Self-defense case returns for new trial

A Kent County man will get a new trial after being tried and convicted of shooting Keith “Killer Keith” Hoffman in 2006.

Sammie Ray Bailey’s counsel argued at his trial that Bailey feared for his life and shot Hoffman, in broad daylight and in front of witnesses, in self-defense.

However, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed that trial the trial judge had improperly instructed the jury on self defense when he said a person can’t claim self-defense “if what they do is confront someone, intending, by their mere presence, to provoke that person into doing something, and then take advantage of it. … You have to be without fault.”

The Court of Appeals reversed Bailey’s convictions and sent the case back to trial court.

The Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments earlier this month (See story in today’s Michigan Lawyers Weekly, or click here) and on Friday released a one-page order denying leave to appeal, stating that “we are no longer persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this court.”


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