Oklahoma Police Officer Charged With Murder of Unarmed Black Teenager

Source:  Dylan Goforth/Tulsa World

A plea of not guilty was entered on behalf of a longtime Tulsa Police Department officer accused of killing a teenager earlier this month.

Shannon Kepler was not in court Tuesday, instead appearing via video. His attorney, Richard O’Carroll, technically stood mute, allowing the court to enter the not guilty plea on his client’s behalf.

Kepler was charged Monday with first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill. His preliminary hearing was set for 9 a.m. Oct. 22.

Following Kepler’s arrest Aug. 6, Tulsa police said they believe he shot 19-year-old Jeremey Lake outside the teenager’s home after Kepler pulled up next to Lake and Kepler’s adopted daughter, Lisa Kepler.

Lisa Kepler spoke the day after the shooting, saying her father shot at her and Lake — her boyfriend — after she and her father had a brief argument.

O’Carroll spoke briefly after the arraignment and reiterated his earlier statements that Shannon Kepler had a viable defense for the homicide, although he stated that those facts would have to come out in court during the preliminary hearing.

“There’s a defense — it’s a perfect defense,” O’Carroll said. “For the district attorney and the chief of police not to understand that, and to just get caught up in this frenzy and make political decisions instead of reasoned judgment, is abhorrent.

“I want the facts to come out in court.”

Kepler’s wife, Gina Kepler — initially arrested before being released on bond — appeared in court Tuesday with her attorney, Scott Troy, as Chief Prosecutor Steve

Kunzweiler formally announced that the state would not be filing charges against her at this time.

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