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Author Topic: Fatal shooting case shows ‘stand your ground’ defense doesn’t work for Black men  (Read 303 times)

MechAg94

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Family says fatal shooting case shows ‘stand your ground’ defense doesn’t work for Black men
https://www.yahoo.com/news/family-says-fatal-shooting-case-shows-stand-your-ground-georgia-marc-wilson-213221643.html

Quote
Wilson, a biracial Black man, 21 years old at the time of the shooting on June 14, 2020, fired his legal handgun at a pickup truck of white teens who he says were yelling racial slurs at him and trying to run him and his white girlfriend off the road near Statesboro, Ga. One of those bullets struck and killed 17-year-old Haley Hutcheson, who was in the back seat of the truck.

Jury Finds Black Driver Guilty Of Manslaughter For Killing White Girl In Georgia Stand Your Ground Case
https://newsone.com/4399875/marc-wilson-verdict/
Quote
A 21-year-old Wilson was arrested more than two years ago for the fatal shooting at a “truckload of belligerent racists” trying to run him off the road, his lawyers maintained in the case. He was charged with one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault in the death of Haley Hutcheson, a 17-year-old inside the pursuing truck that defense lawyers said carried white people yelling racial slurs at Wilson and his girlfriend, who is white. Wilson, who was legally permitted to carry the weapon he used to defend himself, argued that he should never have been charged for what his lawyers described as an unfortunate consequence of self-defense on June 14, 2020.

Quote
“… the truck started swerving into our lane, they started, you know, going up and like coming back but stayed right there with us,” Emma Rigdon testified through tears.  “I remember going on the rumble strips, and that’s whenever Marc shot to kind of say, ‘Hey, like leave us alone.’ We just wanted to go get food.”

However, Rigdon did not corroborate the defense’s claims that racist language was being shouted from the truck. When asked by the prosecution whether she heard any racist slurs, Rigdon responded simply, “I didn’t hear any,” and claims she was distracted by “other things.”

Rigdon also testified that she urged Wilson to put his gun away and not use it.


This story caught my attention.  I don't usually see shooting defense articles on Yahoo News.  It does bring up a somewhat interesting situation.  Can you reasonably use "stand your ground" while driving down the road?  Can you make that claim based solely on the other vehicle being the weapon and no guns were present?  What makes it worse is the person shot/killed was a girl in the back seat, not the driver.  IMO, that is a very tough sell for a jury no matter what race the shooter is. 

From just a "what if" point of view, he could have hit the brakes.  If he had stopped and the people still drove at him, he would have more justification IMO.  If he the people in the other truck had displayed a weapon, he would have more justification.  I don't know the wording of the stand your ground laws in Georgia.
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Perd Hapley

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How much of a problem is it for his girlfriend/witness to describe the motive for the shooting as "to kind of say, ‘Hey, like leave us alone.’ We just wanted to go get food"?

Also, is racist language considered to be a justification for the use of force?
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WLJ

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Also, is racist language considered to be a justification for the use of force?

Can't remember the details but I do seem to recall some cases in the news where it was.
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Ron

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The situations where firing out of a moving vehicle is justified would be to me very far and few in between.

He killed a passenger who had no ability to injure him bodily (unless the passenger was armed).

All this stand your ground promotion has had the unfortunate effect of making some folks think you never need to retreat, evade or escape. I'll stand my ground if there are no other options. I can't say I will always stand my ground, particularly if it's mostly my pride being attacked.

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« Last Edit: September 20, 2022, 08:47:11 AM by Ron »
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dogmush

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I am curious how this would have gone down if he had run them off the road, or done a PITT maneuver, and the girl had dies in the resulting crash.  I can see a pretty solid defensive reasoning for disabling the vehicle of someone that is chasing you with ill intent.

With the shooting however, he probably would have had a better case if he hit the driver, or someone actively threatening him.  The prosecutors made it sound like he hit a bystander (and for all we know the dead girl may have been an unwilling participant in the attack.)  Stand Your Ground or no, if a stray round goes through a wall and caps your neighbor, you are probably going to catch charges.

WLJ

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With the shooting however, he probably would have had a better case if he hit the driver, or someone actively threatening him.

