Witnesses Testify In Federal Murder Trial Of Former Tulsa Police Officer

Tuesday, April 20th 2021, 6:17 pm
By: News On 6, Reagan Ledbetter

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Witnesses began to testify Tuesday in the federal murder trial of former Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler. 

This will be Kepler's fifth trial tied to the shooting death of his daughter's new friend in 2014, but it’s the first time the case is being heard in federal court. It was moved there after his manslaughter conviction in state court was dismissed because of tribal jurisdiction.

Ten witnesses were called to the stand Tuesday, including the victims brother.

Prosecutors argue Kepler planned and prepared, then shot and killed Jeremey Lake. 

Kepler’s attorney argues Kepler acted in self defense because they believe Lake had a gun.

Tuesday’s witnesses included law enforcement, first responders and Jeremey Lake’s brother who testified he saw a man shoot and kill his brother. He also said the same man shot at Kepler's daughter and him, then drove off. 

Kepler's attorney pointed out changes in the brother’s story from 2014 to now. 

Prosecutors also played the 911 call for the jury, which was made by Kepler’s daughter.

One of the big topics in court was whether Lake had a gun at the time of the shooting. A handgun was found in a trash can in an interview room at Tulsa Police, the day after the shooting. 

Kepler's attorney argued one of the witnesses in this case may have dumped it while being interviewed by detectives. 

Kepler was convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison but has been out of prison since March, after his state case was dismissed.

The trial will resume Wednesday at 9 a.m.