Daughter testifies against ex-Oklahoma officer father
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Jurors in the fourth murder trial for a white former Oklahoma police officer heard a 911 call Tuesday where his daughter screams to dispatchers that her father had shot her 19-year-old black boyfriend.
Lisa Kepler, the daughter of ex-Tulsa police officer Shannon Kepler, testified against her father in the 2014 off-duty shooting of Jeremey Lake. Shannon Kepler is on trial for the fourth time after three previous juries deadlocked, forcing the judge to declare mistrials. Lisa Kepler has testified against her father at all of his trials.
Shannon Kepler doesn’t deny he shot Lake, but said he fired because he thought Lake was armed. No gun was found on or near Lake.
Lisa Kepler testified about the night of the shooting, telling jurors that as she was walking with Lake near a bridge, she heard her father ask Lake what he was doing. She said she walked away and had her back turned when she heard gunshots.
“I turned around and saw Jeremey hit the ground,” Lisa Kepler said. “I ran and hid behind the bush that was in the center of the yard.”
In the 911 call, Lisa Kepler could be heard screaming about how Lake had been shot by her father. During cross-examination, she told Kepler’s defense attorney that she could say “with certainty” that Lake didn’t have a gun with him at the time, the Tulsa World reported.
In testimony Monday, witness Josh Mills testified that he ran to Lake after the shooting and that Lake’s girlfriend said her father pulled the trigger.
Mills later cursed defense attorney Richard O’Carroll when asked if Lake had tried earlier to borrow a gun. Mills began to cry and said he couldn’t continue. The trial was recessed for the day and Mills resumed his testimony on Tuesday.
Lake’s fatal shooting happened four days before a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson on Aug. 9, 2014.
Brown’s killing touched off months of protests and became a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement, which decries police violence against minorities and calls for greater transparency from law enforcement officials, especially in cases that involve officer-involved shootings.
Jurors in Kepler’s previous three trials had deadlocked 11-1, 10-2 and 6-6, forcing the judge to declare mistrials. Although they couldn’t agree on the murder charge, jurors in the first trial convicted Kepler of recklessly using his firearm.
This story has been corrected to show a witness testified Jeremy Lake’s girlfriend said her father was the shooter.