MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) - The Mesa County District Attorney says he will not file charges in a deadly November shooting after officially ruling the case an act of self defense.
Officials say sadly the incident stemmed from a minor neighborhood dispute and District Attorney Pete Hautzinger says while he does not condone using guns to deal with these kinds of arguments, he could not in good conscience file charges against a man who believed his life was in danger.
Officials say during the late night hours of Oct. 31, 42-year-old Crystal Nash was having a party at her home on Colorow Drive, where Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies were called after receiving reports that a domestic violence incident may have been taking place there. They eventually left after not finding any evidence that a crime took place.
Officials say after deputies were gone Nash, who was drunk, went to confront her neighbor Tom Jarvis, thinking he was the one who called them. They say she took a 9 mm handgun with her as she walked to his home on Rood Avenue.
Jarvis told investigators she pounded on his door and when he opened it and saw she was carrying a gun, he reached over to a stand near his door and grabbed a 22 mm handgun.
Officials say Jarvis asked Nash if she had a gun and told her to put it down. Nash told him she did have a gun and she was going to use it. When she brought it across her body, Jarvis fired nine rounds from his gun, all of which hit her.
He told deputies when she raised her gun, he thought he was going to die, and that's why he fired first.
"We're talking a gun pulled out and pointed and someone using a gun to respond to it," says Hautzinger. "I certainly cannot say that that's an unreasonable amount of force to use to defend yourself."
Another man who followed Nash and tried to stop her was injured during the shooting, but was treated and released from the hospital shortly thereafter.
Nash's autopsy revealed her BAC was .184, more than twice the legal limit.
Hautzinger says Colorado's "Make My Day" law did not apply to this case because there was no evidence that Nash was in Jarvis' home illegally but that Colorado's self-defense law did apply. For charges to have filed in this case, he would have had to prove that Jarvis had no reasonable belief that his life was in danger.
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