The infamous George Zimmerman trial and the Renisha McBride shooting that followed brought a ton of attention to the now-notorious Stand Your Ground laws. Those cases, as most of us know all too well, sparked heated debate over the legitimacy of Stand Your Ground laws. Here is an instance where the law is being invoked that might not be so divisive.
On December 8, 2013, Kentucky police responded to a shooting in Morehead, Kentucky. According to the police report, the shooting was the end result of a domestic abuse incident.
Earlier that night, married couple Tim and Shea-la Anderson were in a heated argument. The argument turned abusive when Tim Anderson assaulted both his wife and their 17 year old son. To escape Anderson, Shea-la and her son ran next door to her father’s house.
A livid Anderson drove his car over to his father-in-law’s house. Once outside, he demanded his wife and son come out and face him. Anderson’s father-in-law told him to go away, but he wasn’t taking no for answer. Then, as Anderson hit the gas and started driving his car towards the men, his son shot him.
Anderson was hit multiple times and taken to a nearby hospital. He is now in stable position. Shea-la and her son were also treated at the hospital for minor injuries they suffered from the assault.
Kentucky is one of 30 states with Stand Your Ground laws. Under the law, the teen had no duty to retreat from his attacking father. Though the incident remains under investigation, it does not appear that the teen will be charged for the shooting.
Here is Kentucky public defender Greg Colson explaining the bluegrass state's version of the law:
"Stand your ground is a change in the self-defense defense,” Colson said. “You always have a right to self-defense, but under the common law if you had the ability to run away or retreat in full safety without risking being injured by the person who is attacking you then you have a duty to that. You have what was called the duty to retreat. The stand your ground law changes that standard. It says if you are in any place that you are legally allowed to be, you don’t have a duty to retreat.”