Shannon Kepler cites Creek Nation citizenship, ‘Indian Country’ ruling in asking for murder case to be tossed

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He cites his Creek Nation citizenship and a recent ruling on tribal jurisdiction

Source: Tulsa World/Samantha Vicent

Citing a recent ruling from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of overturning a death-row inmate’s conviction, former Tulsa Police Officer Shannon Kepler has asked a judge to dismiss his 3-year-old murder case because he says it occurred on land governed by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Lead defense attorney Richard O’Carroll wrote in a motion filed Friday that Kepler, 57, is a citizen of the Creek Nation and can trace his ancestry to a grandparent and great-grandparent.

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Identification documents attached to the motion show the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs certified that Kepler was of Native American heritage in February 1983. The Creek Nation issued Kepler a citizenship identification card, which includes his photo, on Thursday.

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