District Attorney: Charges unlikely in fatal shooting

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It is unlikely that a Troy resident who fatally shot a Troy University student on Friday will be charged, according to Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson.

“The first thing you look at is whether the individual acted under the belief of impending harm,” Anderson said. “The circumstances appear to support that, which is why there has been no rush to charge anybody.”

Michael Derek Kennedy, 20, and another unidentified student reportedly went to the shooter’s home at approximately 3:26 a.m. on Friday believing that Kennedy’s phone was in the home.

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The homeowner, who has not been identified, reportedly opened his door and saw Kennedy crouching in the yard with a long-gun. The man then fired multiple rounds toward Kennedy, killing him.

“It would appear that you had two individuals under the mistaken belief that their phone was inside, who wouldn’t leave when they were asked to and one was armed with a .20-gauge shotgun,” Anderson said.

Anderson referenced Alabama’s “Stand your ground” statute, self-defense statute and case precedent as reason that charges are unlikely to be filed against the shooter.

One such protection is found in section 13A-3-23 of the Code of Alabama.

“A person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he or she may use a degree of force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose.

“A person may use deadly physical force, and is legally presumed to be justified in using deadly physical force in self-defense or the defense of another person pursuant to subdivision (4), if the person reasonably believes that another person is:

(1) sing or about to use unlawful deadly physical force.”

Regardless, evidence will be presented to a grand jury and it will make the determination on whether to press charges.

Charges are also unlikely to be filed against the other student in the case, Anderson said.

“I don’t know what, if anything, he could be charged with,” Anderson said. “I don’t know what role, if any, his was in the firearm being present.”

Meeting dates for grand juries are not disclosed.