Which begs the question. What if he did hit the driver and the car cashes killing all. What then?
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Ron

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I am curious how this would have gone down if he had run them off the road, or done a PITT maneuver, and the girl had dies in the resulting crash.  I can see a pretty solid defensive reasoning for disabling the vehicle of someone that is chasing you with ill intent.

With the shooting however, he probably would have had a better case if he hit the driver, or someone actively threatening him.  The prosecutors made it sound like he hit a bystander (and for all we know the dead girl may have been an unwilling participant in the attack.)  Stand Your Ground or no, if a stray round goes through a wall and caps your neighbor, you are probably going to catch charges.
I didn't see anything about if a 911 call was placed. If he went to gunplay before calling the police that doesn't look good. Nothing was mentioned where any contact between the vehicles was actually made either. His girlfriend is quoted as asking him to put the gun away, so just how afraid was she as the driver?

I can see in our cultural environment how rationality can go out the window when under severe stress. I can understand being afraid for your life. Hopefully the judge or jury had enough information to make a good judgement. I just haven't read anything here that makes me think, yea, I would have gone to using the gun myself. 
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead

MechAg94

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I am curious how this would have gone down if he had run them off the road, or done a PITT maneuver, and the girl had dies in the resulting crash.  I can see a pretty solid defensive reasoning for disabling the vehicle of someone that is chasing you with ill intent.

With the shooting however, he probably would have had a better case if he hit the driver, or someone actively threatening him.  The prosecutors made it sound like he hit a bystander (and for all we know the dead girl may have been an unwilling participant in the attack.)  Stand Your Ground or no, if a stray round goes through a wall and caps your neighbor, you are probably going to catch charges.
That partly goes back to the premise of the Yahoo article.  If he was white, he would have gotten off.  I think we can agree that is mostly nonsense. 

I was trying to play the opposite and figure what conditions would get me to agree this was a self defense case.  I think the people in the other vehicle would have had to have guns and started shooting first.  Maybe an extended car chase with lots of provocative and violent driving on the part of the other vehicle, but it would take quite a bit if it was enough at all?  His best defense would have been if he stopped and they came back and tried to use their vehicle to attack.  Overall, it just looks to me like he pulled out the gun far to early to be justified in using it.  Of course, I am saying that with pretty limited information.

Lastly, it seems to me the vehicle stand your ground was set up in part as a reaction to car jacking and similar crimes.  This scenario seems pretty far away from that.
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dogmush

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I didn't see anything about if a 911 call was placed. If he went to gunplay before calling the police that doesn't look good. Nothing was mentioned where any contact between the vehicles was actually made either. His girlfriend is quoted as asking him to put the gun away, so just how afraid was she as the driver?

I can see in our cultural environment how rationality can go out the window when under severe stress. I can understand being afraid for your life. Hopefully the judge or jury had enough information to make a good judgement. I just haven't read anything here that makes me think, yea, I would have gone to using the gun myself. 

Agreed, especially about the phone call.  I was once told that it was important in any situation that might involve cops to be the first one to call.  The first caller is the victim, almost automatically.

Especially with someone else in the car, or todays hands free phones, as soon as you think you are in an altercation, be it roaming vehicular racists, normal road rage, or antifa road stoppages, you should be on the phone to 911 getting your side (and fear of injury) recorded.

Pb

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Also, is racist language considered to be a justification for the use of force?

A lot of black people consider racist language a justification for murder.

Don't get in confrontations with strangers.  You never know what kind of jackass you may be dealing with.

RoadKingLarry

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A lot of black people consider racist language a justification for murder.

Don't get in confrontations with strangers.  You never know what kind of jackass you may be dealing with.


I'm OK with that as long as it goes both ways.  If mere words are to be justification for lethal force then "redneck", "honkey",  "cracker" and the like from the "wrong" skin color should be included.
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AZRedhawk44

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I didn't see anything about if a 911 call was placed. If he went to gunplay before calling the police that doesn't look good.

This is antigunner logic.

Someone kicks in your bedroom door at o-dark-thirty, you gonna call the cops before grabbing a firearm?

If you're getting chased in a car, threatened with collision and being run off the road, you don't have the bandwidth to call police.  I agree with the logic that the best defensive weapon he had was his own vehicle, to either drive elsewhere or possibly disable the attacking vehicle.  I don't see Stand Your Ground being a valid defense here since the gunplay hit an alleged nonwilling participant.  Even if Haley was leaning out the car shouting slurs at Wilson, she was not driving the offending car and not party to the possible assault with a motor vehicle charge.

