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.
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 In the 2015 incident, Williams' bond was revoked after a gun was found when a car he was in was pulled over for a traffic stop.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.
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.