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Detroit Porch Shooting: Defendant’s claim of “Accident” cost him “Self-Defense”

Detroit Porch Shooting: Defendant’s claim of “Accident” cost him “Self-Defense”

Self-defense is a deliberate act. Accident is the opposite. Pick one.

One of the key messages I hit in my Law of Self Defense Seminars is that the use of force can only very rarely be both an “accident” AND “self-defense.”

Self-defense is an inherently deliberate act.  You perceived a threat, you responded with force against that threat. Deliberate.

An accident is the opposite of a deliberate act. By definition, an accident is something you did not with to happen.

The law recognizes this disconnect. One either acts in deliberate self-defense, or has an accident. But one cannot claim both.

Further, when one has an “accident” while handling a firearm, there are are particular difficulties that arise.

A firearm is an inherently dangerous instrument. The standard of care while handling it is very, very high. And, in my professional experience, has only grown higher in the last 10-15 years.

Technically speaking, “accident” is a perfectly legitimate legal defense. But an accident is something that involves NO wrongdoing by the person raising the defense. If you are handling a modern firearm, the only way that gun will discharge is if you depress the trigger. That’s on YOU. And it is NOT an accident, especially if it results in harm or death to another person–it’s criminal negligence.

Today we learn that the jurors in the Detroit front-porch shooting trial–in which homeowner Theodore Wafer shot a very drunk 19-year-old Renisha McBride through the head with a 12 gauge shotgun–felt very much the same way, as reported by the Detroit Free Press, entitled “Juror: ‘No one’ believed Wafer killed McBride in self-defense”

As reported in that piece:

[O]n the stand, Wafer claimed he was protecting himself when he shot the 19-year-old on his Dearborn Heights porch, but he told police the shooting was an accident, said the juror, who spoke to the Free Press on the condition of anonymity.

“That hurt him big time,” the juror said.

Bottom line: If you’ve genuinely used force against another in self-defense, you need to argue self-defense. Any statement of accident, or anything that might be interpreted or characterized as the claim of accident, might well doom your self-defense claim.

And, of course, any time you can safely avoid having to use force in the first place, that’s generally your best option.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces free online self-defense law educational video- and podcasts at the Law of Self Defense University.

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Comments

Andrew– Wafer will now be spending many years in prison. He could have avoided all of this if he had read your book or attended a seminar.

Chuck Skinner outlined on appeal based on the contention that Michigan Law considers the porch part of the house. That means the reasons why Wafer opened the door should never have been the subject of argument.

Even if the conviction is reversed, Wafer will still spend years in jail. If he had just said “I was in fear for my life and I shot this woman in self-defense” and then asked for a lawyer, he might be home today.

    Ragspierre in reply to sequester. | August 26, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Better to have said to himself, “Where is that damn cell phone? I have my shotgun, now I need that phone, and to find myself a place to fort-up”.

    That could be said to have saved one life and a lot of another.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | August 27, 2014 at 2:10 am

      Yet I have to wonder how long it would have been before selfish, irresponsible McBride killed somebody or several with an automobile and walked away with a 6-month jail sentence.

      That’s not to say we should execute drunk drivers, but the truth is she can’t kill anybody now because she’s off the streets for good. My recollection is that this wasn’t her first drunk-driving event. She was so far beyond the legal limit that getting behind the wheel was so grossly negligent it should be called wanton disregard, reckless, criminally negligent, whatever else. She wouldn’t have been at Wafer’s house if she’d called a cab or a friend or just gone to sleep in her car.

      McBride is responsible for McBride’s death, nobody else.

        I agree, but that is the difference between legal justice and moral justice. Wafer had no intention of killing anyone, but an unfortunate set of circumstances brought about by McBride led to her demise.

        Are you aware of Wafer’s own drunk driving arrests.Wafer didn’t kill with a car which would have been possible,using your reasoning.Instead Wafer being the coward he is killed someone just for banging on his door,no threat to him.

