Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CT: State Supreme Court Overturns Manslaughter Conviction: "After David B. Terwilliger shot and killed his son-in-law outside Terwilliger's home in 2003, a Superior Court jury convicted him of manslaughter and a judge sent him to prison for 15 years. But now the state Supreme Court has overturned Terwilliger's 2005 conviction, telling the lower court in Danielson to reconsider whether Terwilliger is a killer or if he was acting within his legal rights to use deadly force not to protect himself but to protect his property, a broader freedom allowed by law in certain situations. Terwilliger and his wife, Beverly Daniels, were in their home on Vandall Street in Thompson the night of Jan. 5, 2003, when Donald Kennedy, 53, got into an argument with neighbors. Kennedy was married to Daniels' daughter, Christine. Hearing the commotion, Terwilliger — a former U.S. Marine with law enforcement experience — armed himself with a gun and confronted Kennedy. According to court records, Terwilliger, then 63, testified that he ordered Kennedy to leave but that Kennedy refused. Terwilliger testified that Kennedy had an "explosive temper," frequently carried a knife and threatened to kill him, a threat he had made in the past. Terwilliger said that Kennedy also threatened to kill Daniels, whom he said Kennedy called "the mother of the beast." Terwilliger fired a single shot when, according to his testimony, he thought Kennedy's hand was moving toward Terwilliger's throat. Medical personnel found Kennedy dead in the driveway. A knife was also found in one of Kennedy's pockets."

CA: Deadly shooting was self-defense: "The Kern County Sheriff's Office has determined that a deadly shooting Monday morning was self-defense. Two men were shot at an apartment complex on the 2100 block of McCray Street, according to a sheriff's office news release. Buck McKay, 29, died, and an unidentified man is reportedly in critical condition at Kern Medical Center. Deputies were called to the complex about 5 a.m. There, they found McKay suffering from a single gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to KMC, where he later died. The second man was taken by private vehicle to Memorial Hospital and then taken to KMC. Investigators determined that McCray and the other man came to the apartments with a gun and "became involved in a disturbance with Jesse Ash," according to the news release. Ash, 26, and Gregory Alexander, 28, were interviewed by detectives and released. The shooting is still under investigation, but detectives believe Ash shot both men in self-defense. The sheriff's office didn't specify what sparked the confrontation."

WA: Man acquitted in gun trial seeks $92,000 from state: "A Longview man acquitted this month of assault on four Kesler's Bar and Grill employees has filed a claim against the state for more than $92,000 in court costs. Under state law, Brian Barnd-Spjut, 29, is entitled to recoup his attorney fees and other trial-related costs because a jury found that he acted in self defense. Barnd-Spjut, who works as a contractor, is asking for $92,209, which includes $75,000 in attorney's fees and $12,249 in lost wages, according to documents filed by his attorney, Duane Crandall. Other expenses include a $1,500 bond premium and $3,460 in miscellaneous costs. Barnd-Spjut faced four counts of second-degree assault after he waved a handgun at three Kesler's bouncers and the bar's manager, Brandon Kesler, on March 28. Barnd-Spjut, who has a concealed weapons permit, argued the bar's security staff have a reputation for attacking patrons and said he feared for his safety as they hauled him down a hallway and booted him into the alley. The bouncers said Barnd-Spjut refused to pay a $5 cover charge. A jury acquitted Barnd-Spjut on Jan. 15 and determined he was entitled to recover his court costs."

Federal Gov't Wants to Stop Montana Firearms Freedom Act: "The Federal Government is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to exempt guns made in Montana from national gun control. Last year gun advocates in Montana filed a lawsuit claiming the state should decide which rules would control the sale and purchase of guns made in Montana. Any guns made here that stayed in the state would be exempt from the rules on federal gun registration, background checks, and dealer licensing. This week - the Department of Justice filed a brief that said federal gun control is a valid exercise of the commerce power that congress has under The Constitution. But advocates say if the gun never crosses state lines - then the government should not have control."

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