LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – On the last day possible, an appeal was filed in a case involving the death of a former University of Louisville football player. Last year, Daniel Covington was shot and killed, but his death was determined to be a case of self-defense. In April 2011, a judge ruled this case would not go to a grand jury and no charges filed.
But earlier this week, the Commonwealth's Attorney's office filed a notice of appeal in the case. This comes just weeks after they said it did not argue with the judge's ruling and sees no reason to appeal. Attorney Steve Pence says when he heard the news this week, it was long awaited.
"I appreciate that Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel is going to appeal this issue," said Pence. "It's the right thing to do."
Pence represents Daniel Covington's mother. Metro Police say on the morning of September 16, 2010, Covington had a run-in with former UofL baseball player Isaiah Howes that resulted in Covington's death.
This case revolves around the Castle Doctrine, which allows the use of deadly force in your house or car if you fear serious harm or death. Judge Barry Willett ruled in April that Howes was defending himself when he pulled the trigger after Covington dove into his car and started attacking Howes and his brother. Howes was granted immunity in this case.
"We think the facts in this case clearly demonstrate that the shooter, Mr. Howes, was not acting out of fear, that it was another motivation that he had," said Pence.
Pence says witness reports show Covington was reacting to racial slurs and backing away and standing up when he was shot.
"I've received no explanation and I am thoroughly confused," said Bart Adams, Howes attorney.
Adams says he doesn't understand why the notice of appeal was filed.
"I've never known David [Stengel] to be susceptible to pressure from anyone or any group, so I don't think that's it," said Adams. "I just believe that he has rethought his position on the law and the timing of the filling of the motion. That's the only thing I can think of."
Adams believes the legislature says you can use whatever force is necessary to make sure you are safe, and therefore his client has done nothing wrong.
"One way or another Isaiah is going to walk out of that court room a free man, if it takes 30 days, 60 days, or three years," said Adams.
Since the notice was filed on Monday, the Commonwealth's Attorney has 20 to 30 days to file the grounds and the reasoning behind the appeal.
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