        He also said Wafer took care of a younger brother, and that his record consisted of a couple drunken driving charges from 20 years ago. This fact can be read at the link below.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/18/ted-wafer-911-call-renisha-mcbride_n_4284758.html

        Wafer the murderer he is deserves a free pass according to most of you. Typical WVI rhetoric.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | August 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

          “Are you aware of Wafer’s own drunk driving arrests.Wafer didn’t kill with a car which would have been possible,using your reasoning.He also said Wafer took care of a younger brother, and that his record consisted of a couple drunken driving charges from 20 years ago.”

          So since wafer had a drunk driving arrest, of which you have no details, that should excuse someone who’s BAC was 11 times the legal limit, was underage to be drinking in the first place and had been smoking weed? Oh and that BAC was 3 hours after the crash involving a parked car.

          “Instead Wafer being the coward he is killed someone just for banging on his door,no threat to him.”

          Your proof he is a coward? However, your statement does prove you have no objectivity.

          “Wafer the murderer he is deserves a free pass according to most of you.”

          I think he doesn’t deserve life in prison.

          “Typical WVI rhetoric.”

          I still have no clue what this is supposed to mean.

        “That’s not to say we should execute drunk drivers, but the truth is she can’t kill anybody now because she’s off the streets for good.”

        LOL.

        So you don’t advocate the death penalty for drunk drivers… it’s just better for everybody when someone shoots them in the face with a shotgun. *wink *wink Is that right?

        “McBride is responsible for McBride’s death, nobody else.”

        And no one is responsible for pulling a trigger– except for an unarmed victim who had it coming to her anyway… Makes sense. Totally.

        Oh, how I have missed such impeccable logic while I was on the mend.

I think we all kind of saw this as the determining factor in this case. I honestly believe that it was an accident and not deliberate self defense.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 27, 2014 at 1:57 am

    It’s the opposite. Wafer shot her in self defense, but he lied to the cops claiming it was an accident because he saw that the deceased was a black woman and he didn’t know MI law included the curtilage in its castle laws. He’d never checked. Probably mental pictures of George Zimmerman panned through his mind after he saw the deceased was black and a woman, so he lied. He fired at her as soon as she came into view right in front of his screen.

    The fact that he first claimed accident, THEN self-defense tells us this clearly.

    I feel horrible for this poor man. It’s just awful what’s happened to him.

      I feel horrible for him as well, but I just still truly believe it was an accident. I am not sure that Wafer was in any mental condition to see visions of anything flash through his head other than the moment the gun went off. So I would think that his statements right after the incident were truthful, but I could be wrong.

The FIRST THING the guy should have done was to close his mouth. Saying ANYTHING can get you convicted. His “it was an accident” may as well have been “I didn’t mean to do it”. Or “I wish I hadn’t shot”. ANYTHING can be misconstrued and unless you are a sociopath, you WILL be in shock after you shoot someone. Remember, the “duty” of police is to show up AFTER and take a report. If they can get a felony conviction out of that, they get an “attaboy” from the Chief or maybe a promotion. If the guy had just said “I don’t feel like talking right now”, since there was no continuing threat, he may not be in PRISON right now. SO SHUT UP!

    Yes. This^^^^^. I might have told the police it was an accident too, meaning I didn’t plan to end up in that situation.

Ted Wafer deserves life in prison. A guy who admitted he was “mad”and “full of p__ and vinegar” when he shot Renisha McBride for banging on his door ONLY is a liar and a hypocrite when he later said it was an accident. Wafer is a coward . There is no self defense in shooting someone that is no threat to you. I applaud the juror that told the Detroit free press”No one believed Wafer killed McBride in self-defense. ” Just as Ronald Westbrook didn’t deserve to be blasted for ONLY banging on Joe Hendrix’ s door, Renisha McBride didn’t deserve to be blasted for ONLY banging on Ted Wafers door. LIP for TED.

