TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) - The daughter of a convicted killer and former Tulsa police officer says she forgives her father as he fights to get his charges dropped.
The attorney for Shannon Kepler has filed a new appeal for him to get out of prison. It comes after a recent Supreme Court ruling involving tribal land crimes and Native American defendants.
“I’m kind of at a loss because I love my dad, and I have forgiven him," said his daughter, Lisa Kepler. “When he was first sentenced, I didn’t think it was enough."
A jury sentenced Kepler to 15 years in 2017 for killing Lisa’s boyfriend, Jeremey Lake. His attorneys say the state of Oklahoma does not have the jurisdiction to convict him because the crime happened on tribal land.
Time has taught Lisa compassion toward her father who, for years, she says didn’t care what happened to him. Now, six years after the murder, Lisa says her feelings have changed about her father.
"I think that, at this point, enough is enough; I have siblings who are growing up without a father, and he wasn't a bad dad," said Kepler.
Lisa says she has PTSD after testifying in her father’s murder trial and seeing her boyfriend killed and is torn about his appeal.
She says she loves her father but knows there has to be justice.
"I used to be told growing up, 'You do the crime, you pay the time'; people can't just get away with things like that," said Lisa.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said he was anticipating the appeal.
"It wasn't anything that was unexpected from our perspective. We knew that was going to be an issue that was going to be raised," said Kunzweiler.
He says this is just one of the many criminal cases he’s tried that can be handed over to the US Attorney's Office.
"It's a heavy burden to lay on these victim's families from their perspective. I don't think I would like to be going through what they're going through," said Kunzweiler.
It's a case he says could open up old wounds, wounds that Lisa says are far from being closed.
“Just because I have forgiven him doesn’t mean he’s forgiven me," said Lisa.
We have reached out to Kepler's attorneys but have not yet heard back.