Oklahoma Judge Indicted For Drive-By Shooting At His Brother-In-Law’s Home

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An Oklahoma judge will find himself on the other side of the bench after being indicted for two different drive-by shootings that occurred in 2023.

Oklahoma judge under fire for shootings

On the afternoon of February 12th, 2023, a vehicle made its way to a property in Bison, Oklahoma, and the driver started firing a weapon.

Kenneth Markes, who owns the ranch, reported that the assailant’s bullets wreaked havoc, damaging a window, a wall, and even an oven within his home.

Markes’ son was home during the drive-by, but was lucky to be missed, as authorities later found a bullet and five .40-caliber shell casings at the scene.

In an odd twist, just two days following the attack, associate judge Brian Lovell, 59, reported a gun stolen from his vehicle. Lovell is Markes’ brother-in-law.

Over half a year later, on September 11th, a man in a white SUV, who was described by a witness as “a white male, wearing a baseball-style hat and grey shirt,” began shooting at other vehicles in Austin, Texas.

The man fired off more than five shots and at least three 40-caliber shell casings were found at the scene, where “several vehicles” had been damaged by gunfire.

Approximately an hour after the chaos, Judge Brian Lovell was apprehended less than two miles from the shot-up intersection, after he used his white Toyota Highlander SUV to rear-end the same car twice at an intersection.

When police searched the vehicle, they discovered a gun magazine “in plain view” and “a black firearm in the front passenger floor board.”

Despite acknowledging the double collision with another driver’s vehicle, Lovell denied doing it on purpose. He also did not admit to being involved in the shooting, which miraculously injured no one.

“Lovell advised he did not know why he would have shot his gun and he could not recall any part of the shooting incident,” a court affidavit revealed.

It wasn’t until two months later when a ballistics examination of the gun connected the two shooting incidents, identifying the same Glock 23 .40-caliber firearm as the weapon used in both crimes.

Oklahoma judge charged

By February 2024, Lovell saw himself arrested and slapped with eight felony counts of deadly conduct for firing the weapon in Austin.

He was also hit with a misdemeanor for reckless driving. Despite the charges, it only took a $10,000 bond payment, and he was released with a hearing slated for June.

Last week, Lovell was arraigned on two felony charges linked to the Bison shooting at Markes’ ranch. Though he refrained from pleading, the court automatically entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

The judge set his bond at $25,000 with explicit conditions to avoid any contact with Markes and anyone related to him, alongside a prohibition on firearm possession.

Markes was shocked that the person who allegedly shot up his home was his brother-in-law. “I had no idea that it could’ve been Brian Lovell,” he remarked. “Seeing a person in a window, and missing by a matter of inches, is not just a random shooting.”

Lovell’s next court date is in August, and while he’s out on bail, he has reportedly agreed to not hear any cases.

His lawyer, Stephen Jones, believes that his client is innocent, and commented that “the evidence is insufficient to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“We intend to attack the jurisdiction and soundness of the indictment,” Jones said about his court strategy.

“He was elected judge without opposition. He was special judge about ten years before that and in my view, he’s innocent,” the lawyer added.

Lovell was appointed as a special district judge in 2011 and then elected associate district judge in Garfield County in January 2023.

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