Keitt and two cronies were in
Peterson's yard, stealing the windshield wipers off Peterson's car.
Peterson came out and told them to leave. Peterson went back in the house
and came out with a gun and threatened Keitt. Although Keitt was about to
leave, when he saw the gun, he confronted Peterson with a lug wrench.
Peterson shot him in the face and killed him instantly.
Keitt was on Peterson's
property when he was shot.
Peterson was arrested and
charged with second-degree murder.
The Trial Court convicted
Peterson of manslaughter. He
Peterson argued that the
shooting was in self-defense.
The Appellate Court upheld the
The Appellate Court found
that a person cannot use self-defense
as a justification if they were the aggressor in the conflict.
In this case, Keitt was
about to leave when Peterson came back out and provoked the attack.
"An affirmative lawful
act reasonably calculated to produce an affray foreboding injurious or
fatal consequences is an aggression which, unless renounced, nullifies
the right of homicidal self defense."
Under Model Penal Code
is not available as a justification if the actor, with the purpose of causing death or serious bodily harm,
provoked the use of force against himself in the same encounter.
So basically, you can still
use self-defense even if you
provoked the encounter, as long as you didn't provoke it just to give you
an excuse to kill the guy.