If it doesn’t fit, she won’t hit
by Massad Ayoob
Backwoods Home Magazine
So, I’m sitting here in a hotel writing this, less than three hours after getting off the witness stand in a manslaughter case. The defendant was a 5’3″, 130-pound female who was being stalked by her sometimes-abusive estranged husband. It was a “backwoods home” kind of incident: the ex accosted her, with a male relative along (for moral support presumably), when she was trapped on a narrow dirt path on her dad’s rural shooting range. There was no escape: her car was blocked in by his, and he had deflated one of her tires. Things escalated; he punched her, threw her to the ground, and kicked her. She took the beating in a fetal position, curled up to keep him from getting the gun that was tucked center-front inside her waistband. He left her on the ground and strode triumphantly back to his car, snarling “stupid bitch!” over his shoulder as he went. As he reached the car where she feared he had a weapon, he spun to face her, shouted a challenge, and appeared to be about to lunge at her again. At a range both prosecution and defense stipulated to be fifteen and a half feet, she fired from the ground. A .38 Special bullet cut his spinal cord, and he fell. The assault was over.