Tulsa Police Officer Charged With Murder Out On Bond
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa Police officer, charged with first degree murder, is out of jail. Shannon Kepler has been behind bars since the shooting of Jeremey Lake two weeks ago, but was released just after 7:00 Friday night.
Friday afternoon a judge set Kepler's bond at $825,000; Kepler had been held without bond until then.
Friday just after 7 p.m. Kepler's bond was posted.
His attorney argued that Kepler is a dedicated member of the community, not a flight risk, while Lake's family said the man accused of killing their loved one doesn't deserve to be free.
8/19/2014 Related Story: TPD Officer Shannon Kepler Pleads Not Guilty In Tulsa Teen's Death
O'Carroll also claimed within the bond reduction motion that the state has no "credible eyewitness" to Lake's shooting death.
The signs send the message that Jeremey Lake's family is looking for justice.
“This is a hate crime, that's what it boils down to,” said Lake's aunt Pam Wilkins.
Lake was shot to death just days after meeting Lisa Kepler, the daughter of the man charged with Lake's death.
Shannon Kepler is a 24-year Tulsa Police veteran. Because of his position on the force, Kepler's attorney said the officer is being used to set an example.
“I feel like everyone's bending over backwards to show how they're not being influenced by the fact that my client has defended the constitution for 24 years of his life,” said Kepler's attorney, Richard O'Carroll.
During a hearing, prosecutors asked for bond to be set at $1.5 million.
The assistant district attorney revealed he believes the murder was premeditated, telling the court a police report - that only an officer would have access to - was found inside Kepler's home and handwritten on it, the prosecutor said, was Lake's address.
“We have a strength of evidence in this case that we ultimately think will sustain the day, but that's up to a judge or a jury,” said Assistant District Attorney, Steve Kunzweiler.
Kepler's attorney brought in two witnesses; one, a close friend and fellow officer, who vouched for Kepler, saying he was a loving father and a gentle, patient man.
The attorney also challenged the credibility of the state's witnesses.
Kepler's attorney asked for a $100,000 bond, but a judge upped the total to $825,000; a price that Lake's family said makes justice feel far away.
“You can't put a price on a life. A million, two million, a hundred million, you can't put a price on life,” Wilkins said.
Lake's friend, Donna Mobley said, “Nobody makes bond on a first degree murder charge, it's unheard of, unless you're a cop.”
There are stipulations with Kepler's release; he's not allowed to have any contact with Lake's family or his daughter, Lisa, and he can't leave Tulsa County without permission.
He was not ordered to wear an ankle monitor.