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Shannon Kepler's third first-degree murder trial ends in mistrial

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-08 15:25:59-04

TULSA -- Shannon Kepler’s third murder trial was declared a mistrial after just over three hours of deliberation.

According to the defense team, the jury was split six to six.

The former Tulsa Police officer is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his daughter’s boyfriend, Jeremy Lake.

His previous two trials also ended in mistrial.

Today, Judge Sharon Holmes ruled that the jury could also consider the charge of first-degree manslaughter. That meant if the jury did not believe first-degree murder fit the crime, they could convict him of a lesser charge.

It is unclear if the case will be tried again.

Kepler's attorney Richard O'Carroll said if it goes to trial five more times he will be there. He said the prosecution may need to reconsider their position on the matter.

"I would like to think at some point the state would rethink his position on the matter," O'Carroll said. "It's a six six mistrial and these jurors specifically told the judge and the state and the defense that they needed more evidence." 

Kepler and his defense team were heard cheering in the elevator as they left the floor the courtroom was on.

"Their hooting and howling about a hung jury is not justice for Jeremy Lake," Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said. "I want a jury to do their job and deliver a verdict thumbs up or thumbs down."

Kunzweiler said he is going to explore all options in the case. He did not indicate if it would be tried a fourth time or if Judge Holmes would preside.

He said in his 25 years as a prosecutor he has never seen a jury say they could not reach a verdict so quickly. 
 

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