‘Stand your ground’ defense denied for Black man in Georgia

Jesse Murray (Photo Credit: Provided by family spokesperson Nia Walker)
Jesse Murray (Photo Credit: Provided by family spokesperson Nia Walker)

Clayton County, Georgia Judge Albert Collier has denied Jessie Murray the use of stand your ground as a defense in his murder trial. Shockingly, the judge stated that the reason Murray could not use the defense was because he said his gun fired by accident during the struggle with the victim and his three friends.

Murray wanted to defend his ex-wife and mother of his children from a group of drunken White men at a bar. Court documents described Murray as being assaulted by the Nathan Adams, a former police officer, and three of his friends. Despite this threat, the court seems to be saying that Murray should have allowed himself to be beaten first and then used his gun as a last resort. In the decision issued by Judge Albert R. Collier, Clayton County Superior Court, the judge felt that Murray was not in fear of his life when he was attacked by a group of four men. The judge stated that “nor does it appear to this court that the other men in the vicinity were acting in such a way that would cause the defendant to reasonably believe that deadly force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or a third party … The court cannot reconcile the defendants asking for immunity under a self-defense statute, by stating that the use of deadly force was justified, and then also stating that the use of deadly force was unintentional.”


Murray is being represented by the attorney Mawuli Mel Davis of the Davis-Bozemen Law Firm. Attorney Davis issued the following statement to rolling out:

“We respectfully disagree with all of the law cited and most of the facts stated in the Judge’s order.  If being physically assaulted by 3 men is not a grounds for a person to defend themselves by any means necessary, I am unclear what is.  It is our hope our Motion for Reconsideration will be heard.”


Murray is facing up to 15 years in prison for trying to defend his ex-wife.

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