Judge: Jury can consider lesser charge against ex-officer

Judge: Jury can consider lesser charge against ex-officer

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A judge says jurors can consider a lesser charge in the trial of a former Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot his daughter's black boyfriend while off-duty.

Judge Sharon Holmes ruled Friday jurors could convict Shannon Kepler of manslaughter, which comes with a sentence of four years to life in prison. Jurors could also convict the former Tulsa police officer of first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence.

Jurors could get the case Friday afternoon.

Prosecutors are trying Kepler for a third time after jurors in his first two trials deadlocked.

Authorities say Kepler shot 19-year-old Jeremey Lake in 2014 after Lake started dating Kepler's then-18-year-old daughter.

Kepler testified that he fired in self-defense because Lake was armed, but police didn't find a weapon on Lake or at the scene.

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