Uncertainty remains around possible charges in death of Walters man

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It’s now unclear if charges will be filed in the death of a Walters man while in police custody following contradicting statements between the Cotton County District Attorney’s Office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

On Wednesday, Texoma’s Homepage reported about the March death of Michael Cooper, 55, that occurred in his home in Walters.

According to family members, Walters police issued a warrant at the home in which they say Cooper was thrown to the floor, striking his head, and then handcuffed.    

Cooper was then taken to Comanche County Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced brain-dead. He was later taken off life support.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Cooper’s death a homicide, listing the cause of death as blunt force trauma of the head.

OSBI began an excessive force investigation and submitted its finding to the Cotton County District Attorney’s Office.

On Wednesday, OSBI officials said the district attorney declined to seek any charges. However, on Thursday, the district attorney sent a statement saying that there has not been a decision made on whether or not criminal charges will be filed.

The district attorney’s office says the final determination of charges will be made by another district attorney’s office or through the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office.

Thursday, the OSBI apologized for the miscommunication in a statement saying, “Apparently there was some miscommunication along the way in this case for which we apologize. The DA’s office has the final say so as far as what will happen next and other other future inquiries, we are referring to the Cotton County DA’s office.”

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