Man convicted of murdering Oklahoma police officer sentenced to death

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POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A man who was convicted of murdering an Oklahoma police officer has been sentenced to death.

On Friday morning, Byron Shepard was officially sentenced to death for the shooting death of Tecumseh officer Justin Terney in 2017.

The 22-year-old police officer was just a rookie when he was killed during a traffic stop.

Around 11:30 p.m on March 26, 2017, Tecumseh Officer Justin Terney pulled over a vehicle near Benson Park and Gordon Cooper.

During the stop, Byron Shepard lied from the very beginning, telling Officer Terney his name was James Bishop. At the time, 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!”

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

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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. He had been on the police force for less than a year.

Shepard was charged with first-degree murder, knowingly concealing stolen property and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

In November, a jury found Shepard guilty on all charges and recommended that he be put to death for the crimes.

On Friday, a judge agreed, sentencing Shepard to death.

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