A South Carolina man won’t face murder charges in the shooting death of a teen after a judge granted him immunity from prosecution under the South Carolina Protection of Persons and Property Act.
Shannon Scott shot and killed 17-year-old Darrell Niles in 2010. According to The State, shortly before the shooting, an SUV filled with youths who had been threatening Scott’s 15-year-old daughter drove by his house and they fired shots, according to testimony in the case.
Smith then saw Niles’ 1992 Honda, and, believing its occupants posed a danger, fired his gun from his front yard across the street, hitting Niles in the head with a .380 bullet, killing him instantly. No evidence indicated Niles was a threat to Scott or his daughter.
Accordng to ColaDaily.com, Judge Maite Murphy ruled that Scott’s actions were justified even though Niles was an innocent bystander. The Stand Your Ground Law says that a person in his or her home or vehicle is not required to retreat from an attacker.
“When the defendant fired the shot, he reasonably believed he was being attacked with deadly force directed at his home,” said part of a 12-page order by Murphy.
Scott’s attorney, Todd Rutherford, noted the law gives broad rights to people in fear of their lives.
“Judge Murphy followed the law,” said Rutherford, a Democratic state representative who in 2006 helped write the law, according to The State.
Solicitor Dan Johnson has appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court.