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Trial postponed for man accused of killing Tecumseh police officer

POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla. – The trial for a man accused of killing a Tecumseh police officer last year has been postponed.

Around 11:30 p.m on March 26, Tecumseh Officer Justin Terney pulled over a vehicle near Benson Park and Gordon Cooper.

“You got your driver’s license and registration ready?” dash cam video showed Officer Justin Terney asking Brooklyn Williams during the traffic stop.

Williams gave Officer Terney her real name, but 36-year-old Byron Shepard lied from the very beginning, telling Officer Terney his name is James Bishop.

Shepard was wanted for stealing a pickup and equipment from an oil drilling company.

Dispatch, of course couldn’t find Shepard’s false identity, and Shepard proceeded to make small talk with the 22-year-old officer.

Officer Terney told Shepard he needed to be honest and give him some identification, but Shepard ended up running into a wooded area.

You can hear Officer Terney screaming, “You’re going to get tased! Stop!”

District Attorney Richard Smothermon said Officer Terney tased Shepard as they cleared a fence.

In the video, you can hear Officer Terney say, “Central, I’ve been hit.”

“We believe Officer Terney returned fire after he was hit,” Smothermon said. Smothermon said Terney was shot twice, and Shepard was shot at least three times.

They were both rushed to nearby hospitals, but Terney died from his injuries.

Officer Justin Terney

Shepard is facing charges of first-degree murder, knowingly concealing stolen property and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Prosecutors say they are seeking the death penalty in the case since Shepard met five of eight aggravating circumstances that warrant a death sentence.

Initially, the trial was scheduled to begin on June 18.

Last month, Shepard's attorney filed several motions, including one document that waived his right to a speedy trial.

Now, the Shawnee News-Star reports that Shepard's trial has been postponed, but a new trial date has not been set.

His next status hearing is scheduled to begin on August 17.