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It has already been over two months since the fatal shooting involving several Delta Chis at Northern Arizona University. The incident resulted in the death of Colin Brough, and the wounding of three other NAU students. The man who fired the fatal shot, Steven Jones, was arrested by police and charged with first-degree murder.
Jones has always claimed he fired in self-defense, a claim that has been highly scrutinized by prosecutors who portray him as someone who escalated the situation unnecessarily.
From Casa Grande Dispatch:
Prosecutors have painted Jones as the aggressor, saying his statements about self-defense were self-serving and that he could have walked away from the fight that night without resorting to gunfire. None of the victims was armed.
However, the results of toxicology tests performed on all of the victims show that all of them were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the altercation. The suspect, surprisingly, came out clean.
Those wounded had alcohol, drugs or both in their systems, but the suspect did not, according to results released this week. The victims’ blood-alcohol levels exceeded what’s considered legal for driving.
Depending on how the jury sees this new information, it could help Jones avoid a first-degree murder conviction.
“In a case of self-defense, anytime a victim is that drunk, it’s two strikes against them when the defendant is saying that he acted reasonably because he was in fear for his life,” he said.
Defense attorneys also could argue that anyone who was intoxicated would be more aggressive and threatening, said Andrew Clemency, a senior lecturer at Arizona State University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and a former Maricopa County public defender. But, he said, “that’s probably a reach.
“As a defense attorney, you’re trying to look for any possible advantage you can get or excuse you can get,” he said. “But if you’re a college student getting shot while you’re drunk, I don’t know how that absolves the shooter.”
Jones is currently facing one charge of first-degree murder and six counts of aggravated assault. He has plead not guilty to the charges against him..
[via Casa Grande Dispatch]
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