Motions reveal new details in retrial of former TPD officer

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TULSA, Okla. - Quick Facts:

  • Shannon Kepler faces murder charges from 2014 
  • He allegedly killed his daughter's boyfriend, Jeremy Lake
  • Kepler's first murder trial resulted in a hung jury 
  • Jury selection for a new trial begins Monday 
  • Kepler's attorney filed several motions, including an attempt to postpone the trial 

 

Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial against a former TPD officer accused of murder.

FOX23 began following Shannon Kepler's case after he shot Jeremy Lake, his daughter's boyfriend, in 2014. Kepler claims he shot in self-defense. 

A previous trial on the murder charges resulted in a hung jury, while Kepler was convicted of reckless conduct with a firearm. 

A new trial opened Monday morning with last-minute motions filed. 


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Impeachment evidence

Of the motions, one asks to continue the trial- postponing it- until the state produces and the judge rules on impeachment evidence. 

Attorney Richard O'Carroll says the problems arose form key material witnesses in the case, including Lisa Kepler, the defendant's daughter, and Lake's brother Michael Hamilton. 

The judge needs to review a case surrounding Lisa Kepler before she can rule. 

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler received Michael Hamilton’s medical records stating February 2016 he was prescribed medication to treat ADHD and a sleeping disorder.

O’Carroll wants more information pertaining to the meds Hamilton was taking in 2014 when he testified during the preliminary hearing.

O’Carroll says Hamilton’s testimony then was different from the testimony he gave during Kepler’s first trial and he medications could be the reason why.

The judge has not ruled yet on if this will be included has impeachment evidence.

 

DHS File

The judge said a DHS file concerning Kepler's daughter was vague and there was nothing in there that would require her to turn over the information to O’Carroll.

O’Carroll believes otherwise. He said Lisa Kepler made comment of wanting to kill herself, and that’s why he wants to look at the records.

The defense attorney said he doesn’t know why her child was taken from her and he needs to know the severity of this case.

O’Carroll fears that her DHS case can impact the way that she testifies if she’s trying to get her child back. 

 

Using "Victim"

O'Carroll also wants to limit the use of the word "victim" during the trial. The state argues they limited the use of the word victim, and in the previous trial, called Lake "Mr. Lake." The defense argues that  classifying Lake as a victim undermines the presumption of innocence. 

The state argues they cannot deny that Lake was a victim of homicide. 

The judge overruled the motion, because she says it was not an issue during the first trial.

The court will refer to Jeremy Lake as ‘the decedent’ or ‘Mr. Lake’ 

 

Opposing bad acts

O'Carroll's final motion, to oppose bad acts, requested the court limit Lake's brother telling the jury that he saw Kepler point the gun and shoot.

Judge Holmes overruled this motion, but told the state Hamilton could only basked about what he saw. She refuses to allow allusions to Kepler wanting Lake in Hamilton's testimony. 

 

What's next?

Jury selection began Tuesday, but many of the potential jurors exhibited red flags to the court.

Media Exposure caused a red flag for 12 jurors.

Three jurors were said they were victims of a major crime, while 10 said they had a criminal history.

11 potential jurors said they had a problem serving on a jury.

Five jurors said they think most criminals are guilty.

One potential juror is friends with Shannon McMurray, Betty Shelby’s attorney.

Officials are bringing in the jurors one by one in these groups and are questioning them.

A majority of the individuals who say they know about the case from media coverage said they can be impartial and fair towards Kepler.

 

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