Tulsa County Judge Denies Stand Your Ground Defense In Fatal Shooting
TULSA, Oklahoma - A man charged with first-degree murder will go to trial after a Tulsa County judge denied his request Wednesday for immunity under the Stand Your Ground law.
William Bridges' attorney says he was in "fear for his life" when he shot and killed a man inside his home in February.
But a judge ruled he was not immune under the Stand Your Ground law.
"That is the context of stand your ground. It's in your home, your vehicle, in a place you're entitled to be and in a circumstance where you yourself are not committing a crime,” explained former Tulsa District Judge William Kellough.
The judge said Bridges failed to prove Christopher Coffelt was an intruder because Bridges invited him inside the home.
The judge also said Coffelt was unarmed and that Bridges was in the process of committing a crime because he had marijuana in his possession.
These are just a few of the reasons the judge says Stand Your Ground doesn't apply, but he says self-defense might.
Kellough says there's more leeway under the Stand Your Ground law.
"The difference is, is it's from your perspective. Did you reasonably believe that intrusion was occurring? Not from the perspective of anyone else,” he explained.
Whereas self-defense is more open.
"Was their fear reasonable from the perspective of an average person? And that's called self-defense,” he added.
Kellough says he can't say what call he would've made had he been in this judge's position.
"I'd have to hear all the evidence, as a judge would obviously say,” he stated.
But the judge in this case says Bridges will have to stand trial.