STATE ATTORNEY RULES BAKER FATAL SHOOTING JUSTIFIED

A man’s fatal shooting of a neighbor in April was justified, the State Attorney’s Office ruled. At 12:41 a.m. April 1, Donald Hodges fatally shot his neighbor Danny King in a fight on his property on Green Road in Baker. Earlier in the day, King, a known methamphetamine user and convicted felon, had been arguing with two women — Sara King, who he lived with, and Terri Smith, who was at his house that day — according to the State Attorney’s Office. Hodges called 911 to report that he had shot King after intervening in an argument in his front yard.
According to a press release from the State Attorney’s office, on the day of the shooting King was arguing with the women and at one point choked Smith inside his home. He also smashed objects in the house before all three ended up arguing in Hodges’s front yard. Moments later,Hodges shot King in the mouth and severing his spinal cord, the State Attorney’s Office said. When Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies arrived, Hodges was standing in his front yard. He told them he had three firearms: a .38 special and two .22-caliber revolvers. Emergency Medical Services pronounced King dead at 1:09 a.m. A glass pipe typically used for smoking methamphetamine was found in King’s front pocket. Hodges waived his Miranda rights and confessed to shooting King. The State Attorney’s Office concluded Hodges was justified in killing King because King, who was 85 pounds heavier and 3 inches taller than Hodges, created a “well-founded fear in Hodges that deadly force was necessary to prevent his imminent death or great bodily harm” by attacking him on his property. Methamphetamine was located in his blood and urine.
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