Friday, April 14, 2006

FL: Two Martin County deaths deemed acts of self-defense: "Authorities have deemed two separate cases first investigated as homicides as actual acts of self-defense, police said Wednesday. In one incident, Stuart police evidence led state prosecutors to determined Daniel George Griffin, 67, was protecting himself when he was confronted in his home by the man whose wife he was allegedly having an affair with, Sgt. Marty Jacobson reported. Barry Nordstrum, 47, allegedly broke into Griffin's home June 25 about 9 p.m. in the Circle Bay Condominiums and found the man with his wife. That's when Griffin grabbed a gun and shot Nordstrum to death. The wife, who was present, was not hurt. In the second case, police said Shawn Harshall, 24, was legally allowed to defend himself against an alleged attack by his co-worker Derek Huffman, 22, after a fight about a pool game earlier the night of January 14. Harshall told investigators he stabbed Huffman after he was attacked inside a room at the extended stay Suburban Lodge, where the Pennsylvania men had been staying.

Missouri self-defence rights to be expanded: "Despite opposition, State Rep. Marilyn Ruestman says she will "hold tight" to her defensive use of force bill that passed last week in the Missouri House. The legislation, originally filed by the Newton County lawmaker as HB 1461, would protect from civil or criminal litigation citizens who kill in the act of self-defense and expands the circumstances when deadly force could be used. Under current Missouri law, a person may kill another person when it's reasonably believed such action is necessary to protect one's self or another against death, serious physical injury, rape, sodomy and kidnapping. The law also states persons may use deadly force, when necessary and under the same described circumstance, to prevent stealing, property damage or tampering. In both instances, citizens are first required to use "all reasonable measures to terminate the restraint as soon as it is reasonable to do so" before using deadly force in defense of self or property. But Ruestman believes the law is ambiguous and that it's assumed victims must retreat when attacked. She previously told the Daily News it's "ridiculous" for someone to stop and determine if an assault could be fatal before using lethal force in self-defense. Her bill says that a person doesn't have to run away when attacked provided they are at a place where they have a legal right to be.

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