Alleged conspirator, victim testify in intent to kill trial
Wednesday’s testimony in District Judge Irma Newburn’s courtroom in the Comanche County District Courthouse was begun by the victim of a 2016 shooting.
The day ended with a fiery exchange between a convicted conspirator in the crime and the defendant’s attorney.
As the second day of the trial of Michael Emmanuel Ishman, 33, for felony charges of shooting with intent to kill and conspiracy to shoot with intent to kill, it would be the testimony of Rachel DeWalt who gave voice to the victim. Ishman is charged with of conspiring with Jana Marie Givens and William Givens to shoot DeWalt, a Lawton Correctional Facility officer, on Sept. 28, 2016, as she was leaving her home to go to work.
Assistant District Attorney Kyle Cabelka opened up questioning with DeWalt’s 6½ years of background as a corrections officer at Lawton Correctional Facility. She served as a member of the SRT Team that handled operations to catch contraband smuggling and as part of the STG Team that would handle violent or out-of-control inmates. As part of the latter’s duties, she also was tasked with identifying inmates’ gang affiliations and recording them as well as conducting inmate cell searches.
DeWalt was considered one of the best on staff for her ability to uncover contraband such as shanks, cell phones and drugs hidden in cells, according to Cabelka. She told of costs for certain amounts of contraband to make their way into the prison and said that crackdowns on contraband led her to become a target.
That’s where, DeWalt said, William Givens came into the picture. A member of the Tulsa 107 Hoover gang sect, Givens was busted several times for possessing contraband cell phones, including at least seven times by DeWalt. She said that led to his transfer in 2014 from Lawton Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison, to the maximum-security Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. That would, in the eyes of the prosecution, make her his target for retribution.