Stand Your Ground Law Allows Killer to Avoid Murder Charges

Krieg Butler, an Ohio man will finally face charges in the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy in the fall of 2022. Unfortunately non of those charges are for the actual killing, they are instead firearms charges, resulting in the death of the boy. 

Butler was initially arrested a day after shooting and killing Sinzae Reed and charged with murder after a witness reported having seen Franklin shooting at the boy. Although Butler had a $1 million dollar bond he was released from jail eight days later after a grand jury failed to indict on the murder charges.

Sinzae’s mother, Megan Reed, said she was not happy with the decision but will not stop seeking justice.

“The family, although disappointed with the grand jury decision, we will not be deterred from getting justice on a federal level,” she said in the statement. “We believe our local government is grasping at the lowest hanging fruit. Partly because of [Ohio governor] Mike DeWine’s rush to implement stand your ground legislation without giving our courts and police proper legal guidance.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a “Stand Your Ground” bill into law in January of 2021 which removes the “duty to retreat” requirement before a gun owner can use lethal force in self-defense. Legislators attached the controversial measure to a bill that grants civil immunity for deaths or injuries from handguns,

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office arrested Butler on Sunday, May 21, days after he was indicted on charges of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence related to the shooting death of Sinzae Reed in Columbus on Oct. 12, 2022.

For the firearm charge, Butler faces six to 18 months in prison and a possible fine of $5,000.

If found guilty of tampering with evidence, Butler could serve up to 36 months in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

On Saturday, May 20, over 100 protestors flooded downtown Columbus at the Ohio Statehouse calling for justice for Sinzae.

A spokesperson from the Columbus Division of Police said on Friday that they have officially closed the investigation into the teen’s shooting, local station WCMH reports.

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