Judge says firearm charge will stay in Douglas MacDuff shooting case
Douglas MacDuff II is accused of shooting a man after wrecking his vehicle — using a weapon prosecutors say he legally couldn’t possess.
MacDuff, 27, faces charges in connection with the Jan. 3 wreck in North San Juan that killed his dog and injured his girlfriend. Authorities have said he shot a man after a rock was thrown at his vehicle.
Previously convicted of a felony, MacDuff can’t legally possess a firearm, prosecutors said. He faces firearm and evading accusations.
Assistant Public Defender Susan Leff, who represents MacDuff, argued at a Thursday hearing that visiting Superior Court Judge C. Anders Holmer should dismiss the firearm accusation. The broad ban prohibiting felons from possessing guns infringes on Second Amendment rights.
“Had he not had the gun that day, he might not be sitting with us,” Leff said, adding moments later: “He did what he had to do to save his life and save (his girlfriend’s) life.”
Holmer sided with prosecutors, opting against dismissing a firearms charge. Deputy District Attorney Ed Grubaugh then amended the accusations against MacDuff, who now faces five firearms charges and a count of evading an officer.
MacDuff, who’s pleaded not guilty, is next scheduled for court May 16.
MacDuff’s dog Loki — a 4-year-old Chihuahua — died in the Jan. 3 crash, Grubaugh said. Court records state MacDuff’s girlfriend received severe injuries and was hospitalized with a penetrating head injury and skull fracture.
According to Leff’s motion, a man threw a rock at MacDuff’s vehicle, shattering its window and sending it off the road. A video showed the man running toward the vehicle after it wrecked. The man said he had a metal pole in his hand at the time and threw the pole at MacDuff, who then allegedly shot him.
Grubaugh said he’s reviewing evidence against the man who was shot. No decision has been made whether that man will face charges.
“Look at what happened. Look at what could have happened,” Leff said. “The option that he had was to stand his ground.”
Leff said justice with no compassion is not civilized. Grubaugh argued that, constitutionally, compassion isn’t a consideration.
The law is clear, Grubaugh said. Felons have no right to possess firearms.
“He was violating the law rather clearly in a number of ways even before we get to the issue of self-defense,” Grubaugh said.
MacDuff fled the scene and destroyed evidence. A week later he fled from a traffic stop and escaped. Officers caught him after an early February chase, authorities said.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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