Jury Finds Georgia Felon Has Right to Self Defense

Jury Finds Georgia Felon has Right to Self Defense
Jury Finds Georgia Felon has Right to Self Defense

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- – On 5 November, 2014, Demarco M. Williams shot and killed Javarious Walthour. Williams was 26, Walthour was 20. Williams had been convicted of fleeing in 2008, when he was 20. Demarco Williams chose to go to a jury trial rather than plead to a lesser charge.

On August 10th, 2018, the jury found Williams not guilty of murder, criminal damage to property, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.   From augustachronicle.com:

Defense attorney Peter Johnson argued to the jury that Williams shot Walthour in self-defense because he knew Walthour was armed and looking for him. Walthour had already robbed him once that day, Johnson said.

(snip)

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Pennington argued to the jury that it didn’t make sense that Williams would go to the neighborhood where Walthour hung out if he was scared of him. Williams shot Walthour for revenge, Pennington said.

Though the jury acquitted Williams of the main charges, it found him guilty of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He was convicted in 2008 of fleeing. Sentencing was delayed until next week.

The jury found him guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon. It is not clear if the felon in possession charge is from the 2014 shooting or from a separate incident in 2015. In the 2015 incident, Williams' bond was revoked after a gun was found when a car he was in was pulled over for a traffic stop. From wrdw.com:

Williams now faces two new charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and failure to secure a seat belt on a minor.

Williams is accused in connection to a murder back in 2014 in the 1700 block of Cornell Street, according to Richmond County Deputies. He is accused of shooting and killing Javarius Walthour, 20.

His lawyer claimed that Williams was a passenger in the car.

A resurgence in self defense claims has occurred with the rise of legally armed citizens in the United States.  More felons are making self defense claims, and juries are finding some of those claims to be credible.

All people have a right to defend themselves, even convicted felons. The Supreme Court has ruled that felons can be deprived of Constitutional rights  because of their felony convictions. Recent cases have made the argument that felons, at least in non-violent felonies, should have a clear mechanism to have their rights restored.

John Lott has shown that more legal firearm carriers in urban minority areas have a proportionately greater benefit than in areas with lower crime rates. That seems common sense. If there is more crime, there is more crime to be prevented.

People who desire a disarmed population claim that a black man cannot use a firearm in self defense, because they will either be killed by police, or convicted in the courts. DeMarco Williams' case is another data point that contradicts that argument.

There is no indication that Demarco Williams was in the process of having his right to bear arms restored.

It appears that his felony conviction was for a non-violent offense.  He may be a candidate to have his Second Amendment rights restored.


Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

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.

  • 9 thoughts on “Jury Finds Georgia Felon Has Right to Self Defense

    1. Did you know that Twitter, Disqus, and Facebook ALL CENSOR certain conservative firearm and abortion speech? See this: It is worth noting that both Disqus and Fakebook CENSOR any mention of a website, http://www.CodeIsFreeSpeech.com that provides FREE downloads of 3D-printable firearm blueprints. And, since Facebook/Disqus logins are so prevalent for posting commentary across the Internet, they are very effectively suppressing this “Forbidden Knowledge” almost EVERYWHERE. Please go to the website, download some or all 10 of the free blueprints, and then, repost it to your friends and across the Internet, to the extent you can. Strike a BLOW against Fakebook and judicial CENSORSHIP! Support TWO amendments at once, the First and the Second!

    2. If I could go back in Time, I would implore the Founding Fathers to immediately stop all slavery, and to send any slave back home to their freedom. Then, lets word that Second Amendment a bit more clearly, so I don’t have to pay $200 all the time for new toys…..

    3. Frankly, Johhny, there was a great opportunity for a win/win that got away: Scumbag #1 capped Scumbag #2, a win/loss. If both Scumbags had capped each other, thereby sparing the taxpayers of GA of trial, incarceration, and the inevitable continued criminal activity of the survivor Scumbag, that would have been the win/win. A repeat felon, in particular one with a gun violence background, with Second Amendment rights? Really? Hmm…. oxymoron, over here.

      1. All rights should be removed when the word FELON is added to their name or accomplishments. They were tossed aside to become the felon he always wanted to be. The SHOULD have capped each other, that would have been the best senario. Two less fungi/ROIDS on society’s ass !

    4. Our once great Republic started down the rabbit hole of Progressive lunacy early last century. It’s a sad fact of human nature that there are many more lazy and stupid people who will abdicate their God-given natural and Constitutional rights than there are those who prefer “dangerous freedom”. The former play fecklessly into the Politboro hands of those who would deprive us ALL of what it once meant to be an American. In the process, we have condemned our children and grandchildren to perpetual slavery to the State!

      “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery” is a translation of a Latin phrase that Thomas Jefferson used: “Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.” It has also been translated as, “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.” – monticello.org

    5. Why Convicted Felon’s Don’t/Won’t Have to Register Their [Illegal] Firearms
      U.S. Supreme Court’s 1968 Haynes v. U.S. decision:

      Haynes, a convicted felon, was convicted of unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun. He argued that for a convicted felon to register a gun was effectively an announcement to the government that he was breaking the law and that registration violated his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. The court, by an 8 – 1 margin, agreed, concluding:

      “We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm…or for possession of an unregistered firearm.” (Summary from American Rifleman, March 2000, page 20)

      So, when these gun registration schemes are announced, be aware that only lawful gun-owners are required to register their firearms. Unlawful owners are exempted from registration laws due to their constitutional protection against self-incrimination. GOT IT??!! Amazing but true…

      1. Thank you, Charles. I did not know that tidbit. I wonder how many other little known decisions like this are hiding somewhere waiting to be discovered.

        Phil in TX

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