OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma appellate court has upheld a white former police officer’s conviction on a misdemeanor weapons charge related to the fatal off-duty shooting of his daughter’s black boyfriend.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday rejected former Tulsa officer Shannon Kepler’s appeal of a reckless-conduct-with-a-firearm conviction. A jury found Kepler guilty on the charge in the first of four trials involving the case.
Kepler was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced in 2017 to 15 years in prison following three trials in which juries deadlocked. An appeal on the conviction is pending.
Kepler shot 19-year-old Jeremey Lake in 2014. Kepler claimed Lake was armed and he fired in self-defense. Police never found a weapon on Lake or at the scene.
Kepler’s attorneys said he was trying to protect his adult daughter.