    david7134 in reply to m1. | August 26, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Why don’t you just admit that you have no life experience at all. It is the middle of the night. A person is banging at your door. You think they are trying to do you and your family harm. You have no idea how many are at the door. You do not have intent to do harm, but you have a gun as if you don’t in the US, then you are called target. Now, you can call the cops. But if you have my experience you know that such an act is futile and will not save you if someone is intending to do you harm. I fact, I would bet that it takes about an hour or more for the cops to come (if you get 911 on the phone). I have been in this situation on numerous occasions and can assure you that the cops are not on your side. Then you go to the door with your gun, just like the vice-president said to do. Now, modern guns are not that safe unless unloaded. Ask any person that has handled one or taken a course. If you point the gun, then there is a chance it could go off. That is why I am amazed that we allow cops to point guns at us. This man did not intend to murder anyone. What value is his punishment? Will it do anything? No, this is justice gone wrong. At best he should have received involuntary manslauter.

      david7134 wrote:

      “Now, modern guns are not that safe unless unloaded. Ask any person that has handled one or taken a course. If you point the gun, then there is a chance it could go off.”

      I have taken two courses, NRA Basic Pistol, and NRA Personal Protection in The Home, but from your statement above, I would guess you have not taken any courses, or you are unfamiliar with firearms.

      Modern firearms, unless malfunctioning, do not “just go off”. There is no risk of accidental discharge unless your finger is on the trigger, where it should NOT be unless and until you intend to shoot. This is called trigger finger discipline, which is stressed intensively in gun safety classes.

      Maybe Wafer did not intend to murder anyone, but he did act unwisely: he opened his door to an unknown assailant or assailants (how could he have known for sure how many) and he pulled the trigger, perhaps accidentally, perhaps deliberately, but he did cause a person to be killed under circumstances that appear ambiguous at best.

      Read Mr. Brancas book.

        left coast,
        Perhaps you did not pay attention in the course when the instructor said the only safe gun is one not loaded and has a safety plug. That is the first thing that is said. As to guns going off, having worked the ER for many decades, I can assure you that even the most professional people have shooting accidents. I knew a doctor that was simply removing his hand gun from his trunk, by the barrel and it went off and blew his leg away. Plus, I have had a gun in hand since I was 8 and before then bb guns.

          Phillep Harding in reply to david7134. | August 28, 2014 at 5:03 pm

          The instructor was speaking in absolute terms, re “safe firearm”.

          If guns were not moderately safe without a finger on the trigger, I’d have wasted a heck of a lot of ammo while out hunting.

          It’s like how network administrators will quip that the only “safe” computer is one in a locked room with no internet connection and all disc, serial, parallel and USB ports disabled.

          As Phillip points out, “safe” used in such a way is an absolute term. While it’s technically true, it’s not really very useful for everyday life to say that the only “safe” way to use something is to basically make it unusable for the purpose … whether you’re a shooter or an internet user.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | August 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    “A guy who admitted he was “mad”and “full of p__ and vinegar” when he shot Renisha McBride”

    When exactly did he “admit” this? Because I kept a fairly close eye on this trial and don’t remember him making any such admission.

    “I applaud the juror that told the Detroit free press”No one believed Wafer killed McBride in self-defense.”

    I would also point out that the juror also didn’t say that the Jury believed it to be anything more than an “accident”.

    “There is no self defense in shooting someone that is no threat to you.”

    And once again you show your misunderstanding of the law. The law generally never requires that the person actually be a threat, only that the threat be reasonably believable.

    Here is an example; While I am heady to my car after a Friday night sporting event I am approached by someone who says; “Give me all your money”. I put my hands out say: “Hey, I don’t want any trouble” and begin to move backwards around a car to open up space. The robber follows me. So I say more forcefully; ” Back Off!. The robber then says; Give me the money or I am gonna shoot your ass!” and reaches behind him. See this motion I would most likely draw my firearm and it will be making loud noises very quickly. In short I shoot the robber and he dies. I call 911 and the cops arrive and find no weapon on the robber. That robber was never an actual threat to me, however, I would have every reason to believe that he could have been a threat and in the situation above I would have been completely justified in using deadly force to defend myself. That is why your statement is inaccurate.

