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Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorneys Secure Not-Guilty Verdict for Man Charged with Murder

Attorney Ryan Davis and co-counsel Miles Kinsell fought hard to prove that Steven Thompson was acting in self-defense when he shot Nicholas Barter.

Steven Thompson was charged with the murder of his friend, Nicholas Barter, after shooting him in the chest during a physical fight in 2009. His trial ended recently, and the jury determined that he was acting in self-defense when he shot Barter. He was acquitted of all charges and allowed to walk free for the first time since his arrest on July 17, 2009. He was represented by Attorney Ryan Davis, of Jansen & Davis, and by co-counsel Gainesville criminal defense attorney Miles Kinsell, of Kinsell Law Firm.

The fight began over a cell phone, and resulted in the two men physically beating each other. Both sustained bloody wounds from the fight. Thompson was able to gain the upper hand during the fight, and once he did, he left to clean himself off in the bathroom. At that point, Barter attempted to restart the fight. Thompson, exhausted and fearing for his life, found his gun and pointed it at him. His friend taunted him, then lunged at him, prompting Barter to shoot him twice in the chest. Thompson stayed with him until police arrived, but he had already died of his wounds.

Gainesville criminal defense attorney Davis and Kinsell were able to prove that Thompson acted in self defense. A large portion of the prosecution's case rested on the allegation that Barter was too drunk to pose a real threat. Davis and Kinsell, however, produced footage that showed him walking in the parking lot before the incident, clearly proving that he was not so inebriated that he was impotent.

There was also a knife found in the motel room where the fight occurred. Florida law allows the use of deadly force if it is in the prevention of a felony, which a Thompson's fear, a fatal beating, would have been. The jury, which was composed of three men and three women, were able to come to their conclusion within about five hours.

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