Legal expert weighs in on KY self defense rights - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Legal expert weighs in on KY self defense rights

Brandon York (Source: McCracken Co. Sheriff's Department) Brandon York (Source: McCracken Co. Sheriff's Department)
Jeff Conrad (Source: McCracken County Sheriff's Department) Jeff Conrad (Source: McCracken County Sheriff's Department)
MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - A recent story out of Reidland, Kentucky where a man told deputies he shot and killed a man that was allegedly stealing from his storage unit has raised questions about what rights a person has to defend themselves.

Jeffrey Conrad, 49, is being held at the McCracken County, Ky. jail on a $500,000 bond for one charge of capital murder for allegedly shooting Garlon Cox, 30, that was stealing from Conrad's Reidland, Ky. storage unit, according to the McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden.

A 36-year-old man with Cox, Brandon York, was arrested and charged with burglary among several other charges.

A special 12-person grand jury was convened June 9 that reviewed evidence from McCracken County Sheriff's detectives that found Conrad fired rounds from his .45 caliber pistol at Cox as he was attempting to flea with Conrad's belongings, according to Hayden.

The grand jury indicted Conrad and charged him with one count of capital murder, Hayden said.

Andrew Coiner, a Paducah, Ky. defense lawyer with more than 30 years of experience helped explain the legal rights a person has to self defense in Kentucky.

Coiner said that Kentucky is one of several states where a person does not have the duty to retreat if being unlawfully attacked.

Coiner said you can use force to defend yourself from an attacker when in places and situations that you are legally allowed to be.

"Where you're lawfully supposed to be doing what your lawfully supposed to do," Coiner said. "You can defend yourself and you can defend another."

However, Coiner's examination of state self defense laws did find that in situations other than someone forcibly entering your home or vehicle, physical force is allowable but not always deadly physical force.

Coiner said there are specific situations when a person can escalate the use of defensive physical force to defensive deadly physical force.

"If someone is forcibly breaking into your house, forcibly attempting to rob you, forcibly attempting to rape you, and or has a weapon and they're assaulting you. You escalate the use of physical force into deadly physical force," Coiner said.

Coiner would like to remind folks that self defense laws vary from state to state.

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