      Wafer made the statements to investigators. Its listed here and other sites. You know this your just being dishonest, like the usual WVIperson.
      Wafer sentence amounting to cruel and unusual punishment is also typical WVI dogma.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | August 27, 2014 at 2:07 am

        “Wafer made the statements to investigators. Its listed here and other sites.”

        Then please link and prove your argument.

        “You know this your just being dishonest, like the usual WVIperson.”

        No, I honestly don’t remember that, but I can’t force you to be an adult and actually defend your argument. Also I have no idea what “WVI” is in the first place.

        “Wafer sentence amounting to cruel and unusual punishment is also typical WVI dogma.”

        I never said his “sentence” amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. I couldn’t have because he hasn’t received a sentence as of yet. Please keep track of your own incoherent arguments because I am not gonna keep doing it for you.

        What I said was that I think MI law that basically combine 2nd degree murder and manslaughter amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Typically for an accident the most likely sentence I have found would be manslaughter which carries a less harsh sentence.

        Unless you are actually trying to say that Mr. Wafer intended to kill McBride?

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 27, 2014 at 2:17 am

          Grem, you’re talking to a brick wall that was 100 bricks short of a load to begin with. Stop banging your head against it.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 27, 2014 at 2:27 am

          @JackRussellTerrierist

          I know, but if someone as goofy as him/her can make it onto the sight there might be someone reading the site goofy enough to think he makes sense.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | August 26, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Oh, and no I do not believe that he deserves life in prison for an accident. I think that Michigan law that makes 2nd degree murder and manslaughter basically the same crime is cruel and unusual.

    healthguyfsu in reply to m1. | August 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Remind me to go act the way she did on your doorstep in the dead of the morning.

    I’ll look forward to any damages I can inflict on either your criminal record or your coach purse.

You say nothing to the police. Nothing until you have hired and paid at least a little to your lawyer.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Elliott. | August 26, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Ok, I am sorry, and I truly am not trying to beat on you here, but that is the most impractical and almost impossible advice. It isn’t if you talk to the cops its what you say to the cops and this case is a perfect example.

    The say nothing approach sounds great when you type it here, it really just isn’t realistic. Here are some reasons why.

    1. If you use the say nothing approach are you going to dial 911 and just breath heavy? No, you are gonna have to say something to the 911 operator. “I was just attacked and I had no choice to defend myself. I need the police and an ambulance to blah blah blah.”

    Ok, so now the cops show up, here is what the cops see. You either saying nothing or saying “I want my lawyer” and you are standing over someone who is doing an academy award performance of a shooting victim. This is not gonna turn out well for you, it is most likely already the worst night of your life and you are just making it worse. Also appearing to be cooperative can’t hurt you.

    If you can’t or haven’t taken Andrew’s seminar or read his book then you should. (I drove 3 hours without AC in July to take the Seminar and it was worth every penny in gas and time.)

    Barring that here is an excellent video my Massad Ayoob.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCZXZMYyRl4

    Note Massad’s notations about evidence that can just walk away or be easily lost.

    What it comes down to is that if you have a firearm that you keep for defense these are things you need to think about in advance because the earlier in the process you start looking like the innocent victim the better off you will be.

      jakee308 in reply to Gremlin1974. | August 26, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      Are you a lawyer? If not then know this; most all lawyers will tell you to not talk to the police unless your attorney is present.

      If you are a lawyer, please stop giving bad advice.

        janitor in reply to jakee308. | August 26, 2014 at 11:48 pm

        Not talking to the police doesn’t apply when you are reporting that YOU are the victim.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to jakee308. | August 27, 2014 at 1:57 am

        No that is the advice I got from the lawyer who wrote this article. It is also the advice given by most of the truly qualified instructors, i.e. the video of Massad Ayoob to which I linked. Both Andrew and Massad are recognized experts and I think I will stick with them over….well someone as uneducated as you, your wrong and your advice will make someones self defense claim that much more difficult.

