Daughter dating a black man
A jury convicted a former Oklahoma police officer of first-degree manslaughter late Wednesday in connection with the fatal shooting of his daughter’s 19-year-old boyfriend.
Shannon Kepler, 57, who is white, was found guilty in his fourth trial on a first-degree murder charge for the August 2014 shooting of Jeremey Lake, who was black. Kepler, who was an off-duty police officer at the time of the incident, said he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot Lake.
A jury recommended Kepler serve 15 years in prison for the lesser charge of manslaughter, according to his defense attorney, Richard O’Carroll. He said he thought Lake was armed with a gun, the Associated Press reported, but no weapon was found on or near Lake’s body.
Kepler’s three previous trials, in November, February and July, were all declared mistrials after they ended with hung juries.
Each trial was tinged with racial overtones and civil rights activists accused Kepler’s lawyers of trying to minimize the number of black jurors, CBS reported.
Each of the three hung juries had only one African American juror.
Kepler said he learned through his daughter’s Facebook profile that she had begun dating Lake, the Tulsa World reported.
Kepler testified that his daughter’s relationships and interactions with boys had created major conflict at home.
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Investigators later recovered a copy of a police report from an incident that took place when Lake was a minor.
Lake’s address and presumed race — black — were written on the back, homicide detective Mark Kennedy testified last week, according to the Tulsa Police Department.