Charlie Mapp Found Not Guilty In Killing Of Richard Abeyta
A Natrona County man is free after a jury acquitted him of murder, stemming from a shooting back in August 2014.
The five man, seven women jury found 67-year old Charlie Mapp not guilty of second degree murder, as well as manslaughter, in connection to the death of Richard Abeyta.
Mapp did not testify in his own defense, and his defense team argued for self-defense.
In closing arguments, the defense said self-defense does not have to be proven in court by the defendant, rather the prosecution had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mapp had alternate means of escaping the situation.
Attorneys said Abeyta (the aggressor) was about 11 feet away, when he charged at Mapp, and with two seconds at most to react, there was very little time to do anything.
Both Mapp and Abeyta had been drinking on the night of the shooting, and others who testified in Mapp's defense said Abeyta was belligerent.
A law enforcement trainer testified that under the circumstances, Mapp had no other option.
Mapp had told police that Abeyta said he was going to kill him earlier that night, and then Mapp went outside on the 400 block of North Washington Street and got his gun for protection.
Earlier this year, Mapp had agreed to plead guilty to a charge of manslaughter, but Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins rejected the plea deal, that would have called for Mapp to serve no more than eight years in prison.