A Pottawatomie County jury, after 55 minutes of deliberations Monday, convicted a defendant of first-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney.
Closing arguments were held in Pottawatomie County District Court this afternoon and the jury began deliberations just before 2 p.m.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case against the defendant, Byron James Shepard, 38, so the sentencing phase on that part of the trial will resume Tuesday morning.
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, which was part of the evidence in this trial, captured the traffic stop before Shepard allegedly ran, then recorded audio of the events and gunshots in the nearby treeline.
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.
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.
The jury found Shepard guilty on both of those counts as have and have recommended sentences in each count.
Because of the previous district attorney’s recusal for this 2017 case, Cleveland County prosecutors are representing the state at this trial.
Watch for updates.