If there was physical evidence of assault with a vehicle... exchanged paint, mutual collision damage, something like that... then I could probably excuse the presentation of the handgun, and any rounds that hit the driver or were discharged without hitting anyone.  For all we know though, Haley was arguing for the driver to stop and let her out, or for the harassment to stop.

I almost think the legal system works in the wrong order of operations here.  Rather than determining if Wilson was operating in self defense or not as first priority, it seems beneficial for Wilson's defense to wait for the outcome of a different trial to see if the occupants of the attacking car were working in concert, were committing assault with a motor vehicle, and if any party was unwilling in the vehicle.  That would hold a lot of relevance to Wilson's defense.  In contrast, when we try Wilson first, we cannot make assumptions about the deceased's motivations or actions.

Being chased by another car is some scary stuff.  I remember being chased by a car in Portland once, back in college.  I didn't have a cell phone or a handgun at the time.  Only defense I had was my crappy Nissan 4-banger pickup.  I ended up speeding deliberately, to either outrun my pursuer or to attract police to the situation.  That poor truck could barely break 90mph though, so I didn't end up outrunning the chase car and it took about 5-10 miles of highway travel to get pulled over by an Oregon state trooper.  Ended up with a hefty ticket, but he seemed to believe me that I was trying to avoid a car that was chasing me.

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Ron

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This is antigunner logic.

Someone kicks in your bedroom door at o-dark-thirty, you gonna call the cops before grabbing a firearm?

If you're getting chased in a car, threatened with collision and being run off the road, you don't have the bandwidth to call police.  I agree with the logic that the best defensive weapon he had was his own vehicle, to either drive elsewhere or possibly disable the attacking vehicle.  I don't see Stand Your Ground being a valid defense here since the gunplay hit an alleged nonwilling participant.  Even if Haley was leaning out the car shouting slurs at Wilson, she was not driving the offending car and not party to the possible assault with a motor vehicle charge.

If there was physical evidence of assault with a vehicle... exchanged paint, mutual collision damage, something like that... then I could probably excuse the presentation of the handgun, and any rounds that hit the driver or were discharged without hitting anyone.  For all we know though, Haley was arguing for the driver to stop and let her out, or for the harassment to stop.

I almost think the legal system works in the wrong order of operations here.  Rather than determining if Wilson was operating in self defense or not as first priority, it seems beneficial for Wilson's defense to wait for the outcome of a different trial to see if the occupants of the attacking car were working in concert, were committing assault with a motor vehicle, and if any party was unwilling in the vehicle.  That would hold a lot of relevance to Wilson's defense.  In contrast, when we try Wilson first, we cannot make assumptions about the deceased's motivations or actions.

Being chased by another car is some scary stuff.  I remember being chased by a car in Portland once, back in college.  I didn't have a cell phone or a handgun at the time.  Only defense I had was my crappy Nissan 4-banger pickup.  I ended up speeding deliberately, to either outrun my pursuer or to attract police to the situation.  That poor truck could barely break 90mph though, so I didn't end up outrunning the chase car and it took about 5-10 miles of highway travel to get pulled over by an Oregon state trooper.  Ended up with a hefty ticket, but he seemed to believe me that I was trying to avoid a car that was chasing me.

I'm not even seeing where you are disagreeing with me other than the calling of the properly established authorities. All you stated was the very same reasons I stated I don't believe his use of a firearm can be justified (from what I've read).

If your first impulse is to de-escalate then I think calling the cops is a first good step. Home invasion is a entirely different scenario. Where are you going to retreat to or how are you going to de-escalate? They may and probably did have the wits scared out of them, but they didn't really know if they were being harassed or being attacked from what little we know.     

Calling the cops has less downside to my pov then not.

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Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead

Pb

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The dead girl was shot in the back of the head.

The vehicle she was in was in front of the shooter.

Sounds like road rage.

That may be why the killer was convicted of a crime.

Perd Hapley

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I seem to recall a study in Florida that found blacks benefited disproportionately from SYG.

People are primed to gobble up this propaganda. After all, since Rittenhouse was allowed to hunt black children at a BLM rally...
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