A South Carolina man who shot and killed an unarmed 17-year-old is arguing that he should not be prosecuted because what happened was an accident and he was only trying to protect his daughter when the teen got in the way.
Shannon Scott and his lawyer, Todd Rutherford, are saying that what happened with Darrell Niles is a tragedy, but that Scott should be granted immunity from murder charges under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
“He simply ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Rutherford said.
Scott, 36, shot Niles in the head while he was across the street and in no way threatening him. Scott is arguing that he believed he was in danger from other people and that is why he shot and killed Niles.
If Judge Maite Murphy grants Scotty immunity, it would be “be the first time any state in this Union” has awarded someone that protection for killing an innocent bystander in a Stand Your Ground case, according to The State.
“If this law were to be applied the way (Scott) wants to apply it, he could shoot a 4-year-old playing in her front yard and still be immune from prosecution,” said 5th Circuit Assistant Solicitor April Sampson. “If you want to make it the Wild, Wild West .... (to) say you don’t have to act with care when you say you’re scared, that you can shoot someone who is not a threat to you.”
Rutherford said that Scott felt he was in danger because a gang of “women thugs” had followed his daughter home. Once Scott’s daughter was safe in his house, he went outside with a pistol and that’s when the shooting took place.
He argued that it was unreasonable to expect that Scott “go back into his house, in his castle ... and hope that the cavalry (police) are going to come ... . All that matters is that Mr. Scott felt his life was in jeopardy. We know that because everyone there felt their lives were in jeopardy.”
An outcome is not expected anytime soon because parties from both sides have said they will appeal.