Mistrial Declared in NAU Self Defense Case (Charged as School Shooter)

NAU Shooting Suspect Steven Jones

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- The trial involving the Flagstaff shooting of a mob of drunken fraternity members who attacked an 18 year old pistol owner, is over.

Jones and two of his friends were attacked after midnight on Friday, October 9, 2015. Jones was sucker punched and chased toward his car. He retrieved a pistol and went back to aid his friends who were on the ground.

The shooting occurred in October of 2015.  A mistrial was declared by the judge on 2 May, 2017.

A motion for mistrial by the defense was refused by the trial judge, Dan Slayton. on 27 April.  Slayton previously took the unusual stance of ruling the police video from the scene as “prejudicial”.

In the video, a bloodied and hysterical 18 year old, Steven Jones, tells the police how glad he is that they are there, and that he thought he was going to die.

Then, in the closing arguments, the prosecution claimed that Steven Jones had never claimed self defense until he was at the police station. The defense called for a mistrial over this false assertion. Judge Slayton ruled that a transcript of some of Jones statements in the video would be allowed to be shown to the jury, to offset the bad information put forward by the prosecution.

Two days later, the Judge declared a mistrial due to a hung jury.

To watch the video, click here.

Here is the officer body camera video taken at the scene, minutes after the shooting.

From 12news.com:

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The judge in the Steven Jones NAU shooting trial has ruled for a mistrial. The jury could not come to a consensus.

The jury in the trial of Steven Jones, the NAU shooter, told Judge Dan Slayton that it could not reach a consensus of guilty or not guilty in the case.The retrial is set begin Aug. 1, according to Judge Slayton, but he acknowledged that is likely to change. Attorney James Goodnow said a plea deal could be in play for this case, and the prosecution may consider seeking a conviction on lesser charges than first-degree murder.

It should be noted that the Fraternity group that attacked Steven Jones and his friends were all drunk at multiple levels above the legal definition of .09. Brough (the man shot and killed only two feet from the muzzle of Jones pistol) had about three times the legal limit (.285 of alcohol). He also had a history of drug use, and traces of other drugs in his system. From azcentral.com:

Colin Brough, who was killed, had a blood alcohol content of 0.285, which is 3½ times the legal limit. He tested positive as well for marijuana and a Valium-like drug called alprazolam.

In court filings, experts for both sides cited studies that suggest alcohol can loosen inhibitions and lead to violent behavior, and that alprazolam can enhance the effect of alcohol. However, they disagreed as to how Brough might have reacted to the combination of substances.

Steven Jones was sober, with no traces of alcohol or drugs.

Immediately after the shooting, Steven Jones yelled to his friends to call 911.

So what happened the the man who started all the violence by sucker punching Jones in the face? He confessed to the deed. No charges have been filed against him.

From azcentral.com:

Contreras ran up and punched one of the group in the face, scattering the group onto campus.

“I was drunk, acting stupid,” Contreras told the jury.

Contreras heard shots and saw his friend, Brough, bleeding on the ground. He froze, then turned and ran home.

There is a clear political component of the prosecution and trial. The shooting was originally billed as another mass school shooting, with the “victims” lionized. The facts disclosed later, which bolstered the self defense claim of Jones, did not receive near the publicity. If Jones were found to be justified, it removes a reason to oppose Campus Carry.

From 12news.com:

After the mistrial was announced, Colin Brough's father Doug released the following statement to 12 News:

Guns should not be allowed on campus. Justice will be served.

As an additional affront to the educational establishment, Steven Jones was home schooled. From azcentral.com:

12 News reported that Jones was home-schooled when he graduated, and his profile in a high-school graduation-ceremony program for Arizona Families for Home Education lists competitive pistol shooting among his interests:

Arizona law has traditionally required that once a self-defense claim is made, prosecutors must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the action was *not justifiable*. From 1997 to 2006, the law was changed to an “affirmative defense” where a person claiming self defense had to prove that they acted reasonably, instead of the other way around. The Harold Fish case happened during that period.  Fish was prosecuted by the same prosecution office that is prosecuting Steven Jones.

Because of the abuse of the law in the Harold Fish case, the law was reversed to the pre 1997 standard in 2006. The Harold Fish conviction was reversed by the Arizona Supreme Court.

It is understood that one punch can be deadly, and that multiple attackers can qualify as disparity of force.  An attempt to disarm someone can qualify as a deadly threat. These defenses are complicated in the Steven Jones NAU case because the original attacker ran off while his friends continued the attack. Jones had and was using a tactical light on his Glock pistol.  While there is testimony that he announced that he was armed, the light may have obscured the view of his handgun.

Steven Jones Pistol

The judge, Dan Slayton, has stated that Jones will now face a new trial, starting August 1, 2017. The new trial may be on reduced charges of 2nd degree homicide or manslaughter. The first trial was for premeditated murder.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

 

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 26 thoughts on “Mistrial Declared in NAU Self Defense Case (Charged as School Shooter)

    1. Why aren’t we rioting!….. Oh wait….. I had a BLM/Antifa moment….. Sorry. Seriously, this kid is probably crapping himself, I feel bad for him. Judge is just trying to make an example out of him. He’d be better off at large……. that’s probably what I would do…….. with my shield or on it…… just saying.

