Two preliminary hearings for officers charged in shootings scheduled for this week

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Preliminary hearings are scheduled this week for the five officers charged in Stavian Rodriguez’ death as well as the officer charged in the death of Bennie Edwards.

Police say 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez was robbing a convenience store in November.

Surveillance video shows that when he came out, he dropped his weapon, and then put his hand in his back pocket. Officers fired at him.

On May 18, a hearing is expected for officers Bethany Sears, Jared Barton, Corey Adams, John Skuta after being charged with first degree manslaughter.

The DA called the officers’ actions “unnecessary.”

“They did not need a conviction for my son to lose his life,” Cameo Holland, Rodriguez’ mother, said in February.

“Whenever he came out of there and dropped the gun, those police officers are in hyper alert status, and when he reached around his back it was instinctive for those police officers to start pulling the trigger, if they don’t, they’re going to get killed,” attorney Scott Adams said in March.

On May 20, a hearing is scheduled for Sgt. Clifford Holman. He is facing a charge of first degree manslaughter in the death of 60-year-old Bennie Edwards.

In December, police were called to a pawn shop because employees said Edwards was bothering customers.

Court records say he ran towards officers with a knife, and then ran away from them. Holman fired three shots at Edwards.

“He probably thought he was in danger. He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” family members of Edwards said at the time.

“We respect the heartache Mr. Edwards’ family is suffering, but we are convinced Sgt. Holman acted lawfully, and we are proud to represent him as we fight these charges in a court of law,” attorney Kyle Sweet said. 

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