October 28, 2007
“Stand Your Ground” Law in Oklahoma, Upheld
By The Associated Press
10/27/2007 1:34 PM
LAWTON — A state prosecutor cited Oklahoma’s “Stand Your Ground” law in announcing that no charges would be filed against a man who shot and killed a teen who appeared to be a burglar.
Comanche County District Attorney Robert Schulte said he plans to take no action against Jeffrey David Dorrell, 40, who shot and killed Frederick Stuever, 17.
Dorrell arrived at his father’s home Tuesday afternoon to find Stuever leaving the home with the family’s property. The back door had been kicked in, and officials believe the teen was attempting to take things from the home.
Items belonging to the homeowner were later found in Stuever’s vehicle, police said.
Dorrell, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, held Stuever at gunpoint while he called the police.
While on the phone with dispatchers, Dorrell ordered Stuever to lay on the ground until the police could come. When Stuever would not comply, Dorrell fired five shots in his direction, but did not hit Stuever.
Dorrell told police that he shot Stuever when the teen charged at him. Stuever died at the scene.
Schulte said under the “Stand Your Ground” law that went into effect on Nov. 1, 2006, Dorrell was within his rights under the law.
The law broadened self-defense rights by removing the requirement that a person who is attacked has a “duty to retreat” before turning to deadly force.
It specifies that people can use deadly force if they believe they are in danger in any place they have a legal right to be. It provides immunity from criminal charges and civil liability.
Three other people, unrelated to Stuever or Dorrell, witnessed the shooting and backed up Dorrell’s account, Schulte said.