MONTGOMERY COUNTY — Changes in Ohio law are leading to a new trend in Montgomery County courts.
In the last three weeks, juries have found two people not guilty of murder charges citing self-defense and stand-your-ground laws.
One case includes a couple who went to a Christmas party that was recorded on Facebook live.
It led to a deadly shooting that tested Ohio’s changing self-defense laws.
Dayton defense lawyer Patrick Mulligan showed a video that played a role in the jury finding his client, Georgia Jackson, not guilty of murder.
“No offers were made, this was self-defense, pure and simple,” Mulligan said.
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Mulligan said that Jackson and her boyfriend were spotted at a Christmas party last year on a social media recording.
Her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend immediately began harassing and threatening them.
She slashed their tires, punched out windows in their car and continued, with friends, to harass them when a tow truck arrived.
Mulligan said the woman then followed Jackson and her boyfriend as they left in a different car and blocked them in at a stop sign.
The woman then headed for Jackson with a makeshift weapon in her hand.
Jackson fired her legally registered gun from inside her car, killing her attacker.
“One provision is, if you are in your vehicle you are using self-defense,” Mulligan said.
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He said self-defense laws changed in Ohio in April of last year.
Stand your ground laws also changed and people no longer have a duty to retreat.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Matt Heck issued this statement on the changing laws:
“In reviewing cases, we look at the actions and the conduct of both the perpetrator and the victim at the time of the offense to determine if there is a legitimate, affirmative defense. We expect to see a significant increase in self-defense claims under this new law.”
It’s already happening. A jury found Aaron Vance, 31, not guilty of murder after a deadly stabbing in May 2021 at a Troy Street convenience store.
Police said he argued with a man in the parking lot and the jury believed his lawyer’s claim of self-defense.
Mulligan said he believes the jury balanced the scales of justice correctly in his recent case and that juries will be able to see through false claims of self-defense.
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