An Enterprise man was found not guilty of a felony shooting charge from nearly three years ago on Thursday after his defense attorneys contended he stood his ground in self defense.
A Geneva County jury found Mickey Jordan, 38, of Enterprise, not guilty of shooting into an occupied vehicle. Mickey was charged with the Class B felony after authorities alleged he shot a .270-caliber rifle three times into the vehicle of his then-19-year-old nephew, Alex Roy Jordan, while on Mickey Jordan's own property in November 2010.
Mickey was represented by Dale County attorneys Jason Brogden and Bob Brogden.
According to Jason Brogden, the charge was brought against Mickey after Alex came with a truck and a wrecker truck onto Mickey's property and tried to retrieve a piece of equipment, similar to a backhoe, which weighed more than a ton.
When Mickey, who Brogden said was with his 14-year-old son, refused and demanded Alex leave, Brogden said Alex threatened to kill Mickey and began driving "doughnuts" about 10 feet away from Mickey at 20 miles per hour.
Brogden said Mickey was able to retrieve a rifle and shoot toward the vehicle Alex was driving.
Brogden said although Mickey called authorities for help, Mickey was arrested instead of Alex for shooting into an occupied vehicle.
Brogden said Alabama's Stand Your Ground Law, which was revised in 2006, was key in the case.
"As long as you have a legal right to be there, you are allowed to stand your ground and you are not required to retreat,” Brogden said.
“However, in this case our client couldn't run because he would've easily been run over.”
Stand Your Ground laws received much attention and debate in February 2012 after former neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman used Florida’s Stands Your Ground Law to justify fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
A second-degree murder charge has since been filed against Zimmerman, who initially was not charged. The trial began earlier this week.
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports online that there are nine states that carry self-defense statutes a step further with the stand your ground concept and 21 states total with a so-called Castle Law that has to do with self defense.
Generally, the conference reports the stand your ground concept does not require one to retreat or try to retreat if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to meet force with force in order to prevent death or great bodily harm.
Brogden said a jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning a not guilty verdict regarding Mickey on Thursday. Mickey faced between two and 20 years in a state prison had he been convicted.
"We believe this verdict sends a message, especially in Geneva County, that citizens of this state will not put up with trespassers and would-be thieves coming onto your property and trying to run you over,” Brogden said.
“This case assures us we are justified to respond with deadly force, and won't be branded a felon for standing your ground. The self-defense statute was amended for this very reason in 2006.”
Authorities said Alex did not testify in the case.