Former cop convicted in racially motivated killing

Lester Mason
October 19, 2017

A former Tulsa Oklahoma police officer is convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the shooting death of his daughter's boyfriend.

Kepler is accused in the slaying of Lake, who had just started dating Kepler's daughter.

The jury recommended that he serve 15 years in prison, though sentencing is scheduled for November 20.

During closing arguments, Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray referred to Kepler's claim that he thought Lake was armed as "the phantom gun" defense.

Lisa Kepler testified that on the day of the shooting, she and Jeremey Lake went to a bridge near the home they were staying to pass out water bottles to the homeless.

The juries in Kepler's previous three trials deadlocked 11-1, 10-2 and 6-6, leading the judge to declare mistrials.

Lisa Kepler said her parents dropped her off at a homeless shelter during the summer of 2014 because she had been staying out late and acting out at home.

Lisa Kepler, daughter of officer Shannon Kepler, hugs Pam Wilkins on the steps of her home in Tulsa, Okla., Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, the morning after Jeremy Lake was shot by officer Kepler the night before. Kepler doesn't deny pulling the trigger but says he did so because he thought Lake was armed.

In closing arguments, prosecutors said Kepler set out to "hunt" down Lake and picked the time and location of the confrontation.

A white former Oklahoma police officer on trial for the fourth time in the 2014 killing of his daughter's black boyfriend has told jurors he had no choice but to shoot the young man. Although they couldn't agree on the murder charge, jurors in the first trial convicted Kepler of recklessly using his firearm. Scheving said he didn't get a close look at the gunman but learned from the wounded man's girlfriend, Lisa, that the shooter was her father. Lake's aunt disputed Kepler's self-defense account and has said her nephew was reaching out to shake Kepler's hand to introduce himself when Kepler fired.

An Oklahoma prosecutor says he is not surprised or disappointed that a jury convicted a white former police officer of manslaughter instead of murder in the fatal shooting of his daughter's black boyfriend.

Proceedings in Shannon Kepler's fourth murder trial resumed Tuesday.

Witness Josh Mills testified Monday that he ran to Lake after the shooting and that Lake's girlfriend said her father pulled the trigger.

The issue of race had become an undercurrent in each of Kepler's previous three trials.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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