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Self defense? Murder?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Jeff White, Feb 27, 2018.

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  1. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    A few weeks back a fight at a restaurant near St Louis ended in a shooting. The shooter was originally arrested and then released pending more investigation.

    Today he was charged:

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/...cial&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

    There is video of the press conference with the St Louis County prosecutor at this link:
    Show-Me's restaurant shooter charged with murder http://via.fox2now.com/EfZc4

    This is going to be an interesting case to watch as I’m guessing the shooter will claim self defense.

    Self defense? Mutual combat? I’ll update this thread as more information becomes available.
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    The story as written doesn't sound like it will go well for the shooter in the courtroom.
     
  3. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    If, and that's a big IF, the story is accurate, then 2nd degree murder seems appropriate. I can imagine an argument for 1st degree murder, but I'm not sure it's strong.

    Exceptions certainly exist, but if you're mouth is talking you into the fight, I have a hard time buying self defense as a justification for homicide.
     
  4. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Did you watch the video of the press conference? The prosecutor stated that as the dead guy was throwing the punch he was shot. I read reports after it first happened that said it got physical earlier.

    The case covers a lot of things we regularly discuss here. It took them several weeks to decide to charge the shooter and t sounds like they did a very thorough investigation so take going to be a good one to follow.
     
  5. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

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    Assuming the story is accurate, to some degree, he violated his Missouri CCW permit, by carrying, while in a bar.
    It appears to be a cut and dried case of very impaired judgment.
     
  6. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Man provokes a fight then use deadly force when the one he provoked tried to hit him. If it was here in Louisiana he would have been charged that night.
     
    JR24, rodensouth, hdwhit and 2 others like this.
  7. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    My money says he is going to prison.
     
  8. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Can you look up and post the complaint filed with the court? That would tell you what the prosecutor actually believes he/she can prove happened without the bias of the prosecutor's press announcement or the filter of the reporter's understanding (and possibly knowledge) of the case.
     
  9. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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  10. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    To claim self defense, you must be an innocent party. If the story in the link is correct, neither man qualified. They were mutual combatants. The dead guy responded to an insult with a punch instead of walking away. The guy who killed him provoked the confrontation by uttering the insult.
     
  11. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    What we are going to have to wait on is actual details that will come out at trial. There was obviously initially some doubt as to what really happened. The victim was a large man, 345 pounds, I don't know how big the shooter is, but there could be a disparity of force issue. From the details we have I agree that this looks like a mutual combat situation. I posted this because it will be interesting to see how the prosecutors looked at the incident.

    In many jurisdictions there would have been charges right away based on the facts we have. But something caused them to take a very hard look at the case before charging the shooter.
     
  12. 10mm Mike

    10mm Mike Member

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    Lets just say for the sake of argument that the victim was 345 lbs and was built like a tank and the shooter was a stringy 145 lbs soaking wet. Clearly a disparity of force, but would that be enough to justify self defense in what would otherwise be a mutual combat?

    Seems to me it would still be a mutual combat regardless of the disparity of force unless either A) the shooter tried to retreat or deescalate the situation or B) the victim started curb stomping the shooter and the shooter realized he was in serious trouble unless he used his firearm. Basically, disparity of force shouldn't be an valid issue if you stay at the scene running your mouth, picking a fight you know you probably can't win. Or, am I wrong?
     
  13. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    It will come down to who started, continued, and pushed the situation to the point of vileness . And then there is the use of force.
    Do you think that if you started a fight in a bar and before the first punch is thrown, you shoot recklessly kill the man, YOU started the fight with, and shoot someone else and damage property.
     
  14. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Random Guy

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    A 290lb German Shepherd!

    Seriously though, what a thing to die over. People need grow up, someone is dead and another is likely going to prison (my guess) over something so trivial.

    It will be interesting to see what comes of it.
     
  15. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    In a different setting, maybe.
    Alcohol involved, an argument over a dog, shooting and killing a guy and wounding another in a bar full of people, doesn't sound like a solid self defense case to me.
     
  16. 4thPointOfContact

    4thPointOfContact Member

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    Missouri Revised Statutes (M.R.S.)
    Chapter 563. Defense of Justification
    563.031. Use of force in defense of persons.


    1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person, unless:

    (1) The actor was the initial aggressor; except that in such case his or her use of force is nevertheless justifiable provided:
    (a) He or she has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident by the use or threatened use of unlawful force; or
    (b) He or she is a law enforcement officer and as such is an aggressor pursuant to section 563.046; or
    (c) The aggressor is justified under some other provision of this chapter or other provision of law;
    (2) Under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the person whom he or she seeks to protect would not be justified in using such protective force;
    (3) The actor was attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of a forcible felony.

    2. A person may not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony [defined in 563.011 as any felony involving the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual, including but not limited to murder, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, assault, and any forcible sexual offense];
    (2) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle lawfully occupied by such person; or
    (3) Such force is used against a person who unlawfully enters, remains after unlawfully entering, or attempts to unlawfully enter private property that is owned or leased by an individual claiming a justification of using protective force under this section.

    3. A person does not have a duty to retreat from a dwelling, residence, or vehicle where the person is not unlawfully entering or unlawfully remaining. A person does not have a duty to retreat from private property that is owned or leased by such individual.

    4. The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of physical restraint as protective force provided that the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the restraint as soon as it is reasonable to do so.

    5. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section. If a defendant asserts that his or her use of force is described under subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the burden shall then be on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not reasonably believe that the use of such force was necessary to defend against what he or she reasonably believed was the use or imminent use of unlawful force.


    Based on the report and MO563.031,1,(1) it might not go well for the accused.
     
  17. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Sounds too much like a time when two drunks met. Provided the story is accurate I wouldn't waste sympathy on either.
     
  18. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    Tough call, need to be on the jury to get all the facts. I'd have an open mind.
     
  19. George Dickel

    George Dickel Member

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    McCulloch is the county prosecuting attorney.

    McCulloch said he believes the fact that Myers could carry a concealed weapon contributed to the shooting.
    “It wouldn’t have happened if carrying a concealed weapon was against the law as it used to be,” he said.

    I wonder if McCulloch's anti-gun belief wasn't the driving force behind the intended prosecution. I think the shooter screwed up and should face the consequences but this prosecutor's prejudices will go beyond this case. I don't think I want to be involved in a lawful shooting with this guy around to decide whether to prosecute or not.
     
  20. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    Then you would need good insurance to pay your lawyer.
     
  21. 10mm Mike

    10mm Mike Member

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    Gotta love prosecutors like this guy... If carrying a concealed weapon was still illegal the shooting wouldn't have happened. Because we know for certain that people (including this guy) NEVER carried concealed weapons while it was not legal, right? Just think of all of the lives we could save if only we made murder illegal.
     
  22. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    My prima facie interpretation says legitimate case of murder 2 or manslaughter. Would have to be pretty exceptional circumstances to justify an escalation to deadly force following mutual combat between two inebriated idiots in a bar.
     
  23. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I really do not get the attraction to getting drunk and acting stupid. It does not end well.
     
    Demi-human likes this.
  24. Intox

    Intox Member

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    If the stories are correct, and the witnesses and video confirm it, then the defendant went into that bar with one thing on the brain.....he was going to "shoot him a SOB". That can be completely wrong and I'm the first to admit I'm talking out my rear as I don't know anything except what is reported about it. But everything reported says he bent over backwards working to get on the victim's bad side to provoke him....all the time with his hand on his pistol.
     
  25. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    Yep, another bar altercation turned deadly. This won't end well for the shooter.
     
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