A sitting Oklahoma judge, Brian Lovell, found himself in a legal entanglement after being arrested in Austin, Texas, last week. Authorities claim that Lovell opened fire on parked vehicles while driving, striking at least one vehicle, and then intentionally collided with a woman’s vehicle, allegedly due to a perceived traffic dispute.
Lovell, who serves as an associate district judge in Garfield County, Oklahoma, was apprehended on September 11 on a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. Additionally, a felony charge of engaging in deadly conduct with a firearm has been referred to a grand jury for further consideration.
Following his arrest, Lovell was released on a $10,000 bond and has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
When contacted for comment, a woman who answered a phone call to a number listed as Lovell’s identified herself as his wife but declined to provide her name, simply stating, “We have zero comment.”
Efforts to reach Lovell for comment, including a phone message left at another number listed as his, were unsuccessful. Lovell also declined to speak with a reporter from KFOR-TV who visited his residence in Waukomis, located approximately 60 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.
According to an Austin police affidavit, the incident unfolded when officers received a call just after 4 p.m. on September 11 from a witness reporting that a man was firing a weapon “approximately five times while driving down the street,” resulting in at least one parked vehicle being struck.
Approximately 90 minutes later, police responded to a separate call reporting a collision less than 2 miles from the shooting scene. A woman informed authorities that a man had intentionally rammed into the rear of her vehicle on two occasions.
Lovell and his SUV matched the description provided by witnesses, as detailed in the affidavit.
Upon questioning by the police, Lovell claimed that he believed the woman had cut him off in traffic. While he acknowledged that their vehicles had collided, he “did not admit the collisions were intentional,” according to the document.
Lovell informed the authorities that there were two handguns inside his vehicle but stated that he “did not know why he would have shot his gun and could not recall any part of the shooting incident,” as outlined in the affidavit.
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Paul Woodward, the presiding administrative judge for the Garfield County district, revealed that Lovell has agreed not to preside over any cases until his own legal matters are resolved. Woodward expressed disbelief at the situation, describing Lovell as a long-time friend and colleague, making it difficult for him to fathom the circumstances surrounding the arrest.