WASHINGTON, November 19, 2013 — Matthew Pinkerton shot and killed Kendall Green during an altercation at the formers house on September 15th, 2013. Allegedly, Mr. Green had a relationship to some degree with Mrs. Pinkerton, and when Mr. Pinkerton, a Tech Sergeant in the USAF came home from deployment Mrs. Pinkerton called off the friendship. As one story goes, at 2am there was a knock on the door, Mr. Pinkerton answered it with his Glock, it was Mr. Green. There was a verbal altercation and Mr. Pinkerton closed the door. What happened next has been scrutinized and questioned, Mr. Green allegedly kicked open the door and tried to attack someone in the house. Mr. Pinkerton opened fire hitting him with one shot in the chest, a second shot came and Mr. Green fell backwards dead on the porch where police found him upon their arrival.
Mr. Pinkerton is now under indictment for 2nd degree murder, manslaughter, the use of a firearm in a felony and a number of other charges. The probable cause statement as read by the judge in this case, Judge Jonas Legum, allegedly reads that Mr. Pinkerton should have called 911. Judge Legum’s response to that apparently was, “amazing.”
Currently these documents are unavailable through the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court records system. Which, by the power of “Maryland Rules 16-1001 to 16-1011,” have been kept from being uploaded for public viewing. A visit to http://www.circuitcourt.org/, and a search for case #6A00274406 will get you a play by play of the court proceedings.
In Maryland there are statutes concerning the right to self-defense, however it is also largely based on case-law. Prosecutors and attorneys typically cite legal precedent in addition to statutes in an effort to bolster and legitimize their cases, this of course is the MO for most cases in this country. But in a state legal system so heavily reliant upon legal precedent and existing court decisions the result of this case has far reaching implications.
Considering that the probable cause affidavit reportedly attributes Mr. Pinkerton’s arrest and indictment to his failure to dial 911 which according to the police resulted in the death of Mr. Green, what impact could the result of such a trial be on the foundation of existing case law in Maryland?
There are two major possibilities that could come from this.
If Mr. Pinkerton is acquitted of the charges it could potentially benefit the case of gun rights advocates by providing them with possible ammunition in the fight to repeal Maryland’s recently passed gun laws. An acquittal would allow them to point to a case and argue that the one is not obligated to call the police during a life threatening emergency if doing so would take away from the ability to defend one’s own life and the life of those around them. This could potentially be a stunning victory for those who believe that “when seconds count, the cops are minutes away” and the right to self-defense, especially within the home, is more important than alerting the authorities that you are in danger. This could go a long way in cementing the right to defend yourself within your home, as well as stay the hand of an increasingly “Progressive” and pro-gun hating Maryland government that seems more intent on making sure you pick up the phone and call the police while a dangerous intruder is charging at you and your family.
If Mr. Pinkerton is found guilty it will open Pandora’s Box in Maryland, as if it is not already open in other places. If found guilty on murder charges with a probable cause affidavit reading “did not dial 911” Mr. Pinkerton will be the first of many Marylanders who find themselves hauled before a judge for attempting to protect their families. It will effectively hamstring law abiding, gun owning Marylanders from being afforded the ability to take matters of self-defense and self-preservation into their own hands. What is interesting about this outcome is that the District Appeals Court of DC and Supreme Court and the have already ruled in separate cases that the Police are not Constitutionally bound to protect you (Warren v. DC) and they cannot be held financially liable if they fail to do their jobs (Castle Rock v. Gonzales).
So what does that mean for this case?
It could mean that if Mr. Pinkerton is found guilty, and the verdict is upheld, it will set a precedent that you can be held criminally accountable if you use deadly force without first dialing 911, however in keeping with other previous cases and rulings, the authorities are not legally bound to take action to aid you. So, just check in with the police before you shoot the intruder and you will not be charged, maybe.
In the end, Anne Arundel County should never have brought these charges based upon the probable cause affidavit of a responsibility to call 911. They have opened themselves up to lawsuit if Mr. Pinkerton wins, and they have created the potential for a win in the camp of the pro-gun people in Maryland, which will only spell trouble for the heavily Progressive state. A win for Mr. Pinkerton far outweighs the risks that the Anne Arundel DA takes for attempting to insert this precedent into the ranks of Maryland case law in order to further ingratiate Maryland citizens to the government.
This story should be watched closely, Mr. Pinkerton’s case has the potential to change the face of law enforcement in Maryland and establish case law that says you have to call 911, but 911 does not have to help you when you do.
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