Hays County Criminal District Attorney Kelly Higgins announced on Jan. 11, 2024, that Stewart Thomas Mettz was found guilty of capital murder by a Hays County jury. Following the verdict, Mettz was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole by Judge Bruce Boyer of the 22nd District Court.
The 57-year-old Mettz was convicted of killing San Marcos Police Officer Kenneth Copeland on Dec. 4, 2017, while Officer Copeland was attempting to execute an arrest warrant. Officer Copeland, in uniform, knocked on Mettz's door, and Mettz opened the door, firing multiple shots that resulted in Officer Copeland's death.
Officer Kenneth Copeland, a 58-year-old military veteran and father of four boys, lost his life in the line of duty. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Allison Buess and Katie Arnold. Buess expressed gratitude for the trust placed in them by Ken's family and friends, stating, “It was an honor to be part of the team that was able to get justice for Ken.”
District Attorney Kelly Higgins thanked the jury and the court for their hard work in bringing the case to a just resolution. He also commended the San Marcos Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies for their dedication in bringing Ken Copeland’s murderer to justice. Additionally, gratitude was extended to the county’s constables for ensuring a jury was available for the trial. Higgins recognized the professionalism and hard work of the prosecutors and the office staff in presenting the case on behalf of the county, the state, and all those affected by the loss of Officer Ken Copeland.