    2. Lots of misinformation flying around here!
      1. When Jones was sucker punched his glasses were knocked off his face, he couldn’t see to drive away.
      2. Jones only had the FOB to unlock his car not to start the car. He could not drive away.
      Google is simple to use.

    3. Hey curt maybe he should of just tried to hug his & his friends way out of a violent beating? Glad you are not my friend or guardian. who could possibly one day be put in situation where my life depended on your actions or more likely lack there of. Choose to be a sheep in a land of wolves. You are whats wrong with America now days.

    4. The Jones kid may have overreacted once he was hit in the face but he was sober and when you’re violently hit in the face its likely his adrenaline took over . When you’ve got a group of violent individuals who are attacking sober individuals just walking down the road and the attackers are extremely intoxicated trying to do bodily harm….. looks like self-defense. When someone’s trying to attack you for no reason, you don’t worry about where you’re trying to shoot them you’re just trying to get them to stop and save your own life if you feel that your life is in danger. In this case it seems to be plausible due to the level of intoxication of the attackers and if the attack was unprovoked that self-defense could be argued and won with the right judge and jury.

        1. Did you happen to read the rest of my comment???? I am an NRA member, 15 year CCW permit, red blooded America that has a 9 MM Glock on my right hip as I am writing this remark.

          I was not there that night…….were you???? Let’s just say they were all rolling around, standing, etc., I bet the first shot or two stopped some of the assaulting and how did he keep from shooing his friends by accident. I go to the range once a week and they said the boy he killed was shot basically at point blank range. I am all for self defense…..hence the gun on my hip. READ MY WHOLE COMMENT!!!!!!!
          If someone breaks in your house you can’t shoot the guy if he is out of the house running way ,etc.
          WE NEED ALL THE FACTS……MR. SHOOT THEM ALL!!!!!!! LOVE PRISON JOE????

      1. The time he took to make the trip to his car and retrieve his weapon, then return to the scene to rescue his friends, was plenty of time for the adrenailine dump to wear off. I imagine he was pretty well collected by the time he returned to help his friends.

        Maybe a retrial would be in order… but THIS judge needs to be replaced. If he won’t recuse himself for the retrial, defense need to demand a change of venue. N WAY can they get a fair trial in THAT court, Different judge, different prosecutor. Oh, and the DA who lied? HE needs to be dealw with, harshly. As in, disbarred. Now, no more meal ticket. Trying to sell this kid down the river is NOT his job.

    5. This is the nightmare of anyone that chooses self-defense or defense of others (as was this case), with or without a weapon. I can’t understand the rationale of the prosecutor to further victimize the victim of an assault. Does the prosecutor really believe those victims of this assault by a drunken/drugged gang were better off being beaten, possibly to death, than by being saved by the man that retrieved a gun and saved his friends?

    6. The judge ” . . . took the unusual stance of ruling the police video from the scene as “prejudicial”.”

      Prejudicial – to what? The prosecution’s case?

      Police videos have been routinely used for everything from minor traffic offenses to the 9/11 attacks. Yet this corrupt nitwit of a judge blocks the jury from seeing or hearing it, and doesn’t cite the prosecutor for flat out LYING in court? He really, REALLY needs to be made a FORMER judge who isn’t allowed to practice law in ANY capacity.

      1. I guess that’s the kind of friends you have? Maybe you missed the point were he went back to help his friends who were on the ground.

        1. Progressives don’t care. They are indoctrinated to think only about their own needs, run away, and leave their ‘friends’ to die. And, say it with me now: “Facts don’t matter. Only the narrative matters.”

            1. Lava, yes, pathetic. I would expect that from Gil and TS, but from humans? He must have similar DNA to them. I’m not sure if it is plant, bacteria, or fungi related; although TS implied he is a plant-based lifeform. I’m not sure about Gil. I believe he is probably more closely related to an amoeba, than to a plant. Plants are higher organisms.

      2. Reading is essential. He had two friends down on the ground still being pummeled by a group of drunken and drug influenced aggressors.

      3. Evidently ammoland thought my response to your BS was too harsh. So I will try again. I can only hope people like you end up in the same position as this poor kid.

      4. Clearly, you have never served in the military. Yes, he probably COULD have just driven away, leaving his friends lying on the ground at the mercy of a violent mob. That would have been dishonorable of course, and he seems to be an honorable kid. But then the cowards among us don’t understand the concept of “Honor” or honorable behavior. Cowards don’t see any point in endangering themselves for the benefit of others – that kind of altruism lies only within the province of heroes. I expect you, the DA, and Judge Slayton, would probably get along just fine, “birds of a feather” as it were. If I ever have to face potentially lethal violence again, I can only hope it will be with honorable people like Mr. Jones at my back, rather than weasels like you and the Judge and DA in this case.

        1. “the cowards don’t understand the concept of honor”
          neither does Brough’s father. He should be ashamed. Does he say “people shouldn’t use drugs”? Nope. They should be free to roam and prey on someone in a drugged haze.

    7. This will never end for this kid unless he comes in front of a non-activist judge who sees the apparent agenda and mishandling of evidence by the prosecution.

    8. I guess the Gov’t expects people being viciously attacked to do nothing and just become yet another victim…come on, that is garbage!

    9. From what I hear, those spoiled, clown, Frat fags got what they had a coming period! And now to turn around and charge this victim again is just ridiculous. Things in this country are very disappointing.

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