According to Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr., an Atlanta woman who argued ‘Stand Your Ground’ as a defense, has been found guilty of murder by a Fulton County jury.
Jurors convicted 32-year-old Shakeithia Wheeler last Friday on charges of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and weapons offenses in connection with the shooting death of 28-year-old Charles Roberson.
May 3, 2009, Wheeler shot and killed Roberson in the parking lot of her
Verdant Drive apartment complex in Southwest Atlanta. Prior to the
shooting, Wheeler overheard an argument between her brother
and another man outside, exited her apartment with a gun and opened
fire, grazing a woman who was standing nearby.
began to argue with the same man who was arguing with her brother
earlier. As the argument escalated, Wheeler fired again, this time
fatally striking the victim in the head.
claimed she had a right under Georgia’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law to fire
both rounds because she had “no duty to retreat” in the face of
imminent danger as the law allows. Wheeler said she first feared her
brother was in danger when she heard arguing outside. She then claimed
she was in danger when she fired the second round because she thought
the victim had a weapon and was going to harm her.
The evidence showed that no one involved in this case was armed except for Wheeler. According to witnesses, the defendant was the aggressor in each instance.
Jurors rejected Wheeler’s defense and returned guilty verdicts on felony murder and related charges. She was immediately sentenced to life plus eight years in prison by presiding Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford.