Prosecutors rest in trial of man in officer’s fatal shooting

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) – Prosecutors have rested in the murder trial of a man charged in the fatal shooting of an Oklahoma police officer.

Byron Shepard on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney

The Oklahoman reports that prosecutors rested Friday in the first-degree murder trial of 38-year-old Byron James Shepard of Okemah for the March 2017 shooting death of 22-year-old Tecumseh officer Justin Terney.

Defense attorneys say the shooting was unintentional. Prosecutors contend Shepard shot Terney in an effort to avoid going to jail.

Authorities say Shepard was a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation and ran from the scene when Terney learned of an arrest warrant for Shepard.

Authorities say the two eventually shot each other. Terney died the following day while Shepard recovered.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The defense is to begin presenting its case on Monday.

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