SPOKANE, Wash. - ABC News Legal Analyst Dan Abrams predicted on Good Morning America Friday morning the jury may struggle to convict Gail Gerlack of manslaughter in the shooting death of Brendon Kaluza-Graham last March.
There are a lot of people out there who have concealed weapons permits who could find themselves in the very same situation. You have the right to carry a gun and this case is about when and how you can legally use it to stop a crime.
Using video provided by KXLY, network correspondent Neal Karlinsky detailed the self-defense case and then legal analyst Dan Abrams said given the bullet hole in the back of Gerlach's SUV his use of force probably wasn't justified.
"So the notion he actually saw him turn around, point his finger or thinking he had a gun is unlikely," Abrams said.
However, Abrams then added that it would still be difficult for prosecutors to win a conviction.
"The fact that he stole the car and that this guy is shooting after a guy who stole his car in Spokane, Wash. is going to make it tough to get 12 jurors to convict beyond a reasonable doubt," Abrams said.
Abrams then said he thinks Gerlach is guilty under the letter of the law but doubts the jury can overlook the fact that Gerlach was the victim of a crime.
"I think its going to be really hard to have found 12 jurors who are willing to put aside the fact that the car was stolen and just sort of look at this in a vacuum which makes this a much tougher case for prosecutors," Abrams said.
One thing Abrams didn't have the luxury of knowing is that there are eleven women sitting on this jury and just one man. The alternate jurors are also women, and there's a possibility those demographics could have an impact on the verdict.
Testimony in the case resumes Monday.
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