A Closer Look at Self-Defense State Law

Shane Phelps, Bryan based Defense Attorney breaks down State law specifics of self-defense.
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Bryan News 3 looks deeper into self-defense State law after Thursday's report of a local tow truck driver shot a man in self defense, after the man attacked him during the process of repossessing his car. Police said the driver had a concealed hand gun license and shot Pennington in the chest and upper arm in self defense. Pennington was transported to Saint Joseph's hospital Thursday night, where he remained in critical condition Friday.

Since this story aired, News 3 has received numerous comments from viewers and decided to dig a little deeper.

It's common knowledge that repossession is a tool lenders use if payments are not made over time without going to court. But there's a catch. According to Shane Phelps, Bryan based Defense Attorney, the repossession of a vehicle must be done without any kind of threats or violence, known legally as a breach of peace.

"The bottom line is you're allowed to defend yourself against unlawful deadly force by using deadly force," said Phelps.

Phelps said self-dense law regarding these kinds of threats is why everything is on a case by case basis.

"The facts matter; so if it's a big stick versus a little stick, if it's a knife versus a gun, all those things are taken into consideration by a jury," Phelps explained.

Phelps said in self-defense cases, the ultimte question prosecutors examine is if it was reasonable to believe what the person was doing was unlawful deadly force.

So far, police have not filed charges against the M.A.R.S. Wrecker Service employee who shot Pennington. As of Friday evening, Bryan Police were not able to confirm whether or not this specific case will go to grand jury.