Oklahoma jury didn’t want officer in jail for life

The Associated Press - October 27, 2017 12:53 pm

TULSA, Okla. (AP) – The head of a jury that convicted a white former Oklahoma police officer in the shooting death of his daughter’s black boyfriend says jurors couldn’t sentence him to life in prison due to the man’s self-defense claim.

Jurors convicted ex-Tulsa officer Shannon Kepler on Oct. 18 of manslaughter for killing 19-year-old Jeremey Lake in 2014. It was Kepler’s fourth trial.

Jury forewoman Sarah Arroyo tells The Associated Press this week that it didn’t take long to decide Kepler was guilty, but the bulk of the deliberations focused on whether there was enough evidence to warrant a first-degree murder conviction. The jury eventually opted for the lesser charge.

Arroyo says many jurors were uncomfortable sentencing Kepler to life behind bars with the doubt over his self-defense claim.

 

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