An Iowa Supreme Court ruling today clarifies a portion of the state’s 2017 “stand your ground” law.
The Supreme Court says the “stand your ground” law does not require pretrial hearings to determine if self defense was an issue — saying it provides an immunity from liability — not an immunity from prosecution.
The ruling is in the case of Lamar Wilson. Wilson fired into a crowd at the pedestrian mall in Iowa City in August of 2017 — killing Kaleek Jones and seriously injuring two others. He was charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder, and three counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon.
Wilson claimed he fired in self defense after seeing someone else show a gun. The jury found Wilson guilty of lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter, two counts of assault with intent to cause serious injury, and one count of intimidation with a dangerous weapon.
Wilson appealed the convictions — saying he should have been given a pre-trial hearing — and that would have vindicated him without a trial. The Supreme Court disagreed, and also dismissed other appeal issues raised by Wilson.
Wilson was sentenced consecutively to ten years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, two two-year terms for the assaults, and ten years in prison for intimidation with a dangerous weapon.
Here’s the ruling: Stand Your Ground Ruling PDF