Texas Man Claiming 'Stand Your Ground' Gets 40 Years After Guilty Verdict

After a lengthy trial and a guilty verdict, Raul Rodriguez of Texas has been slapped with a 40-year prison sentence, MSNBC reports.

Despite the rather dramatic ending, it all started innocently enough – with a birthday party. Rodriguez was unhappy about the noise from a neighbor’s birthday party, so he went over — with a gun, video camera and cell phone — to confront them. It was there that he got into an argument with three men, including Kelly Danaher, a 36-year-old elementary school teacher. The fight escalated, and Rodriguez ended up fatally shooting Danaher and wounding the two other men.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. A guy shot an elementary school teacher? That doesn’t look good. Of course, the story is always a bit more complicated than that. Upon realizing that Rodriguez was armed and filming their conversation, the men threatened to get a gun and shoot Rodriguez. Evidently, that wasn’t enough to convince a jury that Rodriguez was properly threatened. Texas Castle Doctrine states that the person using force cannot provoke the attacker at the time of the shooting.

The punishment phase of the trial likely contributed to the 40-year prison sentence. Co-workers and Rodriguez’s ex-wife testified that Rodriguez was abusive, a bad neighbor, and that he shot a dog.

Rodriguez’s family, on the other hand, stressed that he was a responsible gun owner and that he only shot the dog because it was attacking his family. Either way, a 36-year-old man is dead as a result of an argument over loud music. It’s hard to ignore that fact, even if Rodriguez was a responsible firearm owner.

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