“She could have stopped this,” Family of fallen Tecumseh officer speaks about murder conviction

SHAWNEE, Okla. -- The family of a fallen Tecumseh police officer is speaking out after a second-degree murder conviction on Friday.

A Pottawatomie County jury recommended a 25-year prison sentence for Brooklyn Williams.

It has been nearly two years since Officer Justin Terney was killed in a senseless crime during a traffic stop on a quiet Sunday night.

"She had absolutely no emotion," Officer Terney's sister, Tonisha Rapp, said of Brooklyn Williams during trial last week.
It took about two hours for a jury to convict Williams of second-degree murder Friday afternoon.

Officer Terney's family was in the courtroom for days of gripping testimony.

Part of the state's evidence was the dash camera video of the traffic stop in March 2017.

"You look at that video and you wish what happened didn't happen. You know what's getting ready to happen," Rapp said.

In the video, you can hear Officer Terney shout, "Central! I've been shot!"

Memories of Officer Terney are always close by for his family to see in their homes.  Terney was a police officer for just 192 days before he was killed.

Brooklyn Williams was the driver in the traffic stop. Byron Shepard, her passenger, was a fugitive.

In Williams' trial, prosecutors showed the jury Shepard's text messages to Williams, where he allegedly made threats to law enforcement, saying "going back to jail wasn't an option."

"I put a lot of responsibility on her. I feel, and I think our family feels, that at any point, she could have stopped this," Rapp said.

The wheels of justice have turned slowly for Officer Terney's family.

Byron Shepard's trial was continued all the way to November, and that wasn't the only setback.

The new district attorney, Allan Grubb, was elected in November, creating a big conflict in the criminal case.

"It had nothing to do with the district attorney's office, but there was a personal conflict between Allan Grubb and our family members," Rapp said.

Just before the Williams trial, Rapp had to testify about Allan Grubb representing her stepdad in a bitter divorce.

At issue was money the Department of Justice gave Terney's mother in regard to his death.

Court documents show a $125,000 settlement was reached in the case.

Ultimately, the judge allowed prosecutors from Cleveland County to take over the case, and the jury was finally seated.

"I am glad that the jury did give her 25 years, at the very least. I'm glad at least 22 years, because that's how old Justin was when his life was taken from him," Rapp said.

Terney's family wants to thank all the law enforcement officers who worked on the case.

His K-9, Onyx, is now with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office.

Williams' sentencing date is set in March.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.