From Victim to Murderer

Our system of justice is intended to protect the innocent…

Our system of justice is intended to protect the innocent and prosecute the guilty. Unfortunately, there are any number of ways an innocent person can mimic a guilty one, convincing everyone from the investigator to the prosecutor and ultimately the jury that they are indeed guilty.

A lot of well-intentioned people offer advice in matters they really don’t understand, usually because they have no actual background in self-defense shooting cases in court. Those who do have such background would avoid that bad advice like the proverbial plague. Let’s look at just two of those doomed-to-fail strategies, both of which have recently surfaced on the Internet.

Don’t Leave the Scene
One good example is the legal principle that “flight equals guilt.” Most judges will allow a prosecutor, or a plaintiff’s attorney, to argue that if a person fled the scene of a shooting, they did so out of “consciousness of guilt.” The principle holds that the righteous person who did the proper thing will stand his ground to explain his actions to the authorities, while the man who flees does so because he knows he has done the wrong thing and will receive the punishment he deserves if he remains there to be taken into custody.

In Case One, a 50-something businessman was violently attacked by two vicious punks. He drew his Glock 23 and fired a single shot, instantly stopping the attack. His assailants, one mortally wounded and soon to die, fled the scene. Unfortunately, so did the businessman. Within a matter of hours, skilled police detectives had tracked the businessman and his vehicle. When confronted by the investigating officers, the shooter “confessed” to what happened. It was too late, and he was criminally charged.

I appeared as an expert witness on his behalf. A Herculean effort by a brilliant defense attorney finally won an acquittal on the shooting. But it was still a long, terrible, expensive ordeal for the armed citizen in question. Had the man simply remained at the scene and called in the incident, his attorney believed then and now the result would likely have been a “No True Bill” from the grand jury, and the shooting would have essentially been ruled justifiable.

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  • Eric

    It sounds really bad. Fortunately for you and your family, you survived. I understand some people may experience significant disruptions in their sleep or eating patterns for a long time while others do not. May I ask, did you have “aftermath” disruptions or were you able to just move though it and move on?

  • It is true,that if you attempt to flee;guilt will be supposed on your behalf.Stay put if at all possible,do not leave the area.
    I was involved in a self-defense homicide,in which I killed my attacker with a knife.
    It really looked bad there for a while and it appeared to the arresting officer that I was attempting to flee.
    That was brought up in court by the prosecuter:he wanted to know why I had tried to run away.
    I had not done so,I was running for a pay phone to call the police.
    That salient point helped to acquit me and the jury found in my favor.
    That along with a bloody head from being attacked with a pipe:and my attacker yelling–“Run the MF over”–to his girlfriend.She tried to run me over too,after she saw him down for good.She testified against me in court.
    It was self-defense and looks can be deceiving.It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me.