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Judge: No “Stand Your Ground” Defense for Alleged 19 Year Old Shooter

By Ellis Codjoe, August 31, 2017

Judge Lucy Gamon of Iowa’s 8th judicial district has ruled that a man accused of killing a 16 year old Ottumwa teen will not be able to use the state’s new “Stand Your Ground” law to walk free.

Defense Attorney Alfredo Parrish filed the motion last month, asking the “Stand Your Ground” law, which went into effect on July 1st, be applied retroactively to the case against Venhure Tsegay of Ottumwa.

Tsegay is accused of shooting and killing 16 year old Christian Madueno of Ottumwa. Madueno and two other approached Tsegay following an earlier incident where Tsegay allegedly stole a cell phone and marijuana from Madueno. A fight ensued which resulted in the shooting death of Madueno.

In the ruling, Judge Gamon points out that Iowa law applies prospectively, to future cases only, unless the legislature applies the law retrospectively. The Iowa Legislature did not do that in the case of the “Stand Your Ground” law.

“The Iowa Legislature did not specify that the ‘stand your ground’ law was to apply retrospectively. Thus, the Court presumes that the legislature meant the law to apply prospectively only,” Gamon wrote in her ruling filed last week.

The defense also filed a motion asking Judge Gamon to reconsider her position, citing exceptions to Iowa’s presumption laws.

Tsegay’s attorneys had previously filed motions indicating he will use a self defense claim at trial.

He is currently scheduled to appear in court on October 17th for jury selection.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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