Hero or Murderer? When self defense blurs the line.
An Ada, Oklahoma, man is making headlines across the country after he shot and killed a neighbor who was trying to drown his 3-month-old twins in a bathtub.
Cash Freeman rushed over to a neighbor’s house during a domestic dispute at the neighbor’s home, only to find Leland Foster trying to drown the babies in the tub.
Freeman shot and killed Foster. He told authorities he did what he had to do to save the babies, but was he justified in the killing?
That will ultimately be up to the district attorney to decide.
KFOR reached out to Jacqui Ford, Oklahoma City defense attorney who has experience in the laws of self-defense.
Ford explained that in Oklahoma, deadly force is justified while defending others “if that person’s belief is reasonable that that person is in imminent danger of great bodily harm or death.”
“Sometimes, people must be stopped and, sometimes, homicide is the only way to stop them,” Ford told KFOR.
Justifiable homicide is defined in Oklahoma as force that is used because a person reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent “death or great bodily harm” to the person or someone else.
Should Cash Freeman have simply called the police instead of shooting Leland Foster? The answer, Ford said, is not that simple.
“How long does it take to pick up the phone and call those police officers? How long before those police officers arrive? And, by then, is it too late?”
These are all questions that will have to be answered by the local district attorney’s office.
Ford noted that homicide is, by definition, simply the killing of one person by another person. Not all homicides are murders, and not all homicides are criminal or “morally unjust.”
“Sometimes, homicide is justified, and it doesn’t necessarily mean someone needs to go to prison or that anybody did anything wrong,” Ford said.
Neighbors who knew both Freeman and Foster hope that the district attorney will refuse charges. They see Freeman as a hero, not a murderer.
Whether charges will be filed against Cash Freeman remains to be seen, but either way, he should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help guide him through the complicated legal process.
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, contact Jacqui Ford’s office today for help.