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Posted on: January 11, 2024

San Marcos Police Respond to Capital Murder Verdict

San Marcos Police News

Today, justice was served, not only for fallen Officer Kenneth Copeland, but also for the entire San Marcos Police Department, Officer Copeland’s family, and the community he served. While this verdict may not change the tragic loss we suffered on December 4, 2017, we are thankful for the Capital Murder conviction of Stewart Mettz, who received a sentence of life without parole. 

Officer Kenneth Copeland joined the San Marcos Police Department on March 30, 1998, and was the first San Marcos officer to be killed in the line of duty. At the time of his death, Copeland was still serving as an active reservist with the United States Coast Guard Reserve stationed in Corpus Christi.

“Ken Copeland was a shining example of what it means to be a public servant in San Marcos. His demeanor and approach to his work set the example for so many, and the day he was taken from us was one of the darkest in our City’s history,” said Chase Stapp, Assistant City Manager, who was Chief of Police during the tragic incident. 

“I cannot express my gratitude enough to all of the law enforcement personnel who investigated this case, to Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Kathleen Arnold and Allison Buess for the work they put into prosecuting this case, and to the jurors for the difficult work they had to do this week,” Stapp added. 

During his time with the San Marcos Police Department, Copeland was known as an exceptional friend and a selfless servant to his community and department. He is remembered for his love of Topo Chico mineral water and the cooler he kept stocked in the back of his patrol car to hand out throughout the day. 

“I am beyond relieved that justice has been served,” said Sergeant Matt Daenzer. “Officer Copeland was the epitome of what an officer should be, and I’m glad he and his family can now rest a little easier knowing that his killer has faced justice.” 

Copeland was an admired officer who left a lasting legacy within the San Marcos Police Department. 

“I’m grateful for the conviction, but the loss continues to resonate,” said Corporal Brady Templeton. “I will forever be appreciative of the work and assistance from all those involved. Live like Ken!”   

The San Marcos Police Department would like to thank the Hays County District Attorney’s Office for their commitment in bringing this case to a resolution.

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