Is Iowa’s ‘stand your ground’ law a viable defense? A Johnson County judge will decide

Attorneys await an answer on whether the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is enough of a defense to dismiss certain charges in the Ped Mall shooting trial.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Lamar Wilson of Iowa City sits in the court room during a case management hearing for Lamar Wilson vs. Johnson County in the Johnson County courthouse on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. Wilson’s lawyers asked the judge to dismiss charges against him using Iowa’s “stand your ground” defense. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

No rulings were made during an Oct. 27 hearing regarding whether to grant Lamar Wilson’s requests for a venue change and whether to dismiss one of the charges filed against him.

Defense attorney John W. Bruzek made a motion for a speedy trial and suggested moving up the trial date to Nov. 6, but 6th District Court Judge Paul Miller did not grant the request. A decision on the motions is expected to be reached by Nov. 1.

Wilson, 23, is awaiting his case to go to trial in connection with the Aug. 27 Pedestrian Mall shooting near the Sheraton Hotel, 210 S. Dubuque St. His defense will rely on Iowa’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which enables people to use deadly force to protect themselves so long as their perception of danger is “reasonable.”

Authorities have charged Wilson with first-degree murder, criminal gang participation, a Class-D felony, and three counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon.

The shooting resulted in the death of Iowa City resident Kaleek Jones, 22, and wounded two others who were transported to the hospital.

According to Iowa City police, the shooting was not a random act, and the incident was between two known “groups,” one of which was from Iowa City and the other from Cedar Rapids.

The trial date of Nov. 7 remains in place. Wilson is being held on a $1.75 million bond.

—DI staff


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