        However, you do what you want to do, maybe you can share a cell with Mr. Wafer.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to jakee308. | August 27, 2014 at 2:12 am

        Also, “most Lawyers” have never been near a self defense case, so they give anyone the same advice they would someone who is guilty as sin.

        jakee308 in reply to jakee308. | August 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm

        To the detractors below of my comment about not talking to the police.

        this is a quote from Massad Ayoob of what to do in the aftermath of a shooting/attack: (NOTE #5)

        1. “Officer this man/woman attacked me”
        2. “I will sign the complaint”
        3. Point out evidence. Evidence being handgun, spent casing, knife, deadly object
        4. Point out witnesses there. i.e. security cameras, people etc.
        5. “Officer you will have my full cooperation within 24 hrs after speaking with an Attorney”
        6. I added this cause some of you nuts don’t believe this. Watch your attitude when speaking to the police and If the cop asks you for ID, just give it to him.
        (end of quote)

        I should have been clearer as of course if you are the victim and call 911 you have to speak to the police in reference to the complaint. However you do not and should not elaborate beyond the facts as noted nor be involved in an interview without an attorney present.

        But it’s still good advice to not talk to the police or at least be very aware that what you say may wind up being used against you later.

        And contrary to any ad hominem statements, I am not uneducated and have experienced and observed the consequences of going one on one with a trained experienced interviewer during a stressful crime related encounter.

        I KNOW to keep my mouth shut as much as possible, I KNOW to demand access to counsel immediately and to refrain from speaking about much of anything with police until such counsel is present.

        Reading about it in a book or from a seminar is one thing, actually experiencing it is another and no one should assume they have some sort of claim to righteous knowledge without a full understanding and experience of the subject and of those they are criticizing.

          So, in other words:

          1. Talk.
          2. Talk.
          3. Talk.
          4. Talk.
          5. Stop talking.

          That doesn’t sound much to me like “YOU DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE,”–which I believe is exactly how you began this thread, and precisely the point Gremlin 1974 was addressing.

          Far more useful, I think, is to have a well-informed understanding of the dynamics involved in the police interaction post-shooting.

          For example, there are at least three distinct law enforcement interactions one is likely to have after using deadly force in self-defense:

          1. 911
          2. First responders
          3. Investigative officers

          These are each PROFOUNDLY different interactions, with very different upsides and downsides in terms of communications. What one should say or not say in each of these interactions is quite different in very important ways.

          The knowledge of how best to interact with police post-defense is as important a part of being competent and prepared to defend oneself as sight alignment and trigger control–indeed, I’d argue it’s MORE important. Many self-defense encounters, even when shots are involved, involve almost no sight alignment or trigger control at all–it’s immediate action point shooting at contact distances.

          The police interaction, however, is a certainty.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Gremlin1974 in reply to jakee308. | August 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm

          I made no claim to “righteous knowledge” and I have been interrogated by military investigators so I do have experience in the “interview process” as it is so called.

          What I do claim to be is a responsible gun owner and someone who believes that since I chose to carry a gun for defense I have a responsibility to be informed and educated to the extent that resources and time allow.

          I also believe that the time to start thinking and learning about what you should and shouldn’t do in the aftermath of a self defense shooting isn’t when it happens but before it happens and it simply can not be as simple as “don’t talk to the cops”. If you are not going to educate yourself as to the whole reality of carrying a firearm for defense then leave it in the gun case. Because if you aren’t willing to do so, to me that is just a negligent as carrying a gun and never practicing shooting.

          Also the more you think about it and what you are going to say the more likely you are to stick to the pattern you have basically rehearsed.

          I apologize for calling you uneducated and inexperienced, I should not have done that.

Can Andrew, lawyers, et al. explain to me the conundrum here?

