Judge finds probable cause to send Wilson officers accused of murder to trial

Sierra Rains
srains@ardmoreite.com
Joshua Taylor (right) and Brandon Dingman (left)

A district judge has reportedly found probable cause to believe two former Wilson police officers committed second-degree murder, and has bound them both over to stand trial. 

Joshua Taylor, 25, and Brandon Dingman, 34, were charged with second-degree murder earlier this year in connection with the 2019 death of 28-year-old Jared Lakey. The former officers went before Special District Judge Carson Brooks on Oct. 20 for a preliminary hearing. 

After hearing testimony from the OSBI agent who investigated the case, reviewing the autopsy report, and reviewing dash cam and body cam footage of Lakey’s arrest, Judge Brooks determined there were reasonable grounds to believe Taylor and Dingman might be guilty and for them to stand trial.

A formal arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 2, where they will be read the charges against them and are expected to enter a plea. Taylor and Dingman have been on house arrest with ankle monitor requirements since July, after they turned themselves in to authorities. 

Carter County court documents allege that the officers use of tasers constituted a “substantial factor” in bringing about Lakey’s death and that the 50-plus deployments of the tasers “greatly exceeded what would have been necessary or warranted.” 

In an affidavit, the OSBI agent assigned to investigate the case stated that Lakey never grabbed or made any aggressive move towards either officer during the encounter. However, the officer’s reports following the incident make opposite claims, describing Lakey as “agitated” and “aggressive.” 

Since his death, Lakey’s family has filed a pending civil lawsuit. The law firm Bryan & Terill Law representing Lakey's family published graphic dash cam and body cam footage from the incident on Youtube in mid-July, and has claimed that the narratives written by the officers are inaccurate. 

Lakey was transported to a hospital in Healdton and then to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, where he died on the morning of July 6, 2019. Court documents state that cause of death was cited as multiple heart attacks and “law enforcement use of electrical weapon and restraint.”