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.