Skip to comments.Stand Your Ground, Lose Everything(home defense)
Posted on 02/24/2012 5:56:41 AM PST by marktwain
The Des Moines Register ran a story today that highlights the need for a strong Stand Your Ground law. Not just in Iowa, where it is being hotly debated right now, but anywhere in the country that the freedoms and liberties of citizens who are going about their day-to-day activities are expected to be more important than those of citizens who have little regard for the life and health of others in the community.
In their story, the Register details the circumstances around a man, Jay Rodney Lewis, who was put in jail and stayed there for 112 days until his trial. He was unable to make bond, so he had to wait for his trial date in jail. During that time, he lost everything he had. He lost his job, he was evicted from his apartment, and nearly all of his possessions were seized and sold.
What was he charged with? West Des Moines Police charged him with two counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and one count of going armed with intent. His initial bail was set at $225,000, but was later lowered to $35,000.
What did he do? Rodney began racing a car driven by James Scott Ludwick down 11th Street in West Des Moines. The short race ended with a minor collision. Ludwick reportedly exited the car with another passenger, and they began punching Lewis' windows. Lewis pulled out a pistol, and the two men backed off. As Lewis exited his car to check the damage, the two men returned from different directions and tried to attack Lewis. He can clearly be heard on the recording of his call to dispatchers telling Ludwick to stay back. Multiple times. He can also be heard telling Ludwick and the other man that if they continued to advance, he would shoot them.
Which he did. Ludwick was shot in the right side of the chest. It should also be noted that Ludwick was legally intoxicated at the time of the incident, with a 0.189 BAC, and he had multiple convictions for felony theft on his record.
West Des Moines Police did not see this as a valid case of self-defense, and they arrested Lewis. While he was in jail, his apartment complex evicted him, but since he was in jail a fact of which the apartment complex was aware he was never able to secure his belongings before the eviction was carried out. The apartment complex has apparently refused to answer any questions about the incident. Neither will the complex's attorney, Joseph Wallace. It certainly sounds like they are ashamed of their actions and they do not have the temerity to defend their actions.
Polk County Attorney John Sarcone, an avowed enemy of gun rights, sees nothing wrong with how this entire situation played out. In the article, his smugness and disdain for our ability to defend ourselves is not veiled at all.
We just dont allow people to go shoot people, he said. Using deadly force is a last resort. It shouldnt be the first resort.
What Lewis case shows is that current law works, Sarcone said: I dont know why people are afraid of jury trials. Im not.The Des Moines Register ran a story today that highlights the need for a strong Stand Your Ground law. Not just in Iowa, where it is being hotly debated right now, but anywhere in the country that the freedoms and liberties of citizens who are going about their day-to-day activities are expected to be more important than those of citizens who have little regard for the life and health of others in the community.
We'll never know, because it's doubtful that Sarcone will ever be put in that situation, nor would he be willing to answer such a hypothetical question. In the meantime, it is in the best interest of everyone in Iowa who has any desire at all to defend themselves and their loved ones to fully support the NRA and IFC's efforts to get HF 2215 passed in the House and presented to the Senate for a vote. We cannot allow ourselves to be punished for our actions when we fear for our life and safety. What happened to Mr. Lewis is nothing short of a travesty of justice.
My ground is all I have left.
Moral of story: don’t go out and race a drunk on a public road in West Des Moines.
My ground is all I have left even though I have to pay rent to the government.
Agreed with an earlier comment. If it hurts, don’t do that.
If it happens on your property don’t call the cops. Dispose of the trash properly.
BTW, that guy in NH that was charged for firing a waring shot in the ground...charges dismissed.
A perfect example of the old saw, you may beat the rap, but you will never beat the ride. What a reminder about the times we have seen zealous protection of a defendant’s rights at the expense of the victim. I guess some defendants are more equal under the law than others.
In South Carolina we have the Right to Stand Our Ground.
Just like in the Castle Doctrine (which we also have), you can stand your ground and not have to retreat. That goes for in your own home, auto, property, anywhere.
I wish the article gave information about the trial details.
Me too. I looked his case up on iowacourts.gov; it says he was acquitted by the jury.
Best stay out of Des Moines. The police establishment was not found of the new CC law.
We have the same in Florida. However, the use of deadly force requires that you must be in fear of eminent death or great bodily harm. The police and then the prosecuters are going to "stand in your shoes" when deciding to arrest and/or file charges. When confronting an unarmed aggressor outside of your home or business there needs to be a disparity in physicality to justify the use of deadly force. That disparity may have been lacking in this case.
Then this Lewis must have been a hell of a man since there were two assailants.
I kinda left that part out.
Yep, you have to be in fear for your life and the prosecutors will ‘stand in your shoes’ when deciding to arrest and or file charges.