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Saturday October 20, 2018

self defense claim in murder trial

Tuesday, June 05, 2018 17:18 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

He doesn't deny shooting 10 times a man seeing his girlfriend but the defendant in a Michigan City murder case alleges he was shot at first.

The trial of 23-year old Joshua Ratliff will apparently boil down to whether a jury believes his claims of self-defense.

Ratliff and the woman have four children together and lived in the same home at 615 Spring St. where Turner in November was shot to death.

LaPorte County chief deputy prosecutor Mark Roule during his opening statements Monday afternoon said the woman began seeing Taylor after Ratliff because of the commute to his job at a bakery in Chicago began returning home less frequently.

Roule said the defendant after learning about the relationship ordered her during a heated exchange to bring Turner to their residence.

Ratliff even followed the woman on her way to get Turner to make sure she was complying with his request, he said.

Roule said the evidence shows Turner was inside the home when Ratliff as soon as he opened the door racked his gun and began firing.

Defense attorney David Jones said his client only wanted to harm Turner, not kill him, and Turner fired the first shot just as Ratliff stepped inside.

He said Ratliff returned fire repeatedly because Turner after the first shot kept pulling the trigger, but his gun never fired again due to a shell casing stuck in the chamber.

''Josh keeps firing not knowing if the next click will be bang,'' Jones said.

Roule said the defendant ordering his girlfriend not to tell Turner that Ratliff was going to be there also shows his real intentions.
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