EDWARDSVILLE A judge ruled Thursday that a self-defense direction will certainly not be givenprovided the jury for factor to consider in a murder trial involving an Alton man.Third Judicial
Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli said defense counsel for Justin D. Vaughn failed to satisfy the standard for instruction for such a claim in the death of Demetrius Lucas, indicating jurors wont be provided the choice to discover that Vaughn acted in self-defense in the Feb. 5, 2014, shooting.The ruling came after both sides provided their proof in the case. Vaughn was the last witness to take the stand Thursday, telling his version of events from that evening.During questioning, Vaughn, 25, recounted the altercation between he and Lucas in Vaughns Storey Manor apartment or condo, stating Lucas simply got more aggressive by the 2nd after a dice game turned contentious. Lucas was ultimately made to leave the house at 13 Manor Drive in Home Hills, however the conflict didnt end there.Vaughn explained getting his weapon from a pink lunchbox in the laundry space at the back of the house with the intent of daunting Lucas into leaving the real estate complex. When Lucas wouldnt comply on the contrary, Lucas came towards him as the two were outside the home, Vaughn stated he fired exactly what he thought were 3 cautioning shots.I never ever meant to shoot him, Vaughn told the court. I intended to frighten him away from my house.Attempting to prove the self-defense situation, defense attorneydefense lawyer David Fahrenkamp
asserted that the threat of force and the capacity for damage existed and that it was Lucas who was the
aggressor in the scenario. Fahrenkamp asked Vaughn if he believed he did exactly what was needed to safeguard himself because situation.Yes, along with my children and my siblings, Vaughn replied.After hearing all the realities, however, Tognarelli drew a various conclusion.Whats clear to the court is that Mr. Vaughn was never ever in fear, never felt he was in danger, Tognarelli said in the absence of
the jury. I don’t think that this was worry of damage.
I don’t believe the victim was the aggressor. I think Mr. Vaughn was the aggressor.The shooting
took location at a birthday party for Vaughn on Feb. 5, 2014. Lucas, Vaughn, shared friend Demarcus Johnson and the defendants bro Andrew Vaughn went to Lumiere Casino in St. Louis earlier in the day before going back to Storey Manor that night.
Lucas, who was invited along by Johnson, became warmed after feeling hed been cheated out of cash by Vaughn in a dice video game at Vaughns home, according to numerous testimonies.Lucas started throwing dice and pizza at Vaughn prior to taking a swing at the defendant, Vaughn said. Lucas was asked to leave the apartment or condo several times during the event, according to Vaughn, even getting into a physical run-in with visitors in the living space of the apartment.Lucas was shot through the ideal side of his body and in the heel. He
was required to Alton Memorial Hospital but passed away in transportation to a St. Louis medical facility as an outcome of his wounds.Vaughn was accuseded of first-degree murder and intensified, unlawful use of weapons in connection with the event. Nathan Grimm may be reached at 618-208-6451 or on Twitter @GrimmTelegraph.