The District of Columbia does not have “Stand Your Ground” laws. Corey Stoddard certainly wishes they did.
Stoddard, a Washington D.C. tow truck driver, successfully escaped his armed robber but is now being charged with murder for killing the man during the struggle.
Stoddard, 35, was reportedly in his truck lot when the robber approached and demanded his wallet. When Stoddard tried to run away, he tripped and fell. It was only seconds before the robber was upon him with gun drawn.
Stoddard told police that he threw his wallet to distract the robber, Lewis Crouch, 22, reports say that Stoddard threw his wallet to distract the robber and then jumped into his truck. Then he ran the robber down with the vehicle. Crouch died several hours later.
The tow truck driver tried to explain to Metropolitan police he was simply trying to flee a dangerous situation. Police and prosecutors, however, have determined that Stoddard used excessive and unnecessary force to neutralize Crouch and have now charged Stoddard with second-degree murder.
The deceased robber, not unexpectedly, has a long criminal record. His prison portfolio is thick with convictions for carjackings, and he also spent 4 years in a youth facility when he was a teen. Apparently, Crouch was not going to leave his line of work any time soon.
Critics say that the charges are too harsh. Others believe that Stoddard should not be charged at all because he was defending his own life by taking the robber’s.
Despite the fact that the District does not have the kind of self defense laws that you will find in states like Florida and Georgia, a man should have the right to defend himself — especially when criminals stick a gun in your face. Had the gun gone off, it may have been Stoddard would was deceased instead of the career criminal.