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Oklahoma judge charged with drive-by shooting into brother-in-law's home

An Oklahoma judge awaiting trial for allegedly shooting at parked vehicles and rear-ending a woman in Texas now faces charges in his own state, accusing him of shooting into the home of his brother-in-law six months before the road-rage incident.

Garfield County Associate District Judge Brian Lovell, 59, was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday on two felony counts involving a drive-by shooting into a home, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced. Convictions would be penalized by no less than two years in prison, according to the indictment.

The judge’s lawyer said Lovell will plead not guilty and “vigorously” defend himself against the latest charges. “From our own investigation the evidence is insufficient to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard, that he has committed any offense,” defense attorney Stephen Jones said in a statement.


Lovell’s brother-in-law Kenneth Markes reported someone fired at least five times at his occupied home in Bison on Feb. 12, 2023, damaging a window, a wall and an oven but missing the people inside, according to a Garfield County sheriff’s report.

A bullet and five .40-caliber shell casings were recovered. Two days later, on Feb. 14, Lovell reported a .40-caliber pistol had been stolen from his pickup between Jan. 28 and Feb. 11, according to the sheriff’s report.

Lovell has not been hearing cases since September, when he was arrested in Austin for allegedly driving into the rear of a woman’s vehicle, about 90 minutes after officers responded to reports of a man firing at parked vehicles as he drove down a street in the area.

Lovell and his SUV matched the description of the shooter, according to a police affidavit that supported his indictment on charges of deadly conduct with a firearm and reckless driving. He faces a June hearing on the Texas charges.

Lovell told Austin police that the woman had cut him off in traffic, but did not admit that their collisions that followed were intentional. And while he told police he carried two handguns in his vehicle, he said “he did not know why he would have shot his gun and could not recall any part of the shooting incident,” according to the affidavit.

Investigators in Oklahoma allege Lovell used the same .40-caliber gun in both shootings, despite having reported that the weapon was stolen. Neither indictment suggests why he might have fired the weapon.

Paul Woodward, the administrative judge for Garfield County, said Lovell agreed to not preside over any cases until his own charges are resolved.

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