OAKLEY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man who was scheduled to go to trial this week for shooting a former employee has been granted immunity from liability under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.
David Collins of Oakley could have faced prison time if found guilty of aggravated battery in the March 5, 2013, shooting of Desmond Bowles. Chief Judge Glenn Schiffner's ruling Thursday caused the case to be dropped.
Bowles was a former employee of the Collins farm and ranch and had been told to stay off the Collins property. Court documents show Bowles went to the home David Collins' father, where David Collins confronted him.
Collins says he pulled his gun and it went off during a scuffle. Bowles survived but lost sight in his left eye. Collins attorney, Billy Rork, told KAKE News, "My client was extremely pleased the court was able to fashion this decision prior to a jury trial, while he was ready to go to a trial and defend himself."
Wichita defense attorney Dan Monnat said the Kansas law is meant to allow people to defend themselves. "Kansas Law permits a person to use such force against another as the person believes is reasonably necessary to defend such person or third persons against the other's immediate threat of unlawful force", Monnat said. He added, "under Kansas law a person has no duty to retreat as long as that person is defending a dwelling, an occupied vehicle or a place of business."
As for Collins, attorney Billy Rork said the Logan County District Attorney has 10 days to appeal the judge's ruling. Otherwise Collins is in the clear.