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Former officer injects new racial element in 2014 slaying

(Source KFOR) (Source KFOR)

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS
Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A white former police officer is headed for a fourth trial in the killing of his daughter's black boyfriend, but Shannon Kepler has recently added another racial element to the case.

He now says prosecutors can't try him because he's a member of an American Indian tribe.

Attorneys for Kepler also argue that the slaying happened on tribal land of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. If the court agrees, the case could be moved from state to federal court.

The 57-year-old former Tulsa officer is accused of fatally shooting 19-year-old Jeremey Lake in front of a house in 2014 while off-duty. Kepler does not deny pulling the trigger but told investigators he acted in self-defense because he thought Lake was armed. Police recovered no weapon on Lake or at the scene.

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