A man accused of shooting two people in a Riverside Drive apartment last year has beat his charges after claiming self-defense.
A jury found Mychael Jenkins was found not guilty of felonious assault by using a little-known portion of the Castle Doctrine.
News Center 7’s Mike Campbell spoke with Jenkins’ lawyer about the self-defense arguments and how they relate to the Castle Doctrine in Ohio.
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Police arrested Jenkins last November after they said he shot a man who stormed in and the woman who invited him into the apartment.
During the trial, the facts showed the man who stormed in was the woman’s ex-boyfriend.
Jenkins was at the apartment of Haley Daniels, hiding in the closet while she answered the door, when Daniels’ ex-boyfriend, Teejay Byrd, arrived to retrieve shoes for work.
Byrd went straight to the bedroom and knocked Jenkins to the floor while attacking him before Jenkins fired two shots to protect himself.
The shots hit Byrd and Daniels who suffered critical injuries but survived and recovered.
Jenkins lawyer, Dennis Lieberman, pointed out that a small section of the Castle Doctrine applies to people who are invited guests.
“I’ve been practicing law for 41 years and you don’t often use self-defense because if you miss just one of the elements, if you could have retreated, if you use excess force, if you’re the one that started the fight, any of those can impact self-defense.”
Lieberman says self-defense is complicated and not an easy defense to use because there are three different subsections of the law. In this case, Jenkins was protected by it.
While Jenkins was acquitted of felonious assault, he was found guilty of having weapons while under disability for a prior conviction and could be sentenced to up to three years behind bars.
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