Friend: Man Accused of Killing University City Officer Wanted to Start Revolution

Valerie Schremp Hahn, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 28, 2011

Todd L. Shepard talked for years about killing police and igniting a revolution but people “didn’t take it seriously,” a former friend testified today in Shepard’s first-degree murder trial in the slaying of a University City police sergeant.

“There was absolutely no question he had a complete disdain for police, with police authority,” said Ryan Harshmann, who identified himself as a friend in 2007-08. “It had more to do with the uniform than the face behind the uniform. Once you put on the police uniform, you were the enemy to him.”

Officials have said they know of no connection between Shepard and Sgt. Michael King until Shepard allegedly walked up to King’s parked patrol car on Leland Avenue and Delmar Boulevard about 10:20 p.m. Oct. 31, 2008, and fired five shots with a stolen .38 caliber pistol.


Melody Newsom, Shepard’s fiancée, told the court she had known him about 20 years and had lived with him almost four years. He talked daily, she said, about starting a revolution “to make things better for the lower class people with the killing of police.”


McCulloch, prosecuting the case personally, is seeking a death sentence for Shepard.


Shepard is already serving a 23-year federal prison sentence on an unrelated drug charge.


Self-styled “revolutionary” Todd L. Shepard.


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