In the early morning hours of Friday the 13th, Jamison Mullins, a U.S. Army soldier based in Ft Campbell, looked out the window of his home in Clarksville, TN and thought he saw someone trying to break into his wife’s car, which was parked in the driveway.

Jamison fired a single shot, killing the intruder, who turned out to be 15-year-old Damariontae Brown.

At around 3:00 am, Clarksville Police responded to a shooting in the 3000 Block of Dresden Way.

Mullins, 25, was arrested and charged with criminal homicide.

According to his arrest warrant, he admitted to shooting Brown. But while he may have thought he was acting within his legal rights under Tennessee’s Castle Doctrine, Mullins may have been tragically mistaken.

Gun instructor and law enforcement officer Chris Fowler said in a 2015 article on gun law in Tennessee that “you can’t use deadly force to protect property — life but not property.”

Fowler says if an intruder is trying to get in your front door or a window, it does not give you the legal right to shoot.

“Until they make the breach, until they enter, you shouldn’t shoot.”

Tennessee is one of at least 20 states that have the “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law.

“An individual is authorized in using deadly force to defend themselves if they are in imminent fear of death or seriously bodily harm,”
Executive Director for Tennessee Firearms Association John Harris said in 2018.

Harris said states usually fall into two categories when it comes to the law.

“In some states, there is an affirmative duty to retreat before you can resort to deadly force and in other states like Tennessee and even Florida there’s not an affirmative duty to retreat before resorting to deadly force,” Harris said.

He said if you’re in your home, on your own property, in a motor vehicle, or in a hotel room that you’re occupying and someone enters that space feloniously, the law presumes that there is imminent fear.

Did Mullins possess “imminent fear” on that tragic Friday? Ultimately a jury will determine that. No matter what, 15-year-old Damariontae Brown’s fate has already been sealed. Sadly, he was not the first in his family to die of a gunshot wound. His brother, Quincy Brown, was fatally shot in 2018 when he was just 19.

On Monday, March 16, a judge set bond for Mullins at $100,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, 2020, during which more information on what happened will be presented.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.