ENTERPRISE—Police here have charged an Enterprise man with murder in connection to a shooting death that occurred during an alleged burglary early Sunday morning on Brookshire Drive.
At the advice of his legal counsel, Landon Law, 27, turned himself over to authorities Tuesday without incident, Police Chief Michael Moore said in an afternoon press conference.
While Law claimed the shooting to be in self-defense, Moore said the investigation revealed that the action did not meet the criteria for self-defense set forth in Section 13-A-323 of the Alabama Code.
“After consulting with the District Attorney Tom Anderson on the facts of the case, the use of deadly force in this situation was not warranted by law,” Moore said. “Human lives are sacred and should be held to the highest protection in our society. Property can be replaced, but life cannot.”
While limited information was released due to the ongoing investigation, Sgt. Mark Anderson said Law and the victim, 31-year-old Spencer Layton, did know each other but had virtually no relationship outside of living in the same community.
“They did know each other, but they were not friends,” Anderson said. “They just knew each other from town.”
Moore also added that the victim was leaving the residence when the incident occurred.
When asked about the amount of time that lapsed from the shooting at 5:30 Sunday morning to the arrest Tuesday afternoon, Moore said they had to make sure they were doing the right thing.
“I can’t reiterate enough that this has destroyed a lot of lives, a lot of friendships, and a lot of families. We want to make sure that we’re doing the right thing when we do it, and if it takes us extra time to do so, then so be it,” he said. “I think yesterday afternoon and certainly this morning when (investigators) came to me, they felt confident of their decision and the DA’s office felt confident in his decision, and I’m going to support both equally. I think they did the right thing with waiting and getting all the information. Had it taken a month, I would have waited a month, but fortunately it only took a couple of days to come to this conclusion.
“Nobody knows what happened, but I know the investigators do their due diligence, and their dedication to the job got the best story possible, and that’s the story we’re going to present to the justice system.”
Moore also said he wants the citizens of Enterprise and beyond to understand exactly what constitutes the use of deadly force and what does not.
“I cannot express enough to the citizens of Enterprise to educate yourselves on the law and how it pertains to the protection of human life,” he said. “The use of deadly force for self-defense protects the individual from the imminent threat of physical injury or death, but deadly force should never be employed to protect your property.”