After a fifth trial, a former Oklahoma police officer has been found guilty of murdering his daughter’s boyfriend.
Shannon Kepler, a citizen of the Muscogee Nation who served 24 years on the Tulsa police force, was convicted last week of killing 19-year-old Jeremey Lake. The victim was dating Kepler’s 18-year-old adopted daughter, Lisa, when the 2014 murder occurred.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Kepler became upset when he saw his daughter’s relationship status update on social media and found out she was dating Lake.
At the time, Kepler and his wife were having problems with Lisa and ended up dropping her off at a homeless shelter when she turned 18, with no money, phone, or clothes.
After Kepler noticed his daughter’s relationship status on Facebook, he used police resources to run a background check on Lake.
“Kepler learned that Lake was the victim of child abuse at a very young age and was previously charged as a juvenile after pushing a social services worker. Those charges did not result in a conviction,” the attorney’s office wrote.
After obtaining Lake’s address, Kepler changed clothes and waited until dark before he went to Lake’s home with a .357 magnum revolver. At around 9 p.m., Kepler spotted his daughter walking with Lake. He tried to talk to her but she brushed her father off.
Kepler pulled out the revolved and shot Lake twice, killing him. Afterward, he fired additional rounds at witnesses, including his own daughter and Lake’s 13-year-old brother. The 13-year-old was “slightly injured,” the prosecution said. Lisa was not injured.
Kepler then fled the scene.
After about 14 hours after the shooting, Kepler, who initially fled to a Motel 6, turned himself in. Kepler later testified that he was acting in self-defense when he shot Lake, claiming that the teen pulled a small gun from his pocket and “got the jump on him.”
In April 2021, Kepler was found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of second-degree murder. He was sentenced Friday to 25 years behind bars.
“Jeremey never had the chance to grow into the man he had hoped to become for his unborn child,” the victim’s father said, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “They explained that prior to his death, Jeremey found a steady residence and intended to go to welding school.” ”
“They also spoke about his selflessness and willingness to help others, as evidenced by his volunteer work at the homeless shelter.”
The prosecution said they hope the “25-year sentence provides a measure of justice to Mr. Lake’s family.”
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[Featured Photo: Jeremey Lake, Kepler, and Lisa/Police Handout; Facebook]