Stand Your Ground shooting to be reviewed by appeals court
SHELBY COUNTY, Alabama - The case against a man accused of killing an unarmed woman in Shelby County, is headed to an appeals court. Demetrius Watson told police he had no choice but to fire his weapon, fearing for his life. The trial judge agreed, citing the "Stand-Your-Ground" law. However, prosecutors are appealing to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.
"There was nothing to dispute my client acted in self defense and in fear of his life," explain defense attorney Richard Jaffe of Birmingham. "If there ever was a case for Stand-Your-Ground, it was this one," added Jaffe.
The case unfolded on the night of December 5, 2013 in Calera near the intersection of Highway 31 and Slab Hill Road. Witnesses reported 40 year old Lisa Langston of Clanton got out of her truck acting erratically. She was screaming hysterically that someone had killed her daughter. "To go 600 yards on someone's property you don't know and break down a fence, beating on doors and saying your gonna kill somebody there has to be mental and emotional issues," said Jaffe.
A toxicology report found Langston was on numerous medications and had a blood alcohol level of .18 at the time of her death. Court documents report she had previously been diagnosed as bi-polar. Court documents also revealed Watson's family who lived on the property called him to help as they could not calm Langston down. They also called 9-1-1. Children were in the house and frightened of Langston. When Watson arrived, testimony revealed he could not clam her down either. "My client fired a warning shot and she said I'm not afraid of no gun and continued to advance towards him in the dead of night aggressively," said Jaffe. Watson was charged with murder.
In his ruling Judge Dan Reeves found Watson reasonably perceived he and his family were in danger and his use of force, even though Langston did not have a weapon, was protected and immune from prosecution. 24 states including Alabama, have "Stand-Your-Ground" laws. The district attorney's office has appealed questioning whether a jury should have decided the issue of immunity, from prosecution.
Lisa Langston, left behind a husband and two children. Family described her as a wonderful mother and wife.