Witnesses Testify Against Former TPD Officer Accused Of Murder

Thursday, December 18th 2014, 11:07 pm
By: News On 6

The former Tulsa police officer headed to trial - accused of shooting his daughter's boyfriend to death - is facing even more charges.

Shannon Kepler is charged with first degree murder and now two counts of shooting with intent to kill.

The state had nine witnesses set to testify at Thursday's preliminary hearing, but after three of the witnesses took the stand, the judge found enough evidence for Kepler to stand trial.

12/18/2014 Related Story: Former TPD Officer Bound Over For Trial In 19-Year-Old's Murder

Prosecutors said that on August 5th, Kepler – then a Tulsa police officer - shot at his adopted daughter, Lisa, and her boyfriend, Jeremy Lake.

Lake died but Lisa survived and testified against her father in court Thursday.

"It's just sad," Defense Attorney, Richard O'Carroll said. "It's a real unfortunate situation for him and his wife. He doesn't like having to go through with this."

Kepler turned himself into police, and has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill.

A second count of shooting with intent to kill was added when Lake's brother, Michael Hamilton, testified Kepler also shot at him. Hamilton was near Lisa and Lake during the shooting.

"We'll put in evidence before a judge or jury and it'll be up to them to determine the guilt or innocence of Mr. Kepler," said Tulsa prosecutor, Steve Kunzweiler.

Two other witnesses testified they heard the shooting, saw Lake's body riddled with bullets, and heard Lisa scream, “It was my dad. He shot Jeremy. He tried to shoot me, too."

Questions are already circulating about the credibility of the witnesses.

One witness admitted to having two criminal convictions and another takes medication that may have altered his testimony.

"I moved to strike the witness testimony because he changed his testimony when he started taking medicine," O'Carroll said.

Kunzweiler said, "I fully expect the defense attorney to characterize things the way they're going to characterize them, but in the end, we put on a case and got a bind over for district court and we're moving forward."

Kepler will be arraigned next month.

His wife, Gina, was arrested after the shooting. Officers, at the time, believed she was withholding information about the crime regarding Kepler's whereabouts before he turned himself in, and where his SUV was parked.

Prosecutors, however, decided to not charge her.