Fort Mitchell road rage shooting suspect using AL’s ‘stand your ground’ law

Fort Mitchell road rage shooting suspect using AL’s ‘stand your ground’ law

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - There are new developments in a case out of East Alabama where a suspect is indicted on hate crime charges.

Justin Davidson is accused of shooting and killing Lorenzo Freeman outside a Dollar General in Fort Mitchell after miles worth of alleged road rage.

Filings by Davidson’s attorney, Jeremy Armstrong, shows the defense is looking for immunity in the case against them.

The defense is citing Alabama’s stand your ground law should protect Davidson in the incident where Freeman was shot and killed after showing up outside the Dollar General where things ended. Freeman’s son and Davidson were allegedly engaged in road rage that crossed state lines.

Russell County District Attorney, Ken Davis, says the stand your ground law was adopted back in 2006, and Davidson will have to show only a judge a “preponderance of evidence” that he was acting in self-defense.

“He no longer has a duty to retreat in safety if he can. In other words, he has the right if he’s in the place he’s licensed to be and he’s not doing something wrong. He has the right under the law to stay there, to stand his ground," says Davis.

Witnesses came forward shortly after the shooting to claim Davidson was shouting racial slurs while pumping bullets in Freeman’s direction.

Davidson was indicted by a Russell County grand jury on one count of intentional murder and indictment for the enhancement provisions for what's known as the Alabama hate crime statute.

Meantime, the district attorney believes evidence will counter Davidson’s claim of self defense.

“We believe the evidence here is clear and convincing that this wasn’t self defense," says Davis.

On October 30, Davidson and his attorney are expected to appear in a courtroom to plead their case of self defense. If the judge finds Davidson was in fact acting in self defense, the case will be dropped. If not, the case will move forward to trial.

Davidson is being held in the Russell County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

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