Ronald Gasser recently made the news for his recent manslaughter arrest in Louisiana. Gasser is alleged to have shot and killed ex-NFL player Joe McKnight in a road rage dispute. According to authorities, Gasser made a statement that included him being fearful and defending himself. These statements indicate Gasser laying the ground work for a self-defense claim.
Self-defense is a common term in our vernacular but has a very specific legal definition. Every State in the Union has a variation of this defense. In Texas, a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The law further defines that which is presumed reasonable for purposes of “immediately necessary”. For example, someone breaks into your residence or business and you protect yourself or others. This applies to protecting yourself, others or even your property.
Deadly force may be use if you are rightfully exercising self-defense as illustrated above, and when the actor reasonably believes deadly force is immediately necessary to protect against another’s use of deadly force.
As in Gasser’s case, witness testimony will be key in determining whether or not he was justified in using deadly force. In Texas, the only way he was in the right is if Joe McKnight was also using or threatening to use deadly force. As the saying goes, “You can’t bring a knife to a fist fight,” so too is the law with regard to using deadly force to defend yourself or others in Texas.
If you or a loved one has been charged with an offense and believe you were just in your actions to defend yourself or others, it is important to consult an experienced Tarrant County defense attorney.
The team of attorneys at Tarrant County based Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC are former state prosecutors. They possess the skill and experience to build the strongest defense on your behalf. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC at (817) 502-3600 for a free initial consultation.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC strongly defend individuals throughout the greater Fort Worth area, including Arlington, Weatherford, Cleburne, and many surrounding communities.