Ex-police officer Shannon Kepler convicted of Jeremy Lake murder

A former cop who worked for the Tulsa Police Department in Oklahoma has finally been convicted for a crime he committed in 2014.

On August 5, 2014, Shannon Kepler, now 61, shot and killed her “difficult” daughter’s boyfriend, Jeremy Lake, after using department records to search for him.

Shannon Kepler was eventually sentenced to 25 years for the murder of Jeremy Lake.

The first three trials against Kepler resulted in hung juries, meaning the jury was unable to reach a conclusive verdict and the judge was unable to impose a sentence accordingly.

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The fourth trial, however, Kepler was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals overturned that conviction based on a decision of the United States Supreme Court. States that concluded that Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction over crimes committed on tribal reservations. whose accused or victims are tribal citizens.

A year ago, in the fifth trial for the 2014 Lake murder, a federal jury found Kepler guilty of his crime, and on January 7, 2022, U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Kepler to 25 years. federal prison followed by three years in prison. supervised release.

“Kepler, at the time, was sworn to uphold the law but instead made a series of decisions that led to the murder of the young man,” U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson said after Friday’s sentencing.

“Today’s 25-year prison sentence does justice to Mr. Lake’s family, although I know their healing continues.”

Kepler shot and killed Jeremy Lake shortly after discovering he was dating his daughter.

In 2014, Kepler and his wife Gina were struggling with their adopted daughter, Lisa, so they decided to drop her off at a homeless shelter shortly after her 18th birthday – leaving only the clothes on her back, according to a statement. . of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

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However, when Kepler managed to log into his daughter’s Facebook account, he noticed that her relationship status had changed from “single” to a relationship with Lake who worked at the shelter as a volunteer.

As an active duty police officer, he asked a clerk to carry out a background check on the lake where he discovered the 19-year-old had been the victim of child abuse at a very young age , and was also tried as a juvenile for pushing a social services worker, but was not convicted.

Keplet soon plotted to kill her daughter’s boyfriend.

“On the day of the crime,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said, “Kepler put on dark clothes, used his wife’s SUV, then drove after dark to Lake’s last known address with a loaded gun in the waistband of his pants.”

Upon arriving, Kepler found his daughter and Lake walking with some of their friends and approached them, trying to talk to his daughter.

When she fired him and entered the house, Lake tried to introduce himself, but Kepler pulled out the gun instead and fired twice, killing Lake ‘almost immediately’, U.S. attorney Clint said. Johnson in a statement announcing the sentencing.

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Kepler fired three more shots in the direction of witnesses, Lake’s friend Josh Mills, Lake’s brother, 13-year-old Michael Hamilton, and Kepler’s own daughter, Lisa.

He fled the scene, eventually turning himself in, knowing his fellow Tulsa police officers would be looking for him.

Kepler testified that he acted in self-defense after Lake “jumped on him,” although no other weapons were ever found at the scene.

As the Lake family heals, this sentencing likely means Kepler will spend the rest of his life in prison and finally see justice for the crime he committed all those years ago.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and current affairs, social justice and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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