'Stand-Your-Ground' Doesn’t Apply For Pryor Man Accused Of Shooting Teen
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Mayes County man won't be able to use the stand-your-ground law as a defense for shooting a teenager during a New Year's Eve prank.
The Pryor man shot 14-year-old Cole Peyton last year and said it was justified.
Oklahoma's stand-your-ground law says you have the right to protect yourself or your family if you believe a life is threatened. The district attorney said he supports people's right to defend themselves from a deadly threat, but said that's not what happened in this case.
"We take stand your ground immunity very seriously. It's something we very strongly believe in," said Rogers County DA Matt Ballard.
Derek Morgan tried to use the stand-your-ground law as a defense after he shot and critically wounded the 14-year-old boy on New Year's Day last year.
The DA said Peyton was 85 feet away when he was shot in the back, so the shooting doesn't qualify.
"If there's no threat to you, you don't have immunity," Ballard said.
Stand-your-ground does not apply if the person isn't threatening you. For the law to protect you, you have to be in fear for life.
Under those circumstances, Ballard supports people protecting themselves.
“I just want people to know that this office, and I personally, do support the ability to defend yourself in your home. I think that's absolutely critical. And if that's the case, someone is breaking into your home, you do have the right to use deadly force and know that you'll be supported in that," he said.
With the judge's decision, the prosecution of Morgan for assault and battery with a deadly weapon will move forward.
Morgan's defense attorney didn't have much to say but said judge's decision speaks for itself.