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Defense Claims Schaffer Was Acting In Self-Defense
Updated June 13, 2017 6:39 AM | Filed under: Crime
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evan schaffer.jpg
Evan Schaffer

(BEDFORD) - On Monday, Lawrence County Superior Court Judge Michael Robbins reviewed the six minute surveillance video in which 22-year-old Evan Schaffer shot and killed U.S. Marine Justin Lampkins.

Schaffer's attorney, Lawrence County Chief Public Defender David Shircliff, says his client should be granted bail saying it is obvious from the video that Schaffer was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Lampkin in the McDonald's Drive Thru on April 23, 2017.

Schaffer is facing charges of murder, pointing a firearm, battery resulting bodily injury and carrying a handgun without a license.

A Bedford Police detective testified that Lampkins was holding an 18-inch wooden club during the incident. It's the same kind of club that truck drivers use to hit their tires to check the air pressure.

The defense says that the video shows Lampkins as the aggressor and that Schaffer was only defending himself from someone coming at him with a deadly weapon.

"The bottom line in this case is there were two guys and Justin Lampkins came at Mr. Schaffer with a club and tried to grab him around the throat," Shircliff says. "He (Schaffer) has a second amendment right and he was exercising it. He's got a second amendment right to carry his weapon. He was attacked with a deadly weapon and he gets to use his force when necessary in order to protect himself."

Surveillance video captured three vehicles in line at the drive-through around 1:19 a.m. on April 23. The first vehicle was a truck with Schaffer inside, the second was a car, and the third was a pickup truck with Lampkins as the driver.

Witnesses told police that someone honked a horn and Schaffer exited the truck. He was upset and passed the car and went to Lampkins' truck. He then reached inside the truck's window and hit Lampkins several times.

The video shows McDonald's employees stepping in and breaking up the fight at Lampkin's vehicle. Those employees told Schaffer to go back to his truck, which he did.

A minute later, the video shows Lampkins moving his truck forward a few feet and Shaffer getting out of his truck again, this time with Lampkins getting out holding the wooden club and walking towards Schaffer.

The two engaged in a short physical altercation before Schaffer pulled out a handgun and shot Lampkin in the chest.

Schaffer then got back in the truck and fled south on Plaza Drive South.

Police later pulled the truck over at State Road 37 and Patrick Robbins Way, where Schaffer initially resisted arrest. A 9mm handgun used in the shooting was thrown into some weeds near where the truck was pulled over.

Schaffer's attorney says Bedford Police officers used a stun gun several times on Schaffer and stomped on his head while Schaffer was on the ground, face down and in handcuffs.

He says there is body camera video of some of that, but then the cameras were shut off.

"But there is also his (Schaffer) injuries," Shircliff says. He claims Schaffer suffered a head injury, black eye and several marks from the stun gun.

Judge Robbins has taken the matter of bail under advisement.

The change of venue hearing is now set for July 10th at 10 a.m.

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