Friday, August 22
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A judge on Friday set an $825,000 bond for a veteran Tulsa police officer charged in the off-duty fatal shooting of his daughter's boyfriend earlier this month.
Judge Cliff Smith also ordered 54-year-old Shannon Kepler to turn over any firearms in his house to authorities if he were to post bond; not leave Tulsa County unless he had written permission from the court; and make no attempts to contact either his daughter, Lisa Kepler, or family members of the victim, 19-year-old Jeremey Lake.
Prosecutor Steve Kunzweiler sought a bond of $1.5 million for the first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill charges, telling Smith during a hearing that Kepler planned the shooting and "tried to get away with it" after the alleged crime occurred.
Kepler's defense attorney, Richard O'Carroll, requested bond "under $50,000" for the 24-year police officer, arguing that the state's witnesses were not credible.
"We're talking about people who have been on TV who are enjoying their celebrity," he said in court.
O'Carroll refused to comment after the hearing about whether he thought his client would be able to post bond but said he planned to appeal the amount. District Attorney Tim Harris left court without commenting.
Kepler pleaded not guilty earlier this week in the Aug. 5 shooting death; the case is set for preliminary hearing on Oct. 22. Authorities allege Kepler shot Lake after Lake introduced himself as Lisa Kepler's boyfriend.
About a dozen of Kepler's family members and friends showed up at the hearing to show their support. Among them was Kepler's wife, Gina — also a 24-year veteran of the force. Gina Kepler had been arrested along with her husband on a complaint of being an accessory after the fact of murder but prosecutors declined this week to charge her.
Shackled and dressed in an orange jail uniform, Shannon Kepler mostly kept his head down during the hearing.
O'Carroll called a fellow officer, Sara O'Mara, as a character witness. O'Mara, a 26-year veteran of the force, described Shannon Kepler as "a gentle man" who is a devoted husband and father.