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Poll: Was It Self-Defense?

The justice system says Kennesaw's John McNeil committed murder in 2005; the NAACP says he was protecting his home and family.

John McNeil fatally shot Brian Epp outside McNeil's Kennesaw home in 2005; on that, all agree.

McNeil was convicted of felony murder in 2006 and sent to prison for life, and the conviction has withstood appeal through the Georgia Supreme Court. Here's that court ruling and the dissent from Justice Leah Ward Sears.

But the NAACP says McNeil acted in self-defense, and it at the Wednesday to make that point.

What do you think?

Marley October 02, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Mrs. Lyon, since you like to cite things, why don't you take a look at the writ of habeas corpus which states that McNeil was backing up as Epp advanced, knowing that McNeil had already fired a warning shot on HIS PROPERTY. Would you be ok if this was a trial for your life and the victim's prior felony convictions weren't introduced, or the fact that he had drugs in his car at the time he advanced on you. It's a father's life. Epp's wife introduced the fact that Epp was a good man, leaving open the ability to challenge it and impeach her.
Marley October 02, 2012 at 03:10 AM
If you're really interested in this, take a look at this habeas corpus transcript http://naacp.3cdn.net/ee68c260a7ab9986a7_4ym6b8rxt.pdf
Mrs Lyon October 02, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Marley, at the point McNeil arrived home, everyone was physically safe. Epp was in the neighbor's drive way leaned up against his vehicle. It could have stayed that way had McNeil went straight into his home till the police arrived. Instead, McNeil loaded a gun, approached and engaged Epp, fueling an already unsteady situation, and thus acting out what he stated to 911 that he intended to do.
Marley October 02, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Mrs. Lyon, McNeil arrived home and had no idea of the situation. Put yourself in his place. Epp intimidated his family for months. Yes, he was in the neighbors yard leaning against the car, but he was leaning against it and looking/waiting for McNeil. You would remain calm and cool-headed if someone pulled a knife on your child? The fact that he was in the neighbor's yard is irrelevant since Epp was not even speaking with the neighbor. HE WAS WAITING FOR MCNEIL. Consider your state of mind. Epp should never have been on their property; there was already issues; "but for" Epp trespassing and pulling a knife on the son, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED. Imagine a man had been intimidating your family; he had a knife and was not afraid to use it; Epp brought the gun to the argument. He did not immediately shoot. It was not until after he fired a warning shot and Epp continued to advance on McNeil's property that McNeil shot him. I do not believe that McNeil intended to kill Epp. If that were the case he would have shot him immediately.
Marley October 03, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Mr. Giddens, I don't believe this was about race, but I think McNeil should never have been convicted. Read the transcripts. Yes, the NAACP is involved, but it doesn't appear that they are stating racism, in fact the verdict was overturned because of some procedural errors. Their brief says nothing about race that I saw. The media is perhaps turning this into a racial issue, but take that out and read the facts. It was self defense. Now, I will play the gender card...what if McNeil was a woman and she raced home to protect her son after their builder, who had been intimidating and aggressive for months, pulled a knife. She pulls out her gun because she knows the man has a knife and while she asks him to leave, he instead advances at her. She fires a warning shot and he still pursues her. Then she shoots, would we have seen that more easily as self defense because it was a woman...just something to think about.


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