We just got the verdict in the murder trial of Jarrett Jones in Aberdeen, South Dakota: not guilty on all counts.

A Google search will get you there if you want details but basically, Jarrett’s daughter’s whacked out boyfriend came to Jarrett’s place demanding to see her after he had been arrested for drunk driving, with an AR15, a Benelli 12 gauge, and a 9mm Glock.  Though the 19-year-old daughter had told him they were through, the boyfriend angrily demanded to see her, threatening to kill her, Jarrett, and others.  The 28-year-old man towered over Jarrett, who drew his pistol when the man refused to leave.  When he was five feet away, the man started to lunge for Jarrett’s gun, and there was no choice but to fire.

The man fell at the shot, but then while on the ground reached for the pocket where Jarrett believed he carried a gun.  One more shot, and it was over.  It turned out that the pocket contained a double edged switch-blade in a police evidence bag that had been given back to him when he was released by the officers after his DUI arrest.

It was clear cut self-defense for the first shot (disparity of force and obviously about to reach for the gun defensively displayed by the homeowner in the workshop where the shooting took place), and the furtive movement by a man known to carry a gun in his pocket justifying the second shot.

Local authorities didn’t see it that way. The result was a 26-month legal nightmare that ended with the verdict. Kudos to defense attorneys Marshall Lovrien and Bill Gerdes for some masterful lawyering. Another tip of the hat to Justin Hoffman, the firearms instructor who had certified the defendant for his Enhanced Concealed Carry permit. Unable to attend the trial due to other pressing matters, Justin provided us with an affidavit and copies of his curriculum.  This allowed me on the witness stand to testify that the defendant’s actions had checked all the boxes of the state’s own requirements for justifying deadly force.

Another example of why the law-abiding armed individual is wise to document his or her training and knowledge.


  1. Werll done by all involved in this man’s defense.
    Overzealous prosecution in the name of political correctness has gotten out of control.
    I hope Mr. Jones is now able to find peace in his life after this obvious unnecessary prosecution of this man clearly protecting himself and his family from an unhinged individual looking for trouble.
    Chalk up a win for the good guys. So tired of the mollycoddling of criminals and the persecution of law-abiding citizens.
    Glad you were able to check off all the boxes’ Mas. Job well done.

    • Linda,

      Totally agree. I can’t believe this happened in South Dakota. I thought SD was a free state. This sounds like it happened in a blue state. In my opinion, THE FACTS SHOW THAT THIS CASE NEVER SHOULD HAVE GONE TO TRIAL!!!

      It is time for lawyers and law schools to begin to teach the following truth to everyone; “innocent until proven guilty” DOES NOT apply to cases of self-defense with a gun!

      Jarrett Jones had to defend himself from a criminal and then he had to defend himself from the pro-criminal legal system. Makes me mad enough to scream.

      • It’s good that Mr. Jones was exonerated in court for his justified shooting of that violent creep. However, he’s going to be paying financially for his freedom for a long time and may have to watch his back in case some vengeful friend(s) or members of the deceased’s family is planning to strike back at him.

        Laws should be changed to allow parties found not guilty to sue overzealous prosecutors for malicious prosecution. They should even be charged criminally if possible for attempting to unlawfully deprive another of their freedoms, not to mention lying in court and misleading juries to get a conviction. Employees of the judicial system should not be above the law.

      • Friend Roger Willco, copy that! Just wondering about the mentality and attitude of the “local authorities,” who seem to better represent Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves than a justice-oriented group of officials. Justifiable, optimal self-defense should be an obvious companion to the existence and reasonable well-being of every individual. Nobody should be obliged to allow themselves or others to be inappropriately harmed or unduly threatened. Thugs, and their buddies, can go fly a kite!

      • Fortunately, South Dakota law shields Mr. Jones from Civil Liability, since he was not found criminally liable. I hope he can find somesolace in that.

  2. I hope the 26-month legal nightmare ends up with someone losing at the ballot box. Good thing you were there as expert witness.

  3. I used DuckDuckGo instead of Google. Less chance of being tracked that way! 🙂

    Here is a link to a news story with more detail. It also highlights Mas’ testimony.


