POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A jury has begun deliberating over whether to sentence a man convicted of killing a Tecumseh police officer to death.
Byron Shepard was found guilty by this jury earlier this week.
In 2017, he shot and killed 22-year-old Justin Terney during a traffic stop.
The state is seeking the death penalty, arguing Shepard not only turned to shoot Terney in an effort to not go to jail but also that he continues to be a danger to society with a history of violence against others.
His defense attorneys asked the jury for mercy, trying to show that Shepard was raised in an abusive environment with parental figures who were addicted to drugs. They brought several members of his family to beg for his life.
The jury must now decide between giving him life in prison with the possibility of parole, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death sentence.
They began deliberating at 12:40 p.m. on Friday.
Officers, deputies, and family of killed Tecumseh police officer Justin Terney saying a prayer outside the courthouse just after a jury begins deliberations over his convicted killer’s punishment. @kfor pic.twitter.com/W151GLulgI
— Cassandra Sweetman (@CassandraOnTV) November 22, 2019