Juror from Kepler's 4th trial opens up about deliberations
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL ) —
A juror from former Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler’s fourth murder trial speaks about how they decided to convict the former Tulsa Police officer of manslaughter instead of murder.
The trial may be over, but for one juror it’s still playing on repeat in his mind.
“You cannot get this kind of thing out of your head," said the juror. "I've had so many sleepless nights."
He asked to remain anonymous but says being apart of Shannon Kepler's fourth jury was not an easy job.
“I felt a tremendous amount of pressure," he said. "I did not want this to end in another hung jury, but we had the manslaughter charge to fallback on.”
He says ultimately it was the lesser charge that saved this jury from being undecided for a fourth time.
“We talked for hours about the murder conviction and we were split nine to three for conviction," he said. "After a time, we knew we were not going to go anywhere with that, so we decided to move on to manslaughter in the first degree.”
They picked apart that charge for hours making sure all their questions were answered.
“We all knew he wasn't innocent. Kepler chose to make some very bad decisions that day and that night and took his sterling reputation and blew it up. “
While it might be a win for the district attorney's office, this juror says there are no winners. He says the case negatively impacted the families involved and divided our city, but he is glad he and the other jurors were able to end it once and for all.
“I’m very proud of my service and I thank the other jurors that were with me on this because they worked just as hard as I did," he said. "I’m just glad it put a period at the end of this case.“
The jury recommended a sentence of 15 years in prison for Kepler. His sentence hearing is November 20th.