the republic logo

Court enters not guilty plea for Tulsa police officer charged in shooting death of 19-year-old

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

TULSA, Oklahoma — A Tulsa police officer on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the off-duty shooting death of his daughter's boyfriend.

Shannon Kepler, a 24-year-veteran police officer, was charged Monday in the Aug. 5 death of 19-year-old Jeremey Lake. The longtime officer is also charged with one count of shooting with intent to kill because prosecutors say he also shot at his daughter.

The court entered the plea at an arraignment for Kepler and set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 22.

His wife, Gina Kepler, was arrested in the incident on a complaint of being an accessory after the fact of murder but she has not been charged because prosecutors say they don't have evidence to support a charge.

Gina Kepler's lawyer, Scott Troy, told reporters as they left the arraignment that she was "looking forward to her husband's exoneration."

PHOTO: This booking photo provided by the Tulsa County Sherrif's Office shows Shannon Kepler, a Tulsa police officer, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the off-duty shooting death of his daughter's boyfriend. (AP Photo/Tulsa County Sheriff's Office)
This booking photo provided by the Tulsa County Sherrif's Office shows Shannon Kepler, a Tulsa police officer, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the off-duty shooting death of his daughter's boyfriend. (AP Photo/Tulsa County Sheriff's Office)

Shannon Kepler's attorney, Richard O'Carroll, provided a statement lambasting prosecutors for the charges, saying "there is not one credible eyewitness to this event."

The Keplers "are solid folks" who "did everything they knew to protect their daughter," O'Carroll said. The daughter, Lisa Kepler, was among three sisters whom the Keplers adopted from a troubled home.

Prosecutor Steve Kunzweiler, the chief of the criminal division, said later Tuesday that it was "improper for any attorney to try and litigate their case in the media," and said the facts of the case spoke for themselves.

After the shooting, Lisa Kepler told a newspaper that her parents had kicked her out of their home and taken her to a nearby homeless shelter. The Associated Press has been unable to locate the daughter. She told the Tulsa World after Lake's death that she hoped her parents "rot in prison."

Shannon Kepler had been trying "to protect his daughter, who preferred to live in a high crime area than live in a home with rules prohibiting her from bringing men home at night, some of whom even broke into the Kepler home," O'Carroll's statement said.

"These people loved their daughter," O'Carroll added in brief remarks outside the courtroom.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.