4/08/2009

Test case for Castle Doctrine Law in Kentucky

My own guess that this are one of those cases where the prosecutors say that the person being attacked should have done more before using a gun. The Castle Doctrine law was supposed to be set up precisely to deal with these cases, and that is why this case should help educate some of these prosecutors.

ELIZABETHTOWN – Putting a 2006 law that attorneys say lacks precedence and guidance to the test didn’t take long in the prosecution of a married mother of four who is charged with killing her estranged boyfriend at her home last year.
During Tuesday’s arraignment of Angie Ricketts, the 32-year-old former girlfriend of Eric West, whom she is accused of shooting Sept. 29 at her Howevalley home, defense attorneys said Ricketts defended herself by firing two pistol rounds to West’s face and chest during what they say was an assault against her.
It took six months before a grand jury reviewed the case Kentucky State Police detective Matt Johnson compiled against Ricketts.
A grand jury last month returned an indictment on a murder charge against her and Ricketts was jailed for the first time since West’s death.
Prosecutors say they’re confident Ricketts committed murder, but defense attorneys speak of equal confidence that she did not.
“There was a crime committed,” attorney Shane Young said to Hardin Circuit Court Judge Ken Howard during the arraignment. “But the crime was against her. There were visible injuries … You have a right to defend yourself.”
Lead investigator Johnson said a single small bruise was found on Ricketts’ arm the night of West’s killing. He said that bruise was not inflicted by West.
In defending Ricketts’ firing the weapon and in support of his request for an unsecured bond for his client, Young referenced the relatively new state law adopted in 2006 since dubbed the “shoot first law.” The law allows use of deadly force when threatened by a burglar or assailant.
Tuesday’s mention of the law was of no surprise to those trying to punish Ricketts.
The same day Ricketts killed West, Kentucky State Police Post 4 spokesman Steve Pavey alluded to the “shoot first” law when explaining to reporters why no arrests were made.
“With the new law that went into effect a couple years ago, we have to prove this was anything other than justified,” Pavey said. “The burden of proof is on the state.” . . . .

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3 Comments:

Blogger John A said...

Could go either way, based on the lack of info in the article.

4/08/2009 2:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

“With the new law that went into effect a couple years ago, we have to prove this was anything other than justified,” Pavey said. “The burden of proof is on the state.” . . . .

Since when is the burden of proof not on the state (read prosecution)?

4/08/2009 2:42 PM  
Blogger The Right Guy said...

Isn't the burden of proof always on the state?

4/08/2009 11:23 PM  

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