Oklahoma jury recommends death for man in officer’s killing

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) — A jury has recommended a death sentence for a man convicted of fatally shooting a police officer in central Oklahoma following a 2017 traffic stop.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn says the Pottawatomie County jury on Friday recommended 38-year-old Byron James Shepard be sentenced to die for the shooting death of Tecumseh police officer Justin Terney. A judge will formally sentence Shepard later.

Authorities say Shepard was a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation and ran away when Terney learned of an arrest warrant for him. Authorities say the two eventually shot each other. Terney died the following day while Shepard recovered.

Defense attorneys argued Shepard was abused as a child, which likely contributed to his criminal behavior. Shepard’s attorney didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.