On December 15th, 2016, after four days in trial, my client was found not guilty on the charge of murder by a jury of his peers. The issue at trial was whether or not my client acted in self-defense. There are several factors that must be asserted in order for someone to be successful in a self-defense claim in accordance with Texas Penal Code sec. 9.31:
" A person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force."
Self-defense is not justified in response to verbal provocation alone or if the actor provoked the other's use of unlawful force. It is important to not that in order for a Defendant to assert self-defense they must admit they committed the crime. However, once self-defense is asserted the burden of proof is on the State to show it was not self-defense.
In this case, we presented evidence that this was a case of self-defense and that my client's actions were justified under the law. In the end we were successful and my client was acquitted.