A man of Black and Filipino descent who was killed by his neighbor in a rural Missouri trailer park has been ruled as justifiable in a coroner’s inquest.
Despite the ruling, Justin King’s family disputes the shooter’s version of events, says the inquest process was flawed and that they still haven’t seen all the evidence they were promised.
King was shot on Nov. 3 and died at the scene. The shooter–who hasn’t been publicly identified–claims King was trying to break into his house, using the so-called “castle doctrine” that allows anyone to kill a person if that person invades their home. But King’s body was found outside, not inside the man’s house. The issues with the case go on from there.
From the Daily Beast
On Tuesday, a jury of six Crawford County residents unanimously agreed with the initial police findings, ruling the shooting a justifiable homicide in line with Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law, which holds that residents can use “deadly force” to prevent home invasion and have no obligation to retreat. It is now up to the prosecutor’s office to decide whether or not to file charges or side with the jury.
But many, including King’s family, are questioning whether the jury was provided sufficient evidence to draw that conclusion. The jury, which was handpicked by Crawford County Sheriff Darin Layman, heard testimony from law-enforcement officers and witnesses, and saw a video of investigators questioning the shooter immediately after the killing.
The shooter, who has not been named because he has not been charged, claimed King was high on drugs and broke into his home before breaking several TVs; he admitted to providing King with a joint prior to the shooting, but insisted it was not laced, even though authorities said King had THC and meth in his system at the time of his death.
While police testified that they had corroborated many of the shooter’s claims, surveillance video from the shooter’s trailer, which was described by authorities in their testimony, was not provided for jurors, according to KMOV.
Neighbors in the community who have been interviewed by other media outlets have also disputed the shooter’s telling of events.
The family has been working with the local NAACP to seek justice for their son. No word yet on their next steps or any possible legal action.