Sometimes a defendant may be arrested for what appears to be an outlandish reason. When that happens, the defendant may have a strong defense to assert, especially if the dispute is taken to a jury trial for determination. In a recent incident in Montgomery County, Texas, for example, Sheriff's deputies arrested a man on felony gun charges because he shot at two masked men who were attacking and kidnapping his fiancée.
The police insisted that the accused is a member of a gang. They charged him with deadly conduct with a firearm, and alleged that he was shooting recklessly into the neighborhood. According to witnesses, however, the man ran outside as the masked men were attacking his fiancée. He shot at them and they ran away.
That version was also backed up by the victim. She gave a local radio station a surveillance video that showed the two men attacking her and provided other images that she said showed that the kidnappers were carrying guns. One neighbor verified that the men came "out of the blue" and that the victim was saved by her fiancé.
The case illustrates how the police can get a different view of what happened than the witnesses, and in some cases, the victim herself. The consensus of the witnesses interviewed appears to be that the accused was a hero. The deputies somehow seem to have seen something else. Ultimately, the issue may have to be decided by a jury.
On the other hand, the authorities may have a second opinion on this felony arrest after reading the press reports and seeing the matter televised. If they cannot support their accusations that the defendant was a gang member, that will substantially diminish the credibility of the arrest. If the police do not give up their hard line position, they may be forced to do so if the prosecuting attorney refuses to go forth with the case pursuant to prosecutorial discretion provided under Texas law.
Source: abc7.com, "Fiance' arrested after shooting at woman's attempted abductors outside Texas home", Steven Romo, April 1, 2017