Jury convicts Oklahoma man of murder in officer’s death
SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) — A jury deliberated for less than an hour before convicting a man of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a police officer in central Oklahoma.
The Pottawatomie County jury on Monday convicted 38-year-old Byron James Shepard for the 2017 killing of Officer Justin Terney, who was shot during a traffic stop. Sentencing will begin Tuesday, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Authorities say that Shepard was a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation and ran away when the Tecumseh officer learned of an arrest warrant for Shepard. Authorities say the two eventually shot each other. Terney died the following day while Shepard recovered.
Defense attorneys had argued the shooting was unintentional, but prosecutors said Shepard shot Terney in an effort to avoid going to jail.