The criminal case against a north Luther woman who was accused of shooting a gun toward her neighbor has been dismissed.
Without the support of the victims, Logan County District Attorney Laura Thomas dismissed the charge of “Shooting with Intent to Kill” against Jane Martin that was filed in May of 2018.
From May 8, 2018, The Luther Register: According to Logan County Sheriff’s reports, Jane Martin, 69, aimed a gun at her neighbor because the neighbor’s dog was approaching her property. The neighbors share a property line. The sheriff’s report said that Martin said the dog had killed her dog eleven years ago.
The argument escalated all the way up the adjacent driveways, Martin allegedly shot a .380 Ruger three times, according to the incident report. The victim told authorties she felt the bullet “pass just above her head,” the report said.
Martin was arrested and has been charged with one felony count of Shooting With Intent to Kill, a crime that brings a minimum punishment of two years to life. Her bond was initially set at $500,000, but was reduced on Tuesday to $25,000 after her lawyer’s appearance, according to the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network. Martin is ordered to not come into contact with her neighbors, and the weapons on her property were ordered to be removed before she bonded out of jail and returned home, according to OSCN.”
The victim, Elizabeth Voss and her husband, Danny, say they were blindsided by the dismissal of the case. Danny said he thought he was meeting with Thomas and Assistant District Attorney Kevin Etherington recently for the purpose of witness preparation for the case that was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 23, 2019.
Instead, Danny Voss said he was told the state would drop the charges and Voss said he was told it was because a conviction on this charge would be hard to get now that the state has passed an open carry gun law that will go into effect later this year.
“I’m frustrated and upset that the DA refuses to do anything,” said Voss.
The Luther Register’s request for an explanation from Republican Thomas’ office was denied and the dismissal of the case on the eve of the preliminary hearing was confirmed only via OSCN.
Re-elected last November, Thomas is the district attorney for both Logan and Payne Counties. Etherington is her “first” assistant. In a Facebook post campaigning for his boss last year, Etherington said the goal of their office is to “hold the offender accountable by making sure justice is served and protect the community.”
Court and law enforcement observers questioned the logic behind Thomas’ filing of the Shooting With Intent to Kill charge last year, instead of a less serious charge such as reckless behavior or pointing a gun with intent to intimidate.
Instructors who teach conceal carry classes say it is never right to use a gun to gain an advantage in an argument, nor should one use a gun to scare someone out of a yard or along a fence line unless in self-defense or fear of death or bodily harm.
Voss said while he didn’t expect prison time for his long-time neighbor on Charter Oak Road, he thought there should be a consequence for the actions that led to Martin’s arrest last year and the charge.