You (the jurors) don’t “believe” it is a case of self defense. Not really the jury’s job to believe him…their job is to weigh the evidence and determine if there is evidence that it is NOT self defense that is sufficient to remove any reasonable doubt. That’s my wannabe Matlock interpretation of the law anyways.

But letting that belief issue go under the presumption that the jury felt it was an accidental shooting to disqualify self defense, how is it then murder 2 if it wasn’t deliberate?

It seems to me something went really, really wrong in his defense case (and it wasn’t due to brilliant prosecution that’s for sure). The jury basically assumed the absolute worst about him: that this was a deliberate act of a murderer who then lied about an accidental discharge to try and justify it then changed his story to self defense after lawyering up. How does the jury get that far based on a noticeable lack of hard evidence for such?

    healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | August 26, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Also, did they just completely ignore the “benefit of the doubt” spirit of castle doctrine that should have applied to this case?

    It seems to me the defense should have claimed accidental shooting, hope for manslaughter, and explain in trial his intent to defend his home and occupant safety.

    Would the jury have been as able to poke holes in that story to reach their conclusion considering McBride came to him without provocation, quite violently, and in the dead of the morning?

      How do you feel about Joe Hendrix/ Donald Westbrook scenario?

        Phillep Harding in reply to m1. | August 27, 2014 at 7:04 pm

        WTF is that?

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Phillep Harding. | August 28, 2014 at 2:46 am

          That is what is called a deflection. It’s when someone with little knowledge and less experience tries to “deflect” the topic to a different incident that happened under different circumstances, because they know they can’t actually win their convoluted and incoherent argument. m1 is a master of this tactic.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to m1. | August 28, 2014 at 2:55 am

        I realize you weren’t asking me but I am gonna answer anyway, since we have become such close friends.

        I FEEL like it is a tragedy.
        I FEEL for the family.
        I FEEL for Mr. Hendrix who has to live with the fact that he shot and killed the poor man. (He was apparently quite distraught when they told him who he had shot)
        I FEEL like Mr. Hendrix was justified in retrieving his gun.
        I FEEL like Mr. Hendrix was probably afraid for his life.
        I FEEL that in that situation I would not have gone outside.
        I FEEL like the Deputy who encountered Mr. Westbrook 2 hours earlier should have paid more attention to an elderly man who was not dress warm enough for how cold it was.
        I FEEL like the Mr. Westbrook’s family should have taken more measures to keep him in the house, even if that meant key locking the doors form the inside.
        I FEEL that no charging him was the correct decision.
        But mostly I FEEL like I wasn’t there and I don’t know what Mr. Hendrix saw or how the situation actually developed. All we can go on is the word of the innocent man who was (at least in his mind) defending his family and home.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to healthguyfsu. | August 26, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I think you are correct that the jury thought it was an accident and in this case I think the juror using the word “believe” is just poor semantics on their part. However, that said remember that Wafer testified for himself so the jury probably did put weight on whether they believed his testimony or not they would have to in order to come to a decision.

    I do not envy the jurors in this case and the decision they had to make. I honestly can’t say I would have made a different one, except I might have suggested the lower “involuntary manslaughter” that is part of MI (imho) strange laws.

    Murder 2 under Michigan law does not require intent, criminal recklessness is sufficient.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Henry Hawkins | August 26, 2014 at 9:02 pm

You know, like Wafer, Walker, and Bush and stuff.

(Filling in for troll with the flu).

stressful situation, someone lunges at you from peripheral vision.
startles you and you raise weapon thinking someone attacking.
accidentally apply trigger pressure during the weapon movement.
not saying this is what happened but always wondered why he said it was an accident.

personally i have no problem with anyone of any color shooting any drunk of any color beating the hell out of your door at night but I’m cold blooded.
I’ve had drunks beat my apt door in and come in and only (due to injuries) had a bat to use in non-dominant hand to beat them with.
I cannot fire left handed, tried many times to train myself but doing so is a danger to others so I don’t.

