Charges Dropped Against Paul Lathrop – His Story

By Rob Morse

Paul Lathrop
Paul Lathrop
Slow Facts
Slow Facts

Louisiana- (–  Paul Lathrop was arrested last February of 2016.

Paul was accused of brandishing a firearm and making terroristic threats at a Nebraska truck stop. All charges were dropped earlier this week. Thank you to the many friends who helped fund Paul's defense. Here is what we all can learn.

Paul Lathrop is my friend.  He drives a truck for a living.  Paul was instructing a student driver when this happened.  The student was behind the wheel as they moved through a truck stop.  An irate driver who was parked in the lot climbed onto Paul’s truck to yell at Paul’s student.  Paul diffused the situation rather than call 911.

That was an expensive mistake, though no one knew it at the time.

It was a mistake because the irate driver later called police and claimed that Paul threatened him and “waved a silver glock revolver out the window of the truck”.  The irate driver won the race to the phone.  The police therefore considered the irate driver to be the victim.  Security video showed otherwise.  The testimony of Paul and his student matched the video and indicated otherwise.  The police only dropped the charges after Paul spent tens of thousands of dollars hiring a lawyer and repeated trips out of state to work through our legal system.  Paul's lawyer had the truck stop video to exonerate Paul.  Here is the important lesson.

The prosecuting attorney in Nebraska would have happily prosecuted and convicted an innocent man of firearms charges.  The only way that justice was done was because a few hundred of us helped Paul pay for his defense.  You only get the justice you pay for.

Thank you to the many people who supported Paul.  We all need to have 20 to 30 thousand dollars sitting in the bank to pay for our defense or we will get abused by a prosecutor.  If you don’t have those assets, then you should buy “insurance” plans that will pay for your bail and your legal defense.  It is important that you choose a plan that will pay for your defense rather than reimburse you after your trial.  The point being that you’ll have to come up with the $20k out of your own pocket before you would be reimbursed.

I am begging you.  Please learn from other peoples’ experience since you probably can’t afford this lesson.  Thank you to the Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network for helping Paul.  The Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network did everything they could to help.  They could not write a check because Paul was not a member at the time of the incident.  Paul is a member now.

Here are the lessons in brief-

  • Win the race to the 911 phone call.
  • Have self-defense “insurance”.
  • Don't expect “justice” from our legal system.

There is more to learn.  Here are the podcasts where Paul described the incident, his arrest, his imprisonment, and his defense.

I will link to other interviews as they are released.

Rob Morse: Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. He is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

  • 19 thoughts on “Charges Dropped Against Paul Lathrop – His Story

    1. Sue the state to get the money back and force the police to file charges on the other driver for making false charges!! POS PA needs to be recalled and disbarred too.

    2. seems to me the prosecutor should be reimbursing Mr Lathrop. If pursuing frivolous litigation is the goal in all this than there is truly no justice because nobody works for free. Presumption of innocence will not exist and when a suspect is “mirandised” that will be changed to “if you do not have a lawyer you are presumed indigent and jailed”

    3. Ok if the regular person needs or should have this type of insurance, well tell where to find it and how to procure it with a rate that a senior on a fixed income can afford. I love my guns and enjoy shooting every chance I get. I am a legal carry person and carry most every day. So for my benefit and I bet many others who like me do not know any thing about this type of insurance tell us what we need to know to get it at reasonable costs.

      1. There is a link to The Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network in the article. There are several you can find by a Google search. Compare, compare, compare, as not all are the same on coverage & price.
        Don’t be pressured by the ads for them. It is a good idea to have it but it’s one of those “what if” things in life. Some are a low cost wise, as $13 p/month, so it is cheaper than not having it, if you need it. Just be diligent in the cost/coverage aspect. Hope this helps.

    4. It’s kind of deceptive to say Mr Lathrop “diffused” the situation. He admitted to verbally threatening the other driver with a gun; he just didn’t actually brandish it, as the other driver claimed. Making the threat of deadly force when it was neither justified nor reasonable was at the root of Mr. Lathrop’s problems, more so than an antigun prosecutor or cops.

    5. The police will not prosecute the plaintiff. That is up to you if you want to file a civil lawsuit. Lawyers would not take the defamation and false witness lawsuits on contingency. That means you get to pay your lawyer another $15 thousand in hopes of recovering the now 30 thousand dollars you spent on lawyers. Do YOU have that much money to lose?

      1. Whoa, back up just a moment. Exactly why won’t police prosecute for filing a false report and lying to a police officer? In almost every jurisdiction in the country that’s a violation of the law. If the prosecutor refuses to charge the plaintiff an interesting ploy would be to ask the court to issue a writ of mandamus commanding the prosecutor to right the wrong and do their job, in this case prosecute the plaintiff for filing a false report. Not likely to succeed but could get nice air and print time and embarrass the prosecutor.

    6. He should get all the money back and the other scumbag should have to pay it and go to prison and loose his truck lic forever… then loose his house in a lawsuit….. and take out an newspaper ad in his town telling the exploits of this scumbag……

      1. AFAIK all states have some sort of law about filing a false police report.
        What concerns me more is that the alleged gun waved was a “silver Glock revolver” – responding officers should have red flagged that report. And of course the persecutor I mean prosecutor should have realized this was a bogus report, especially after reviewing the video footage. Sounds to me like he thought he had a slam dunk case. Or else he didn’t think someone from out of state would contest the charges.
        Regardless, the advice about having some sort of gun insurance is the biggest lesson here.

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