Woman pleads guilty to killing alleged rapist, says it was lesser of two evils

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STEVENSON, AL – A mother of four recently plead guilty to killing the man who she claims had raped her in 2018.  The woman, Brittany Smith, said pleading guilty was the lesser of two evils, because she will spend less time in jail than if she were convicted, and her family does not have to go through the drama.

Brittany agreed to the plea deal which was approved recently by a judge.  In the terms of the agreement, Brittany was sentenced to a suspended 20-year sentence.  Meaning, she will serve a minimum of 18 months in prison, 18 months on house arrest, and the remainder of the sentence, 18.5 years, on probation.

Brittany told Al.com:

“I’m really disappointed with having to take a plea deal.  I’m not a murderer, but when it’s the lesser of two evils, what can you do?”

Brittany testified at the Stand Your Ground hearing that Todd had raped and choked her hours before she shot him in self-defense of her brother.  Evidence from the sexual assault kit was admitted which showed that there were over 30 injuries to her body, allegedly caused by Todd. 

These injuries were to Brittany’s breast, legs, feet, arms and neck.  There were handprint marks around her neck, as well as finger shaped marks on her inner thighs and bite marks on her neck and chin.

Brittany alleged that after she was attacked and raped by Todd, he wanted to get cigarettes from a nearby convenience store.  Brittany called her brother, Chris McCallie, to give them a ride, as she seemingly could not get away from Todd any other way.

Once at the store, Brittany told the clerk there that she had been raped, and that Todd was responsible.  She alleged that she wrote Todd’s name down on a piece of paper that McCallie eventually saw.

Brittany alleged that McCallie confronted Todd about the rape, and they got into a physical confrontation.  Todd grabbed hold of McCallie and allegedly put him in a chokehold.  Fearing that her brother was going to die at the hands of Todd, Brittany alleges that she fired the gun, killing Todd.

Despite testimony during the hearing, the prosecutors did not believe that Brittany had presented enough justification in her shooting and killing of Todd.  The judge in the case sided with prosecutors and denied her motion at immunity.

Brittany, after her loss in the Stand Your Ground hearing, decided to take the plea deal when her attorneys told her that they could not guarantee that she would win in court. 

Brittany claims her attorneys told her that the trial would not be fair, so she opted for the plea deal. 

She said:

“They knew that it wasn’t going to be fair here either.  So I just took the lesser of the options I had.”

Now, Brittany said that she understands the difficulty that she faces moving forward, but is satisfied that things are moving forward, and she will eventually be able to live her life. 

She said:

“It’s going to be really hard for me to get a job and get my kids back.  I know that my family will let me visit my kids but as far as them coming home to mommy, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

“I’m relieved that my kids and my family can just kind of move forward, and I’m relieved that I can move forward.  But it’s still really hard…

“This is gonna be in my past soon.  It’s gonna be behind me  It’s a good feeling.  After the rough waters, smooth sailing.”

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Man who shot person attacking him cleared on self-defense. Months later, prosecutors are charging him.

September 17, 2020

OMAHA, NE – Months after a shooting was deemed to be in self-defense by prosecutors over in Omaha, the tune has now suddenly changed and a man is facing charges for shooting a 22-year-old man who reportedly attacked him.

On May 30th, numerous towns were being ravaged by the likes of Black Lives Matter and other protesters and rioters. Even cities like Omaha weren’t immune from the chaos and destruction.

During riots that took place in Omaha on May 30th, 38-year-old Jacob Gardner was attacked by the now-deceased James Scurlock. Gardner was reportedly outside of the bar he owned and his father was getting assaulted by a group of rioters.

Gardner had intervened, not physically though, but just to render aid to his father that was attacked. Video evidence that was gathered from surveillance footage even showed the aforementioned as well.

Apparently the riotous group had gotten further agitated, and Gardner fired of two warning shots in the air in an effort to ward off the attackers. However, that’s when Scurlock attacked Gardner and was on top of his back while he was grounded and was choking Gardner.

Gardner then used the firearm to shoot Scurlock once in the clavicle, which resulted in Scurlock dying.

When the Douglas County Attorney’s Office reviewed the shooting and video evidence in June, they’d determined that this was a case of self-defense.

County Attorney Don Kleine made said announcement back in June as well, saying the following:

“There was a consensus… that the actions of the shooter were justified. There wasn’t any big disagreement about what happened here.”

At the time, Kleine further added:

“Mr. Gardner, as we know now, has said, ‘I did what I did to defend myself,’ and we find that we can’t disprove that from the evidence that we have.”

And then, something happened along the way to get some “special prosecutor” involved in the case. Special prosecutor Fred Franklin decided to present the case before a grand jury, which returned four felony charges that included manslaughter, attempted first-degree assault, making terroristic threats and weapons use.

So, what changed exactly?

Well, Franklin is being tight-lipped about that specific evidence that he thinks makes for a good case, only saying “there is evidence that undermines” self-defense and “that evidence comes primarily from Jake Gardner himself.”

So, while Franklin won’t explain what evidence he exactly has to prove manslaughter, he did dive into what constituted the three other charges. When it comes to the charge of terroristic threats, Franklin stated:

“Jake Gardner was threatening the use of deadly force in the absence of being threatened with … deadly force by James Scurlock or anyone who was associated with him.”

With the attempted first-degree assault charges, Franklin says that the grand jury decided that the warning shots fired constituted the attempted assault charge. However, it’s unclear who the person was that could claim to be said victim in that instance.

As for the weapons use charge, Franklin is alleging that somehow Gardner was the initial aggressor in the entire scenario and that by doing so can not only nullify self-defense claims but also make the actions involving the weapon a separate charge.

All in all, Gardner could face up to 95 years in prison.

Now what’s interesting is that Franklin investigators on the case were said to have interviewed 60 witnesses. Keep in mind that if there were 60 witnesses (which is possible) then they’d either have to be combination of bar patrons, bystanders that just happened to be strolling along – or other rioters/protesters.

I’m sure that there couldn’t be any possible bias with one of the mentioned categories of witnesses.

 

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