"If you're familiar with the Trayvon Martin case, you know that this is a very difficult law for prosecutors," she said. "And this is a problematic fact pattern."
Just as in the Zimmerman case, only two people know what happened, Salmons said, and one is dead.
The two cases have several other things in common:
Both defendants are charged with second-degree murder.
Both used a gun.
And in both, prosecutors were slow to decide whether to file charges. In the Zimmerman case, that took a month and a half. In the Smithey case, the delay was nearly five months.
Cline was shot twice, once in the chest straight on and a second time by a bullet that entered through his right shoulder, traveled across his chest and pierced his aorta.
In the Smithey case, Salmons may be in a very awkward position for a prosecutor: asking a judge to rule that rape is not great bodily harm — a justification for using deadly force under the state's "stand your ground" law.
In court paperwork, Jancha argues that Smithey pulled the trigger only after Cline raped her, threatened her and cut her with a knife. She feared, he wrote, that if she did not use deadly force, she would face more of the same, including possible death.
Smithey also is charged with presenting false evidence. That stems from her claim that Cline stabbed her, when, according to a police report, she admitted doing that to herself after she shot him.
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