Former Tulsa, Oklahoma cop Shannon Kepler who shot his daughter’s Black boyfriend was convicted of first-degree manslaughter on Wednesday.
57-year-old Kepler murdered 19-year-old Jeremy Lake in Aug. 2014 shortly after Lake began dating his 18-year-old daughter. Prosecutors in the case claim Kepler was sitting in his vehicle watching Lake and his daughter before getting out of the car and killing the young man. He then fled the scene.
Kepler claimed he killed Lake in self-defense, alleging Lake began to reach for a semi-automatic. Yet no weapons belonging to the 19-year-old were found at the scene. Kepler’s conviction was declared in his fourth trial – jurors in the previous three couldn’t agree as to whether he was guilty. Some civil rights advocates said the deadlocked jury was a result of there only being one Black juror present at each case leading to racial bias.
Lake’s murder took place just four days before the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Brown was shot by ex-cop Darren Wilson.
Kepler, who’s sentencing hearing takes place Nov. 20, may face up 15 years in prison.