Publisher’s Note: This information was provided to The Black Wall Street Times from an anonymous source with knowledge of the facts of the case.
Published 06/23/2017 | Reading Time 3 min 18 sec
BWSTimes Editorial Board
Jeremy Lake was Murdered For Dating Shannon Kepler’s Daughter.
Shannon Kepler, who, along with his wife Gina, was a patrol officer with Tulsa Police Department, dropped their 18-year-old daughter, Lisa, off at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless in 2014.
Within a week, they learned of their daughter’s new boyfriend, Jeremy Lake, a 19-year-old African American.
Angered by his daughter’s decisions to date Lake, Kepler allegedly asked a friend, also working for the Tulsa Police Department, to conduct a search on the young man’s past, which violates the Department’s policy.
One August day in 2014, Kepler left work and obtained a disguise, including a black coat, jacket, and stocking cap.
Kepler drove his wife’s car, and according to Kepler, he was alone. No charges have been filed against Gina Kepler because she was supposedly in Owasso at the time of the murder, but this alibi hasn’t been thoroughly investigated.
He carried a revolver even though he usually carries a semi-automatic, apparently to avoid leaving any shell casings, which indicates he had intended to use the weapon.
Kepler drove to the house where Lisa and Lake were staying at West Mathew Brady Street and North Maybelle Avenue in Tulsa and stopped his car diagonally in the middle of the intersection where he saw his daughter and Lake walking toward the house.
When they approached, Kepler asked Lisa, “What the hell are you doing here?” She replied that she wasn’t talking to him and told Lake to “just walk away. Don’t talk to him.”
Lisa turned and walked toward the steps from the sidewalk about 30 to 40 feet away.
Lake’s brother, Michael Hamilton, and a friend were sitting on the porch about 50 feet from the scene.
Lake stopped 10 feet from Kepler and said , “Hi, I’m Jeremy Lake.”
Before Lisa and Lake could walk to the steps, Hamilton heard a woman’s voice say, “Hey, shoot him.”
Kepler fired his gun three times, striking Jeremy in the chest and neck. Lisa ran up to the steps while Kepler fired two more shots, almost hitting his daughter and narrowly missing Hamilton, who is 12.
Hamilton caught some shrapnel in his upper arm, resulting in a mild injury. Lisa ran to the backyard, passing in front of the porch where Hamilton was hit.
Friends and family report that Lake was a friendly young man, who spent time at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless center and other local hangouts for the homeless, helping them out and giving them water.
During Kepler’s trials, no witnesses were called to testify on behalf of Lake about his general demeanor or attitude. He was not vouched for by friends and family, which would have revealed to the juries his kind nature, other than Lisa and Hamilton.
Lisa was the only witness officially questioned by the Tulsa Police Department in an interrogation room. An officer testified that she was wearing tight shorts and a tank top. According to testimony, there was nowhere she could have concealed a weapon with that type of clothing on.
A semi-automatic pistol was discovered in a wastebasket, beneath the trash can liner of the interrogation room. No prints or identifying evidence was found on the gun. It seemed to have been planted there by someone in the Department or associated with the Kepler’s lawyer.
Past Trials Inaccuracies (both ended in mistrials)
- Kepler testified that he thought Jeremy had a gun in his waistband behind his back and reached for it.
- In the second trial, Kepler said that Jeremy pulled the gun out, pointed it at him, and was moving toward him when Kepler fired his weapon. The District Attorney did not challenge his testimony, so that is what the jury heard and believed.
Steve Kunzweiler’s closing argument in the second trial began with a five-minute tribute to the defendant, praising Jeremy Lake’s murderer.
Kunzweiler, recently in the public eye during the Betty Shelby trial, also made the controversial choice not to charge Gina Kepler with accessory to murder, even though she helped him evade arrest and stash her car at a motel near their residence, obstructing a murder investigation by hiding material evidence. She should have been charged with accessory to murder in the first degree.
Jeremy Lake was executed by Shannon Kepler within 10-15 seconds of their encounter without provocation or threat.
It is apparent that Kunzweiler is not committed to convicting Kepler. On this third trial, the District Attorney needs to do his job of representing victims, not the police, and their blue wall of protection.
Gina Kepler would have been charged if she wasn’t employed at the Tulsa Police Department, and the prosecution of Shannon Kepler would have been more robust if he wasn’t employed by the Tulsa Police Department. That much we know.