Welcome to Aftermath, a portion of our First Line email newsletter where Attorney Anthony L. DeWitt walks you through a real-life self-defense incident and shares his key takeaways.
A Wyoming man attempted to end an argument with another man by asking him to leave the
motel room where he and others were staying. The assailant did so but returned later, armed with
an iron chain. The defender drew his handgun and the man began swinging the chain. There were
multiple witnesses to the shooting. The district attorney initially charged the defender with
second degree murder. In Wyoming, a person who uses legal, reasonable defensive force shall
not be criminally prosecuted. The man spent several weeks in jail while the DA’s office
conducted a thorough investigation. Ultimately, the DA’s office dismissed the case as self-
Does your state have a use of force provision similar to Wyoming? Do you know the
circumstances under which it applies?