‘Stand Your Ground’ law in Oklahoma faces test in car owner’s shooting of fleeing car thief

A man who shot the person who was stealing his car over the Fourth of July weekend has been arrested for murder, putting Oklahoma’s “Stand Your Ground” laws to the test.

The shooting happened off Southwest 59th Street and South Francis Avenue. Officers said the thief was driving away when he was shot.

“There’s a distinction in defending your own life and defending your personal property,” said Tyler Box, founder of Oklahoma City’s Overman Legal Group.

He said it all comes down to the facts of the case when deciding what’s legal in terms of self-defense.

“If you reasonably believe you’re in fear of great bodily injury or death, you can defend your life or the lives of others with deadly force,” he said.

You’re also allowed to protect your property.

“There is also the Stand Your Ground law, which means that if someone is breaking into your home, business or church, there is a presumption that them breaking in, they are there to use deadly force and therefore you can meet that deadly force with your own deadly force,” he said.

However, in this case, Oklahoma City police say Rickie Clark, 35, was driving away from the car’s owner. The car’s owner, William French, fired a shot, killing Clark. Several days later, French was arrested for the murder.

“We know that emotions run high in situations like that and ultimately the answer to that question lies in the district attorney’s office, so there’s a bunch of evidentiary stuff we can’t get into, but he was booked on charges of murder,” Oklahoma City police spokesman Sgt. Dillon Quirk said.

It will be up to the district attorney to determine whether French’s life was in danger when he fired or whether to push forward with a murder charge. Police say investigators are still in the early stages of the investigation and are continuing to dig deeper into the case.

Article Originally Posted on July 8, 2022 on koco.com