Stephanie Nicole Keller: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Stephanie Nicole Keller

JCSO Stephanie Nicole Keller was charged with the murder of her police officer husband during a domestic incident.

Police in Gardendale, Alabama have charged Stephanie Nicole Keller with the murder of her husband, police officer Andy Kimbrel.

Gardendale Police Department detectives obtained a warrant from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office for Keller’s arrest on a charge of murder. Her bond is set at $100,000 and she’s being held in the Jefferson County Jail.

Kimbrel was shot in his home Thursday night in what investigators said was a domestic incident. Kimbrel, 42, had been a police officer for nearly two decades.

Gardendale police found the officer suffering from a gunshot wound when they arrived at his apartment in response to a 911 call just before 11 p.m. Thursday. He was rushed to a local emergency room but died not long after.

Kimbrel was a police officer in Vestavia Hills, north of Gardendale and Birmingham.

Keller, 43, and Kimbrel married in 2017.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Kimbrel Was Shot in His Home During a Domestic Incident. Police Have Arrested His Wife in His Murder

At a press conference Friday morning, Gardendale Police Chief Mike Walker said that at 10:57 p.m. Thursday night, a 911 call was received and police were on the scene within 5 minutes. They responded to a home at the Woodbrook Apartments complex and there discovered a 42-year old white male with a gunshot wound. He was transported to the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital’s emergency room. In the early hours of Friday morning, he was pronounced dead. Police learned that the man was Vestavia Hills Police Department officer Andy Kimbrel.

Walker said it was a domestic incident that led to the shooting and that his department has an active homicide investigation under way. He said any new developments would be posted to his department’s Facebook page.

By late Friday afternoon, police said they had arrested Keller and were charging her with murder.

2. Kimbrel Was Married Since 2017 to Stephanie Keller & the Couple Have Children From Prior Relationships

Kimbrel married Stephanie Keller in December of 2017. The couple shared many photographs of themselves and their blended family. Each had a child when they married, both around the same age; Keller a son and Kimbrel a daughter.

Stephanie Keller is a medical review associate at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, according to her LinkedIn page.

Keller also lived in Michigan and graduated from Baker College of Flint, Keller had posted recently that she was prepared for a court battle, though it’s not clear to what she was referring.

The couple had not posted images of each other on their respective Facebook pages lately though did in 2018. They each have several images of they and the two children.

Keller’s Facebook page was temporarily shuttered. Kimbrel’s remains up for now. People have begun posting on Keller’s page.

Vata Woods wrote, “Stephanie, don’t know what happened but l love you and praying for you…???♥️♥️♥️”

3. Vestavaia Hills Police Identified Kimbrel & Said he Was ‘Loved’ by Fellow Officers & the Community

Department public information officer Capt. Johnny Evans announced that Kimbrel was their officer shot and killed. Evans said Kimbrel was beloved by fellow officers and the community. He said that funeral arrangements were pending. He did not discuss the Gardendale police investigation into Kimbrel’s murder.

On a police Facebook page, Kimbrel’s mother said the nature of the domestic doesn’t matter.

“I am his mother,” wrote Renda Otis Kimbrel.

“It doesn’t matter what type of domestic. My son is dead and that is all that matters.”

4. Kimbrel, a Crisis & Hostage Negotiator, Among Myriad Other Law Enforcement Specialized Training, Had Been a Police Officer Since 2001

According to his LinkedIn, Kimbrel had been with the Vestavia Hills Police Department since 2002. Previously he’d been an officer with the Fairfield Police Department and the Blocton Police Department as a reserve officer. Kimbrel had been trained in Advanced Rapid Response to Terrorism/Active Shooter incidents, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Crisis/Hostage Negotiations, a Certified Crime Scene investigator and studied Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing. He was a Fire Investigator and graduated from the Law Enforcement Academy in Tuscaloosa in 2001.

His list of law enforcement and homeland security knowledge and skills runs into the dozens.

5. Vestavia Hills Police, the Community & His Family Are Mourning Kimbrel Even as Some Came to Keller’s Defense Asking For Judgment to be Reserved & Say in Her Mugshot, Keller Has a Lip Injury

“This breaks my heart! I went to school with Andy. He was one of the good guys!,” wrote Kim Woodhall.

Most of the sentiments on media and police Facebook pages shared prayers and condolences for the family.

Here’s the full VHPD statement:

“On May 3, 2019 the Vestavia Hills Police Department lost one of our own. ANDREW WADE KIMBREL, 42 of Gardendale, Alabama lost his life during a domestic incident at his residence. ANDY has served the City of Vestavia Hills since October of 2002 and he previously served with the Fairfield Police Department. During his service with Vestavia Hills Police Department Andy served as a patrol officer, school resource officer and evidence technician.

ANDY was loved by his fellow officers and the community in which he chose to protect.

The Vestavia Police Department extends our gratitude to the community for their outpouring of support during this difficult time.

We would also like to extend our appreciation to the Gardendale Police Department for their professional courtesy.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Andy’s family and friends.

Funeral arrangements are still pending.”

Meanwhile, as Keller is being held on $100,000 bail and charged with murder, a number of people are coming to her defense and some have claimed that in the mugshot, she appears to have an injury to her mouth. Some are alleging that Kimbrel had previously “hit her.”

In particular, a post from local media, includes many comments suggesting she was a victim of domestic violence.

Charity Spearman wrote, “Prayers and Justice for Stephanie. There are two sides to every story and the media is definitely not getting her side. If he wasn’t a cop, she would have been put on a pedestal and most of y’all would have been singing her praises for defending herself against a wife beater. But he was a cop so… I just hope and pray the justice system ignores his career choice and looks into the facts. From a personal standpoint of the families, I’m on HER side. ❤️”

Keller’s cousin Tammy Diveto posted this on Facebook.

“For me….for now..I am going to believe that she had just cause, for her actions. SOME people who wear a uniform, will hide behind it. I am not speculating on anything. We don’t know, I do not know…. Until we do, she and her sweet boys will be in my prayers. *Prayers for Stephanie Keller. I mean NO disrespect for our men in blue as a whole.”