Oklahoma Judge Arrested in Texas Capital, Accused of Shooting Parked Cars and Causing Collision

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
September 23, 2023US News
Oklahoma Judge Arrested in Texas Capital, Accused of Shooting Parked Cars and Causing Collision
A police car in Austin, Texas, in a file photo. (Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY—An Oklahoma judge was arrested in Austin, Texas, last week after authorities say he opened fire on parked vehicles while out driving, striking at least one of them, and intentionally crashed into a woman’s vehicle, telling officers later that she had cut him off.

Brian Lovell, an associate district judge in Garfield County, Oklahoma, was arrested Sept. 11 on a misdemeanor count of reckless driving. A felony count of engaging in deadly conduct with a firearm was forwarded to a grand jury for consideration.

Judge Lovell was released on $10,000 bond and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

“We have zero comment,” said a woman who answered a phone call Friday to a number listed as Judge Lovell’s. The woman identified herself as Judge Lovell’s wife but declined to give her name.

Judge Lovell didn’t immediately reply to a phone message left at another number listed as his, and he declined to comment to a KFOR-TV reporter who went to his home in Waukomis, about 60 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

According to an Austin police affidavit, officers were called just after 4 p.m. on Sept. 11 by a witness who reported a man firing “approximately five times while driving down the street,” striking at least one of the parked vehicles.

About 90 minutes later, police responded to a call about a crash less than 2 miles from the shooting scene, where a woman said a man had deliberately collided into the rear of her vehicle twice.

Judge Lovell and his SUV matched the description of the shooter, according to the affidavit.

He told police he believed the woman had cut him off in traffic and although he acknowledged their vehicles had collided, he “did not admit the collisions were intentional,” according to the document.

Judge Lovell told police there were two handguns in his vehicle, but he said “he did not know why he would have shot his gun and could not recall any part of the shooting incident,” according to the affidavit.

Paul Woodward, the presiding administrative judge for the Garfield County district, said Judge Lovell agreed to not 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 any of this,” Judge Woodward said.

By Ken Miller

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