Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Ohio appeals court considers "castle doctrine" case to girlfriends' car

Cincinnati.com this morning notes the Ohio First District Court of Appeals' hearing a case the paper says "could alter the state's self-defense 'castle doctrine' gun laws which briefly state that there is no duty to retreat before using force to defend your home -- or castle -- yourself, or another in your home... Your car , under this law, viewed the same as your home or castle.

Woodrow Edwards was sitting in a blue Ford Explorer when, he testified, he saw a man he didn't know approach the passenger side door, lift the handle, and try to get in. Edwards, who has a valid Ohio permit to carry a concealed gun, was on the phone and became startled, the article recounts. At the man's advance he showed his handgun, partially lifted from the holster on his right hip to get the man's attention. The man, Eric Taylor, backed off but testified at trial that Edwards pointed the gun at him.

Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Melissa Powers subsequently convicted Edwards of aggravated menacing, a crime carrying maximum jail time of 180 days, which she suspended, fined him $100 and ordered him to stay away from Taylor.

The odd twist in the story is that the car's owner, Sarah Geers, knows both men – she was Edward's girlfriend and Taylor's ex-girlfriend. Both men testified at Edward's trial in November that they didn't know each other at the time.

Cincinnati.com relates that the key point in the case is whether "castle doctrine" provisions extend to persons legally in the car of someone other than a relative… the first of its kind in Ohio with Edwards arguing the castle doctrine should extend to his girlfriend's car.

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