Oklahoma County District Attorney Vicki Behenna filed a first-degree manslaughter charge Friday against Edmond Police Lt. Jennifer Haddock, who fatally shot her brother during a domestic dispute in August.
Because Haddock was off duty at the time of the shooting, Behenna’s spokeswoman said she chose to make the charging decision herself rather than presenting the case to the state’s multi-county grand jury, a private body of citizens that can return indictments and investigate alleged crimes.
“It did not involve an on-duty police officer,” said Brook Arbeitman, director of communications for the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office. “Haddock was off duty, in a civilian capacity.”
During a July press conference where Behenna announced her decision to dismiss manslaughter and murder charges against a total of seven police officers in three separate fatal shootings, Behenna told media that future fatal police shootings would go before the multi-county grand jury.
“I think it’s important for each of you to know (…) from this point forward any time there is an officer-involved shooting where a death results, those cases are going to be presented and investigated by the grand jury,” Behenna said at the press conference. “I think that’s what most metropolitan areas do, and I feel confident in the grand jury process that we can do a thorough review of the case and make decisions again that are evidence-based and consistent with the law in Oklahoma.”
The state’s first-degree manslaughter statute requires prosecutors to prove one of three circumstances related to a homicide. First-degree manslaughter is punishable by a minimum four-year sentence in Oklahoma. If convicted, Haddock would be required to serve 85 percent of her sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
A spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department declined to provide a statement regarding the charge facing Haddock, who has been employed by EPD since 2015 and has been on administrative leave since the shooting. During the 2021-2022 school year, Haddock had served as a resource officer assigned to Edmond Public Schools.
Curt Dewberry, Haddock’s attorney, did not respond to a request for comment before the publication of this article.
Records reveal months leading up to Sean Haddock’s death
Jennifer Haddock shot her brother, Sean Haddock, in the morning hours of Aug. 3 at their mother’s apartment on East 15th Street. The siblings were involved an argument over “the ownership of furniture,” according to a probable cause affidavit for Jennifer Haddock’s arrest. Sean Haddock lived at his mother’s residence and had property there, according to the affidavit.
Upon arrival, Edmond police found Jennifer Haddock lying on the apartment floor with her brother, who had sustained a gunshot wound to his chest. Jennifer Haddock told responding officers that she shot her brother with a .40-caliber handgun.
During an interview with police, Jennifer Haddock said Sean Haddock was “screaming and aggressively approached her to where she was backed against a wall.” She drew her firearm and told him to “back up” several times, the document states.
At one point earlier in the altercation, Sean Haddock grabbed Jennifer Haddock’s gun and told her to shoot him, according to the affidavit.
“There was separation and upon him advancing back toward [Jennifer Haddock], she fired a single round which struck Haddock in the chest area,” the affidavit states.
During her 9-1-1 call immediately after the shooting, Jennifer Haddock told dispatch that she had shot her brother in the “upper right pectoral muscle” and that she had placed a plastic bag over the wound. During the call, Sean Haddock could be heard gasping for air in deep breaths as the Haddocks waited for an ambulance to arrive.
“Help him, help him, help him, help him, Lord,” Jennifer Haddock said in the call. “Come on, brother, come on.”
Booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center the night of the shooting, Jennifer Haddock was released after posting a $50,000 bond.
At the time of his death, 36-year-old Sean Haddock was facing a pending possession of methamphetamine charge in Oklahoma County District Court and had received a March default judgment against himself and his business, Edmond Towing LLC, in Pottawatomie County District Court.
In October 2022, First United Bank and Trust in Shawnee sued Sean Haddock for missed payments and a pair of unpaid credit card transactions in relation to loans he took out in 2021, which amounted to nearly $90,000. After he did not respond to the lawsuit, a judge granted default judgement to the bank and ordered that Sean Haddock pay $61,000 to the bank with 21 percent annual interest on most of that amount.
According to a report from OKCPD, Sean Haddock was arrested Dec. 30 after officers responded to a welfare check and found him in a McDonald’s parking lot at 5815 N. Martin Luther King Ave. in Oklahoma City. Unaware Sean Haddock was breathing, the reporting party told officers that Haddock was passed out in his vehicle.
Officers found 2.69 grams of methamphetamine in Sean Haddock’s car after he consented to a search, ultimately transporting him to the Oklahoma County Detention Center.
Court records show that Sean Haddock appeared in court in relation to the charge on Aug. 2, the day before he died. He was represented by the Public Defender’s Office and was “present in court but has the flu and a fever,” according to court records.