Byron Shepard never went to prison in Oklahoma despite having been charged with at least 12 felonies or misdemeanors since 2000. Weeks after being charged in yet another crime, Shepard allegedly shot and killed Tecumseh police officer Justin Terney on Sunday, The Frontier reports. Shepard allegedly killed Terney while fleeing on foot from a traffic stop. It was the first death of an on-duty Tecumseh police officer in nearly 90 years.
In a shootout, Terney was shot three times and died about nine hours later at a hospital. Shepard was shot five times but has survived. The shooting will likely put an end to nearly two decades of alleged criminal acts by Shepard, who was first arrested in 2000 for selling a stolen handgun. Just 19 years old, and with only a 10th-grade education, he pleaded guilty and was given a five-year deferred sentence. Since then, he has at least 36 traffic infractions, felonies and/or misdemeanors on his record. in the 17 years since his first brush with authorities. In 2014 Shepard pleaded guilty to not paying child support. He owed more than $60,000 to the mother of his children. He was initially given a five-year deferred sentence, but was arrested again after falling behind on paying fines and costs. He eventually was given a four-year suspended prison sentence. It’s unclear how Shepard was able to stay out of prison in a state whose incarceration rate outpaces most of the nation.