OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — A man in Ozark accused of shooting and killing a man at his apartment complex is claiming the “stand your ground” law as his defense.
Woodrow Barnes is accused of killing Anthony Gray at the Jasmine Hill Apartment complex in Ozark on Jan. 11. A week later, Barnes was released on a $150,000 bond after an Aniah’s Law hearing was held in his case.
“The decedent Mr. Gray came to my client’s home with a weapon, they had a disturbance, and Mr. Gray pulled a weapon on my client and my client subsequently shot him,” said David Harrison, Barnes’ attorney.
Barnes is now claiming the law as his defense. The law states that a person can use deadly or physical force to defend themselves if they fear being in “imminent serious physical harm or death.”
“Classic stand-your-ground defense because number one, my client was in his home,” Harrison said. “Number two, he had a reason to be there and be suspicious of Mr. Gray’s intent because he was in fear for his life when he pulled a weapon on him and intended to shoot him. My client obviously defended himself.”
Barnes now awaits a grand jury hearing, which is scheduled for March. Harrison said that if his client is indicted, he will request a stand your ground hearing.
Over the weekend, friends and family of Gray released balloons into the sky to honor him.
“They say it was self-defense, but I don’t believe in my heart that it was self-defense,” Gray’s friend Lezeric Jeffries said.
“It just doesn’t make no sense. It doesn’t. How self-defense how,” the mother of one of Gray’s children, Searra Allen, said.
Harrison said Gray had a criminal history and should not have been in possession of a gun. According to court records, Gray does have some previous charges in Dale County.
“I feel like if he didn’t have if Mr. Gray didn’t have a gun,” Harrison said. “Against he shouldn’t have had a gun. He was on probation. He was a convicted felon. If he wouldn’t have had a gun this wouldn’t have happened.”