Monday, October 8, 2012

Who Needs Stand Your Ground?

The BLNN sends in yet another story of why we need strong Stand Your Ground type laws in place:

NC family hopes for release of man in Ga. prison

WILSON, N.C. (AP) - For seven years, Anita McNeil has tried to move on from what she calls "the incident" - that day in December 2005 when her husband shot and killed a man who threatened him outside their home in Georgia.

John McNeil was jailed and eventually convicted of murder; she moved back to the North Carolina town where the high school lovers grew up, unable to cope with the memories that haunted her. Now, she's fighting breast cancer that has spread to her bones and hopes a judge's ruling could set her husband free.


The story is light on details of the shooting, but from the details provided - he was attacked by someone that had already threatened his son with a knife on his own property - it's hard to see how there was a murder conviction handed down. He was on his own property and doesn't dispute that he shot the man; other people verified that the man who was shot had intimidated them as well; barring additional evidence not presented in the story, it's hard to see why McNeil was charged with murder, especially nine months after the fact.

Unless there's a serious lack of reporting and they "missed" something serious like a long-standing feud between the two men, it sure seems that this should have been ruled justifiable. The fact that the jury was not allowed to be informed of the Stand Your Ground law, though, really has me scratching my head - it's nigh impossible to fathom why this was not relevant - unless there's more to the story. Assuming the story is correct as written and absent additional information, it seems like this is one case that should be reopened.

In any case, it's a reminder that even in cases where we think we're in the right, it only takes one overzealous prosecutor to take everything away.

That is all.

7 comments:

Bubblehead Les. said...

Racism seems to be the main motive why the Homeowner went to Prison. I thought it was kinda strange to read that the local Chapter of the NAACP is helping the Family try to free the guy, and the NAACP is using "Castle Doctrine" in THEIR Argument.

Now if the National Heads of the NAACP would just realize that the RKBA is "Gender/Racial/Cultural" NEUTRAL and stop support a Party that WANTS to keep EVERYONE Disarmed....

Glenn B said...

I do not know the veracity of the facts in the piece to which I am giving the link but if the facts shown are correct, I think it is self explanatory as to why Stand Your Ground was not applied: http://www.loop21.com/life/john-mcneil-georgia-black-george-zimmerman

Glenn B said...

By the way, I still think he should have been given a good citizen medal instead of a jail sentence.

Justin Buist said...

In short: You can't shoot an unarmed contractor that's on your property because you're paying them to be there. Oh, and it doesn't help to tell a 911 operator that you're going to "whip his ass" before arriving on scene.

Longer version from case notes: Indeed, from the evidence presented, the jury was authorized to conclude that McNeil decided to confront Epp with the specific purpose of “whip[ping] his ass” before Epp even knew that McNeil was on his way to the scene;  that McNeil had time to stop in his driveway, retrieve a gun from his glove compartment, take the gun out of its case, load it, exit from his car, and “argue loudly” with Epp for a few minutes before firing the first shot at him;  and that McNeil lied to police when he claimed that he had shot Epp because Epp had “pulled a knife on him” during the confrontation (because other eyewitness testimony showed that Epp had no weapon in his hands at the time of the shooting, and further testimony showed that Epp's knife was folded and in his pocket after he had been shot).   Because “[w]itness credibility is a matter to be determined by the jury, as is the question of justification;  ․ the jury was free to accept the evidence that the shooting[ ][was] not done in self-defense ․ and to reject any evidence offered by [McNeil] in support of a justification defense.”

Old NFO said...

There is more to this story than is being put out there... Just sayin...

Jay G said...

Justin and OldNFO: It's interesting that this news story would omit that - I wonder if the hint of racism was enough for them to overcome their distaste of firearms, armed self-defense, and SYG...

Geodkyt said...

The local cops investigated, and cleared him. It was almost a year later that the prosecutor had the sheriff's office (not the PD) arrest him.

I could be wrong, butvI think NAACP has a point, and Ithink it is likely he was arrested for "self defense while black".