Kepler to Try Indian Defense

Aug 13, 2017

Shannon Kepler
Credit Tulsa County Booking Photo

A white former Oklahoma police officer facing a fourth trial in the fatal shooting of his daughter's black boyfriend says state prosecutors don't have standing to try him because he's a member of an American Indian tribe.

Citing his membership in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, ex-Tulsa Officer Shannon Kepler asked a judge Friday to dismiss the case because the 2014 shooting happened on land inside tribal territory.

The Tulsa World reports that Kepler was issued a Creek Nation citizenship identification card on Thursday.

Kepler's attorney cited a Tuesday decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that overturned the conviction and death sentence of Oklahoma inmate Patrick Murphy. Murphy argued that state courts lacked jurisdiction because he was a Creek Nation member and the killing occurred within tribal territory.