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby. Glassco said Tulsa attorney Austin Bond, who is interim special administrator of the estate, should take steps to ensure the GoFundMe money goes to the estate.

Johnson’s attorney Dan Smolen said while he appreciates that Crutcher and Johnson’s three children are the legal heirs, “we are disappointed with the court’s ruling that Frenchel was not Terence’s common-law spouse.”

“This has been a trying and emotional process for Frenchel, who is still mourning Terence’s death,” Smolen said. “In the coming days, we will be weighing Frenchel’s options going forward.”

Shelby is charged with first-degree manslaughter in the shooting and has pleaded not guilty.


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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