    Too many people view self-defense through the prism of Hollywood movies and TV shows. Those are very poor vehicles since they are based in fantasy rather than reality. This case shows the value of expert testimony to educate the jury as to the realities of self-defense.

    Lucky this trial was held in South Dakota. Much less chance of getting a Soros-bought-and-paid-for prosecutor or a brainwashed, left-leaning jury in a solid Red State. Therefore, a better chance of getting a verdict based upon the facts and the law rather than media-driven emotion.

      • Sorry to hear that about DuckDuckGo but I am not surprised. The temptation to “censor” is so strong that no search engine (seemingly) can resist tasting the “forbidden fruit”. It is human nature (or, more precisely, human ego) to overextend one’s power and control and try to “play God”.

        As I noted, “less chance”. There are no guarantees on the web.

      • Friend TW, thank you for the reference to DuckDuckGo and “Russian disinformation.” Let me mention John Schindler and his “Top Secret Umbra” article on religious issues and the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The most “undisinformed” article yet on the war, IMHO. The two sides could and should stand down this minute, based on shared spiritual grounds. The spiritual avenue is likely the best answer, and maybe the only possible one. Mr. Putin, please fall on your spiritual sword, and now!

  4. Thank you, Mas. I was not following it closely enough to know the details. It’s too bad the prosecutor often can’t or won’t respect the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ assertion so the person lawfully protecting him/herself has to do it all over again in court. Perhaps an upcoming election?
    As you have often said, it’s always an excellent idea to know the legal requirements in your area and to be able to document the instruction you’ve taken.

  5. I think we would get DA’s doing a better and more honest job if there was a law saying that they could not run for public office for at least two years after leaving the DA position. Four years would be better. Yeah, I know I’m dreaming.

  6. “Local authorities didn’t see it that way.” Are they illiterate? Unable to read and understand written law? Or are they politically and/or ideologically biased? If that’s the case, should *they* not be prosecuted, or at least disciplined, for failing to righteously doing their jobs? We are now putting cops in prison for making mistakes, why are we not doing the same to prosecutors for malicious prosecution…an intentional act…compared to making a mistake?

  7. Then there is the aftermath to the aftermath; legal expenses, reputation recovery, the knowledge that he had to kill another human being. Here’s hoping the instigator’s family doesn’t try to drag him into a civil case. Prayers to him and his family.

    • @ TJ – “…drag him into a civil case.”

      Based upon South Dakota Law, that probably won’t happen. Here is a section of their statute regarding legal immunity for self-defense:

      “A person who uses or threatens to use force, as permitted in §§ 22-18-4 to 22-18-4.7, inclusive, is justified in such conduct and is immune from criminal prosecution and from civil liability for the use or threatened use of such force brought by the person against whom force was used or threatened, or by any personal representative or heir of the person against whom force was used or threatened, unless:

      (1) (a) The person against whom force was used or threatened is a law enforcement

      officer, who was acting in the performance of official duties; and

      (b) The officer identified himself or herself; or

      (2) The person using or threatening to use force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer who was acting in the performance of official duties.

      The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by a defendant in the defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff, if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution in accordance with this section.”

      This case has already been tried in criminal court and found to be self-defense. If a civil action is now brought, it will almost certainly fail and the person bringing the suit will have to pay the legal fees.

      So, hopefully, no further legal torture in a civil case.

  8. “..Another tip of the hat to Justin Hoffman, the firearms instructor who had certified the defendant for his Enhanced Concealed Carry permit.”

    Interesting… Enhanced Conceal Carry. Thanks!

    • @ Larry McClain – “…for his Enhanced Concealed Carry permit.”

      Yes, some States are now issue several levels of Concealed Carry Permit. Take the State of Tennessee, for example. There are three (3) levels under which a citizen can carry a concealed handgun in Tennessee.

      Level 1 – Constitutional Carry – No permit at all. If a person is not a felon, is over 21 years of age and is legally entitled to own a handgun in Tennessee then he or she may carry it without a permit. The downside here is that, without a permit from Tennessee, you cannot enjoy reciprocity rights and carry in any other State.

      Level 2 – Concealed Carry Permit – less expense and lower training requirements. Must carry the handgun concealed. Because of the lower training requirement, fewer States will recognize it and grant reciprocity. However, it is still recognized by quite a few States.

