Testimony begins in 4th murder trial against former TPD officer
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Testimony began four days into former Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler's fourth murder trial.
Neither side wasted any time Thursday. Opening statements were quick and then the state called its first witness.
It's been more than three years since Kepler was accused of killing Jeremey Lake, and if there is one thing both sides can agree on they want a verdict.
The medical examiner was first on the stand, talking mostly about Lake's gunshot wounds, stating he was shot in the neck and chest. She said she doesn't know if the body was moved prior to her getting to the scene.
The next person on the stand was Sgt. Marcus Harper. He testified about how the Tulsa Police Department handles a crime scene. He also noted that skid marks were seen at the scene, but further investigation proved they were there prior to the shooting.
The final witness to take the stand was Detective Mark Ohneshore. He testified that the scene was dark when he arrived and he was able to identify Lake from his ID. He said there was a pocket knife on Lake as well as bullet fragments on his shirt.
Defense attorney Richard O'Carroll told the jury that Kepler was trying to save his daughter from a violent person, but that isn't how Lake's great-aunt described him.
"He was just a really good kid," Great-Aunt Helene Lake said. "Nice, friendly and he was just nice and of course we all miss him, he was a part of the family."
Kepler is charged with murder, accused of gunning Lake down in his aunt's front yard in August of 2014.
He's faced three juries already and none could reach a unanimous verdict.
"We think Kepler deserves some kind of punishment for driving up and shooting him for no reason," Helene Lake said.
Kepler says he shot Lake in self-defense, claiming the 19-year-old had a gun, but officers never found a weapon at the scene and talk of the alleged gun has been banned from the courtroom.
“She (the judge) has made her rulings, so I have to live within the parameters of those rulings," O’Carroll said.
O'Carroll is hoping jurors can see the evidence, without hearing it.
"I told the jury this morning, consider what they aren’t asking," he said. "No one is going to ask Shannon Kepler where the gun is and I hope they do, I hope somebody gets brave.”
After three years and now four trials, Lake's family is hoping for a conviction.
"It is very aggravating to think he had to go this long without anything resolved," Helene Lake said.
Testimony resumes Friday morning at 8:30.