Law of Self Defense: How to Turn An “Accidental” Shooting into Negligent Homicide

Tampering with evidence is conduct inconsistent with self-defense or accident

The particulars aren’t stated, but it seems the guy did something noticeable.

This case of the week involves a Montana man who reportedly shot his hunting partner just as they returned from a hunt to their cars in a K-Mart parking lot, according to this ABC Fox news report.

The shooter is said to be an NRA Instructor in handgun and rifle. The victim was struck in the chest by a rifle round and died a short time later at a local hospital………..

This particular case presents a classic means by which a shooting death that might not been pursued by authorities suddenly becomes an extremely attractive case for prosecution: the presence of consciousness of guilt evidence.

Consciousness of guilt evidence has to do with the recognition that the behavior and conduct of someone who believes they’ve done something wrong often differs in observable ways from the behavior and conduct of someone who doesn’t believe they’ve done something wrong. Such “guilty behavior” might include things like lying to the police, flight from the scene for purposes other than safety, or tampering with evidence.

Such conduct suggests that not only does the prosecutor think the defendant is guilty of a criminal offense, apparently the defendant thinks the defendant is guilty of a criminal offense. Otherwise, why lie to the police, flee the scene, or tamper with the evidence?