A white former Tulsa, Oklahoma, cop has been convicted of first-degree manslaughter, not murder, for shooting to death his daughter’s unarmed black boyfriend.
A jury reached the verdict on Wednesday, October 18th.
Shannon Kepler shot to death Jeremy Lake, 19, on August 5, 2014. Three previous juries did not convict Kepler of murder, but the first jury found Kepler guilty of recklessly using a firearm. The judge presiding over the trial allowed the jury to convict Kepler of a lesser charge.
Kepler, who resigned from the police department after he was indicted, shot and killed Lake after he attempted to shake hands with him. Kepler claimed he believed Lake was reaching for gun. Police did not find a gun.
Prosecutors argued Kepler hunted Lake because he was dating Kepler’s daughter Lisa.
The jury recommended that the judge sentence Kepler to 15 years in prison.
Civil rights activists charged that blacks were kept off the jury.
Kepler’s lawyers argued that Tulsa prosecutors could not try their client because he is a Muscogee Indian. The judge rejected the argument.
In 2012, Jake England, a 19 year-old Cherokee Indian and Alvin Watts, 32, shot and killed three black men and wounded two others in Tulsa. England and Watts are now serving life in prison.
He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.