The process of jury selection is underway this week in Pottawatomie County as the defendant charged in the 2017 shooting death of Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney prepares to stand trial in the death penalty case.
Byron James Shepard, 38, is charged in Pottawatomie County District Court with first-degree murder. Officer Terney, 22, died March 27, 2017 from gunshot wounds he suffered in an alleged shootout with Shepard, a passenger in a vehicle who allegedly fled from him during a traffic stop.
Terney’s dash cam video from his patrol car captured the traffic stop before Shepard ran, then recorded audio of the events and gunshots in the nearby treeline.
The felony filing shows Shepard is accused of causing the death of Officer Terney by inflicting mortal wounds when firing a Springfield XD semi-automatic 9 mm pistol into the abdomen and leg of the officer.
The process to seat a jury to hear this trial is ongoing before Pottawatomie County District Judge John G. Canavan.
A pool of potential jurors were summoned for this special call jury term. Court records for this case show nearly 100 subpoenas were sent out in preparation for trial.
In addition to the murder charge, Shepard also faces charges of knowingly concealing stolen property relating to the stolen firearm used in the homicide, along with a charge of possession of controlled dangerous substance, methamphetamine, the case file shows.
Because of the previous district attorney's recusal for this 2017 case, Cleveland County prosecutors are representing the state at trial.
Watch for updates.