Castle man convicted of murder in police officer’s death
By Ken Childers
A Castle man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of a Tecumseh police officer.
On Monday, a Pottawatomie County jury convicted Byron James Shepard, 38, for the killing of Officer Justin Terney during a traffic stop. The jury deliberated for less than an hour, and prosecutors say they are seeking the death penalty.
On March 27, 2017 Terney made a traffic stop on a car driven by Brooklyn Williams. Shepard, who was a passenger in the car, allegedly fled the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with Terney during a foot chase, resulting in the rookie officer’s death.
Earlier this year, Williams was convicted of second-degree murder for her role in Terney’s death. In her trial, prosecutors showed the jury Shepard’s text messages to Williams, where he allegedly made threats to law enforcement, saying “going back to jail wasn’t an option.”
Shepard had been dodging law officials prior to the that traffic stop, after the Okfuskee County Sheriff’s Department connected him to an oilfield burglary and recovered $185,000 worth of stolen property. A warrant for his arrest was issued on Feb. 22, 2017. When Williams was pulled over, she provided Terney with her real name, but Shepard allegedly told the officer his name was “James Bishop.”
Police say Shepard jumped out of the car and ran from Terney, who pursued him on foot. J.R. Kidney, Assistant Police Chief for the Tecumseh Police Department, said during a press conference Terney was able to tase Shepard, however he was unaffected by the taser.
Shepard then ran to a wooded area and began firing shots at Terney, hitting him approximately three times. Terney was reportedly wearing a bulletproof vest, but sustained shots to the abdomen and femur area. Shepard was struck four times during the exchange.
On a dashcam video, Terney can be heard yelling “stop, or you’re going to get tased” at Shepard. The video also captured Terney saying, “Central, I’ve been hit”
Both men were transported to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, where Terney succumbed to his injuries just hours after the incident.
UPDATE: According to NEWS 9, A Pottawatomie County Jury sentenced Bryon Shepherd to the death penalty on Friday afternoon, November 22. A formal sentencing has been set for Friday, January 3, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.