KFOR.com Oklahoma City

Edmond man arrested for first-degree murder in wife’s October death

EDMOND, Okla. – A months-long investigation into the death of a 36-year-old Edmond woman has resulted in her husband’s arrest for murder.

Caleb Ray Copeland, 36, was arrested by Edmond Police Thursday and booked into the Oklahoma County jail on one count of first-degree murder. Copeland’s bond has not yet been set.

Edmond Police were called to 1617 Whispering Creek Court shortly before 1:45 a.m. on October 23, 2018 for a woman not breathing. The woman, Kimberly Copeland, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Court filings say Copeland said his wife was drunk when he came home and that she had drank a 5 liter box of wine, which he threw in the trash. Edmond Police say Caleb Copeland’s version of events started to change, multiple times, at first believing that it was because of the circumstances. However, as the night went on, police said things weren’t adding up.

“We started to find some big discrepancies in the story that was even just told earlier in the night to patrol officers. Mr. Copeland wasn’t truthful about the amount of alcohol she consumed. He said she consumed an entire box of wine and he threw it away. We found that box of wine placed obscurely on top of a cabinet, that was about half full — if not more — so that didn’t match up. And then the story just really started changing from there,” said Edmond Police spokesperson Jenny Wagnon.

“The cup that she was drinking out of that night was put in the dishwasher. Which they observed was unusual, because the kitchen was unkempt and there were dirty dishes in the sink and everywhere and that was the only cup that was in the dishwasher.”

Police say Copeland’s timeline of events that evening also didn’t line up. The medical technician later admitted he had taken his wife’s vital signs at least four times between 9:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m., using a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff, and knew his wife was in cardiac arrest by 1:00 a.m.

Police believe, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, that Copeland gave his wife a lethal dose of an anti-depressant drug – possibly spiked in her wine – and watched her condition slowly deteriorate, waiting to call for help after she stopped breathing.

“We were able to determine he was monitoring her regression through the evening and waited a significant amount of time before calling 911,” Wagnon said.

When investigators executed search warrants on Caleb Copeland’s laptop, cell phone, forensics experts found an anti-forensic tool was run on the devices at around 9:00 p.m. the night of his wife Kimberly’s death, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Court papers said Copeland notice his wife had stopped breathing around 1:00 a.m. and realized she has soiled herself and took the time to dress her in clean clothes, only then calling for help. In discussing why he waited to call 911, Copeland allegedly expressed regret multiple times.

Neighbors on the dead end street said the couple, and their two children, kept to themselves.

“They’re pretty quiet. We would see them occasionally, just unloading the kids, but that’s pretty much it,” said neighbor Emily Naifea.

Naifea said she and her husband were out of town at the time of Kimberly’s death, only to find out about it when they came home.

“We really didn’t hear much. Our neighbor just let us know that there was a death, the neighbor across the street, told us just to keep everybody in prayers and that’s just all we knew.”