Thursday, March 6, 2008

Arkansas: Shooting ruled self defense

Searcy, Arkansas

From the Daily Citizen of March 5, 2008
Shooting ruled self defense

The killing of a Beebe man in Searcy has been ruled self defense by local prosecutors.

Jose Martinez, 24, kicked in the locked back door and illegally entered the home of Kevin M. Reed at 1300 West Arch St. in Searcy, according to a press release. The incident happened at 2:26 p.m. Jan. 8.

According to Reed, Martinez threatened him with bodily harm, prosecutors say, and Reed fired eight shots at Martinez, killing him.

“The Searcy Police Department investigation confirms that the door to the home was dead bolted and forcibly kicked in,” the press release stated, and “paint from the door was found on the bottom of Mr. Martinez' shoe.”

The shooting was within the provisions of Arkansas law, and no criminal charges will be filed, prosecutors said.

As officers entered the residence, they discovered Martinez dead of an apparent gunshot wound. The body was sent to the state crime lab for autopsy.

State law (5-2-607) says “a person is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the person reasonably believes that the other person is (1) committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence, (2) using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force” or “(3) imminently endangering the person's life or imminently about to victimize the person” in reference to domestic abuse.

State law (5-2-620) says, “the right of an individual to defend himself or herself and the life of a person or property in the individual's home against harm, injury or loss by a person unlawfully entering or attempting to enter or intrude into the home is reaffirmed as a fundamental right.” That law also states that, “there is a legal presumption that any force or means used to accomplish a purpose” was “exercised in a lawful and necessary manner, unless the presumption is overcome by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.”

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