    Miles in reply to dmacleo. | August 26, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    To attempt further weak hand firing self-instruction would be foolish.
    Since it IS possible to successfully fire a handgun using the weak hand, pay a professional trainer and learn how.

    The capability may save your life one day.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Miles. | August 26, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      I can back that up with experience. I actually had an instructor show me how to off hand shoot and now I practice it every time I shoot. I might not be able to do much else with my left hand except lift heavy stuff, but I can shoot with it.

    Ragspierre in reply to dmacleo. | August 26, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Hand grenades. Ambidextrous….

Once again this highlights the very important fact that:

YOU DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE.

Do not get in a conversation with them.
Identify yourself and no more.

The first words out of your mouth should be:
I wish to have an attorney and I will not speak with anyone until I do. I do not give permission for any searches.

And keep repeating that until you speak to an attorney at law of your choice.

Do not be intimidated by the Police. Do not be persuaded by the Police that it will be better for you to speak.

Be patient and keep repeating your request to speak to an attorney and that you will not speak about anything else to anyone until that happens.

They will try to wear you down by holding you in uncomfortable settings, by intimidation, by promises, by casual conversation (I believe there are precedents that claim that speaking about anything waives your right to silence. You Atts. out there can correct me)

The Police are not your friends, they are not there to help you they are not looking out for your rights, they are not going to be persuaded by anything you may say to release you if they believe they have cause and they won’t tell you if they have that cause or not.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to jakee308. | August 27, 2014 at 2:10 am

    You should really, really take a course on shooting aftermaths and/or self defense law. I would recommend Andrew’s seminar and his book.

    sequester in reply to jakee308. | August 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    This video shows different scenarios of a shooting aftermath. How you handle yourself in the aftermath of a shooting is critical to whether the police perceive you as a victim or a criminal. You need to establish within seconds that you are the victim.

    Self-Defense is a unique legal situation. To claim self-defense you must admit to the act and say that you shot/battered/assaulted the person in self-defense. To claim self-defense at trial you have an affirmative burden of production. You complicate your burden of production and self-defense claim if you stand mute, flee the scene, or give lessons on the constitution to first responders who are trying to sort out events.

    So think carefully before just saying “I want a lawyer”. Brief statements to responding officers before you are mirandized may be the best only chance you get to establish that you are a crime victim and not a criminal. Responding officers are trying to secure the scene and sort out events. They are not interested in a constitutional lesson from you.

    I suggest you think carefully about following Masaad Abooyd’s advice if the incident is legitimate self-defense.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to sequester. | August 28, 2014 at 2:58 am

      My two favorite video’s to link to for shooting aftermaths. Also, something I pray I never have to go through myself.

Actually, I think that Mr. Wafer was truthful in both his statements. I think that when McBride began banging on his door, he armed himself and, because he was armed, chose o confront her, rather than simply calling the police and allowing them to deal with her. When he was confronted by McBride, with only the screen door between them, he reacted and unintentionally shot her.

Except for psychopaths, people, in general, do not want to shoot another person. They usually do so out of a reaction to fear, anger or as a response to trained reflexes. To intentionally shoot someone, even in self defense, takes determination. This why soldiers and law enforcement officers are trained not only in when to shoot, but also, when not to shoot.

Unfortunately, the average person is not trained in these aspects of defensive firearm use. They have a firearm, so they arm themselves and then engage in an activity for which they have no training or experience; confronting another human being who may be violent. Then something happens for which they are not prepared and they react. The firearm is discharged and someone is severely injured or killed. If the discharge was not justified, the shooter ends up serving time.

Now if a person lies, the truth will eventually come out, for good or ill. So, rather than place yourself into a position where you may be required to lie to escape the legal consequences of your acts, do not place yourself into that position to begin with.

Char Char Binks | August 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm

I have great sympathy for this man who was targeted by a drunk driving, drug abusing, “Young N Thuggin”, hell raising wh03r. through no fault of his own, and yet the jury had no alternative but to find him guilty. He should have kept his mouth shut, and I hope he can eventually get parole or clemency, and soon.

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