      Level 3 – Enhanced Carry Permit – A bit more expensive and requires more training. Can carry either open or concealed in Tennessee. Fewer restrictions on terms of carry and is recognized by the maximum number of other States (about 38 States out of the 50 – also Washington DC is excluded).

      My own permit is the TN Enhanced Carry version.

      • Arkansas is very similar. I kept my old CHCL to get recipricocity with states that aren’t enlightened enough for Constitutional carry, and I upgraded to Enhanced because the old CHCL laws have some gray areas where, depending on how the prosecutor looks at it, CHCL holders are subject to certain limits (signage, “must inform police you are carrying,” etc.) that do not apply to someone without a carry permit. Some of those fossil restrictions are specifically abolished by having the Enhanced permit.

        I expect the legislature will deal with minor details like that in due course; they’re not moving as fast as I would like, but they’re making steady progress.

  9. “You’ve lost sight of the purpose of the law:
    to protect its citizens, not persecute them.”
    – Commander William Adama
       Battlestar Galactica

    • When ideology starts to write the letter of the law then persecution, rather than protection of our citizens, is going to be the outcome.

      Take firearms-prohibition in the UK, for example. It was sold as a means to “protect” the people from “gun violence”. The problem is that there is no such thing as “gun violence”. That term is an ideological construct of the Left.

      I have yet to see a violent firearm. However, I have seen many violent people over my lifetime.

      Since trying to control violence by regulating inanimate objects is a fool’s errand, once one starts down that path, one must continually restrict anything that might function as a weapon. In the UK, it started out with handguns. Then it “progressed” to rifles. Then shotguns. Then airguns. Then swords and knives. Soon, they will try to regulate rocks, bricks and beer bottles.

      The law becomes a foolish puppet that dances to the tune of the ideologues who are pulling its strings. It is the people who end up suffering from the effects of Laws crafted by such fools and zealots.

      This is how crazy it is getting in the UK. If we are not careful, the Leftists that plague our own country will make us subject to this same insanity here in the USA. See this link:


      • TN_MAN:

        Some objects should be highly regulated because they’re dangerous. I have a friend in England who has a very vicious pet rock he got back in the 1980’s. The rock he named “Hudson” has often threatened to stone his owner to death if my friend did not return him to Salisbury Plain where he was originally found. Hudson has caused many injuries by tripping visitors to his owner’s home and making them fall down. I advised my friend that Hudson may be an assault rock.

      • @ Tom606 – It sounds like your English friend is certainly plagued by a vicious, out-of-control pet rock. He should take the same approach that they do in England to control vicious and violent firearms. He should “pull the fangs” of his vicious pet rock by means of deactivation.

        This is SOP in England to tame violent firearms. See this FAQ:


        Of course, the deactivation method used for a violent pet rock will, of necessity, vary from the methods use to control violent firearms. The simplest approach, to deactivate a violent pet rock, is to encase it in concrete. This will contain (cage) a violent pet rock quite effectively.

        If your friend is of an artistic temperament, he might even be able to form his containment system into something aesthetically pleasing. For example, he could cast his violent pet rock into a garden gnome. With colored cement or a little outdoor paint, a pleasing containment system can be crafted.

        With this vicious pet rock sealed inside a concrete gnome and confined into the prison of a flower garden, there should be no more injuries or incidents caused by the violence of this primitive “Hudson” stone and his threats and demands to be returned to the Salisbury Plain will be effectively muffled. 🙂

      • TN_MAN:

        Good advice, which I passed on to my English friend and he will immediately “pull the fangs” from his pet rock Hudson, once he can locate his mouth.

  10. Awful story all-around with an acceptable legal outcome. The social, psychological and economic outcomes may take a long time to heal. Really glad those ‘on the side of the angels’ survived this incident physically and in the eyes of the law. I sincerely wish them well and hope they can develop and implement a vision for a compelling future.

    “with an AR15, a Benelli 12 gauge, and a 9mm Glock.” Sounds like the sick fill-in-the-blank had really effective weapons and many who follow this website may agree.

    Could have had a much worse outcome. Or a much preferred outcome if the boyfriend went home to sleep it off and re-think his life.

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