A judge ruled on Friday that a defendant did not act in self-defense when he shot and killed two men outside of a restaurant in 2008. The man currently faces two counts of murder in the second degree for shooting and killing two 24-year-old men during an argument. The decision means that the defendant's case will go to a jury trial, but the man can still claim self-defense to convince the jury that he did not commit murder.
Prosecutors agree with the judge's decision, but admit that it wasn't a simple choice. "It was a tough decision but we think the judge properly reviewed the evidence," one attorney said, "This case really needs to be considered by a jury." The incident occurred five years ago when one of the men punched the defendant's friend in the parking lot of a local Chili's Bar and Grill. The altercation escalated when the defendant allegedly shot and killed the two men.
The defendant had a concealed weapons permit, cooperated with police, and claimed that he thought one of the men had weapon. He said, "I was scared, and then I seen this other guy coming up from the back and then he reached up under his shirt so I was scared." The incident was captured by a security camera, which prosecutors later used as evidence against him. The defendant, however, claimed that he feared for his life. "I though, you know, there were going to shoot or kill us," he said.
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