by Marty Hayes, J.D.
I want to wish all of our members a belated Merry Christmas, and if you are not Christian, then Happy Holidays, and for everyone, Happy New Year!
So far, I have had a pretty relaxing holiday break, but it looks like things are going to be picking up for me soon. I got a call yesterday from Network Advisory Board Member Massad Ayoob, who was calling to let me know he gave me up to an attorney who was looking for an expert on a homicide case. I haven’t had any cases for most of this year, and it has been nice. But when people are charged with murder and they have a plausible case of justifiable homicide in self defense, it is hard to turn them away. I haven’t seen discovery yet, so at the moment, I am not sure how much I will get involved.
Which brings me to the lead article in this eJournal, my interview about the Spencer Newcomer case. When an expert takes a case and works with the attorney to help put together the defense, then testifies in court and the person is acquitted (and gets their life back) it is a pretty warm and fuzzy feeling.
While we actually worked on this project several years ago, and then flew to York, PA to interview attorney Chris Ferro and Spencer, we have now just gotten it in a form that we can bring to our members. We were going to produce it in DVD form, but there was a myriad of production quality complications. In any event, by reducing it to the written word and sprinkling in different photographs from the case file to give you an idea of the case facts, we think it will be one of our better educational endeavors. Since that story was first up in this journal, you have probably already read it, but let me give you the consumer’s guide on how to get the most out of this multi-part series.
First, understand that this level of education is pretty rare in our world. The Anatomy of a Self-Defense Shooting is not another tired treatise giving advice about what to do after a shooting. Instead, it is a direct look into a self-defense shooting, first from the defender’s perspective, then from the attorney and expert who worked the case, and lastly a look at the issues surrounding the emotional and legal aftermath of being accused of first-degree murder, and then being acquitted. We also expect to bring in some of the trial arguments and trial testimony via court records, to give a very in-depth look into the whole process. I expect to take several editions of the eJournal to tell the whole story.
Using the Emergency Number on Your Membership Card
Recently, I have received several calls during business hours on the emergency phone number. For the most part, these calls should have been directed to the business line, as most were general questions, primarily centered around renewing the caller’s membership. While I do not mind talking to members, I many times do not have my cell phone with me during the day, because all calls to the Network during normal business hours need to go to the 360-978-5200 number. The emergency number is only for nights and weekends, and only then for seeking assistance after a self-defense incident.
Now, having said the foregoing, if you do use ANY force in self defense, PLEASE call as soon as practical after the incident. Recently, a couple of members have delayed calling, because they are not sure if they should call or not. I would rather take the few minutes to discuss the circumstances and explore if you have an attorney or need one, so we know what you need to do next, as opposed to you not obtaining legal representation, and then a few days later finding out you’re a suspect in a crime.
SHOT Show 2019
I am tentatively planning to attend the big gun industry convention, the Shooting Hunting & Outdoors Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas January 22-25, although probably for only a couple of days. We have moved our advisory board meeting to coincide with the NRA Annual Meeting, so there is no compelling need for the Network to be at SHOT Show. On the other hand, it is always a good time for meeting up with our friends in the industry, and if I make it this year, I hope to see many of you there. I will be the tall guy walking around with the glazed look on my face, and likely muttering to myself. If you see me, please stop me and say hi.
That’s all the news I can report at the moment. We have some big things planned for 2019, but I have to play Secret Sam for a little while longer, okay?
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.