Archive for Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Northwestern Kansas battery charge dropped under Stand Your Ground law

May 13, 2014


— A northwest Kansas man who shot a former employee last summer won't have to go to trial on an aggravated battery charge after a judge granted him immunity under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

The trial for David Collins of Oakley was scheduled to start Monday, but Thomas County Chief Judge Glenn Schiffner granted him immunity from civil or criminal liability late last week. That caused the case to be dropped.

Oakley's attorney, Billy Rork, said the ruling might be groundbreaking in Kansas.

"I don't know of another case that's been granted," he told The Salina Journal.

The case stemmed from a confrontation on March 5, 2013, in which Oakley resident Desmond Bowles went to the home of Collins' father, Phillip Collins, even though he had been told to stay away from the property, Rork said.

Bowles, a former employee of the family's farm and ranch, "consumed multiple alcoholic beverages" and drove a three-wheeler to Phillip Collins' home, according to court records.

"There had been problems with him before, and he was told not to come onto the property," Rork said.

David Collins approached in a pickup truck and got into an argument with Bowles, who reached through the driver's side window, a court document shows.

"Collins pushed him away and grabbed his gun to scare Bowles. During the altercation, the gun went off," the document states.

A bullet from the .22-caliber handgun entered Bowles' left eye and exited through his left ear, costing him sight in his left eye, Rork said.

Bowles argued that Collins shot him from several feet away, but a defense expert testified the shooting was from 12 inches or less based on evidence of gun powder and other residue on Bowles' sunglasses.

"The firearm was one to two inches away," Rork said. "The judge found the victim's story wasn't believable."


Scott Quenette 4 years, 1 month ago

So, shoot the person instead of driving a safe distance away? Makes sense.

Brock Masters 4 years, 1 month ago

People shouldn't come to a persons home and attack them. Might make sense to drive away, but sometimes you just have to stand your ground.

Scott Quenette 4 years, 1 month ago

You rarely have to stand your ground. Only if you really want to shoot someone will this law give you cover but we live in the conservative yeehaw land of bloodlust so I guess due process is for suckers.

Bob Smith 4 years, 1 month ago

The lesson would seem to be don't get Ted Kennedy-level drunk and be grabbing people through car windows.

Derek Espinosa 4 years, 1 month ago

One could also say don't get George W. Bush level drunk.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 1 month ago

Are you one of these individuals that justifies bad behavior by pointing to another person's bad behavior? He did it therefore I can? You do realize that two wrongs don't make a right? And as Rex replied, Ted Kennedy's drunkenness resulted in a death. W. only got a DUI.

Rex Hargis 4 years, 1 month ago

No, ted's the one that killed somebody while drunk.

And, if you get drunk and attack somebody, they might defend themselves and hurt you.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

The driver could have driven away in the pick up truck and called the sheriff or local police. It seems to me law enforcement should have been called in the first place rather than become involved in an altercation. After all a restraining order had been issued which allows for arresting the individual.

The intruder apparently was not armed. This "stand your ground " piece will be subject to some questionable interpretations I say.

Scott Quenette 4 years, 1 month ago

It's basically a license to shoot anyone that makes you mad. Just claim you felt threatened. Guns turn everyone into John Wayne.

Bob Smith 4 years, 1 month ago

We may not all have the impulse control issues you seem to have.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 1 month ago

Easy for you to say, Richard. Have you ever been out around Oakley and the rural areas therein? It doesn't necessarily have the response time that our local Sheriff's dept. might have. No, the moral here is don't get drunk and drive someplace where you don't belong and start an altercation. Another lesson is don't try to reach through the window of a vehicle to try to disarm someone. You might get shot for your trouble.

Jock Navels 4 years, 1 month ago

don't go onto someone else's property and threaten polite or send a text message...there is no longer a duty to retreat.

Bob Smith 4 years, 1 month ago

Remember how, before concealed carry was legal in Kansas, some people were predicting frequent OK Corral shootouts between permit holders over parking spaces and other niggling reasons? Didn't really happen, did it?

James Howlette 4 years, 1 month ago

Just over cell phones in movie theaters. No biggie.

James Howlette 4 years, 1 month ago

I doubt he would have been convicted without stand your ground, given the facts described by the article. It now just doesn't even go to trial.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.