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Judge: Man denied 'stand your ground' defense in shooting of process server

Posted at 8:55 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2020-03-04 20:27:55-05

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa man accused of shooting a process server is headed to trial.

Christopher Barnett argued he should be protected by Oklahoma's stand your ground law. However, a judge disagreed saying his fear of imminent peril was not reasonable.

Tulsa County District Attorny Steve Kunzweiler said all the evidence is in a video captured by Barnett's own doorbell camera.

“The court got to see the same video that had been put out in the media and listened to the audio recording," Kunzweiler said. "Obviously the court made the determination that it was not reasonable for Mr. Barnett to be doing what he was doing.”

Video shows the server approaching the door and speaking with Barnett. The judge said Barnett told him to leave several times and threatened his life. The server walks off and points to his car, which is when Barnett shoots him. Barnett said he saw a gun holster and feared for his life.

“What we argued is what Chris testified to," said Jason Lollman, Barnett's attorney. "Chris testified that he had a belief that this person was going to come into his home and that this person was going to attack him.”

Even though the judge ruled stand your ground does not apply in this case, Lollman said they still plan to say it was self-defense during the trial.

“Stand your ground, it creates a different style of defense than self-defense," Lollman said. "I think that we believe that we can show at least at trial that he was acting in self-defense. That his belief was reasonable.”

Kunzweiler said he hopes the case will serve as a reminder about how Oklahoma's stand your ground law actually works.

“Certainly in Oklahoma, a reasonable person ought to have the knowledge that one, this is a carry and conceal state and this is also an open-carry state," Kunzweiler said. "Just because you see a gun doesn’t give you the authority to just pull your gun out and start shooting.”


A man who police say shot a process server Wednesday, July 24, in south Tulsa has been arrested for the second time within the last day.

Christopher Barnett, a former gubernatorial candidate in Oklahoma, was arrested again late Thursday, July 25.

He faces counts of shooting with intent to kill and threatening an act of violence. It's unclear if his second arrest was related to the initial arrest.

The shooting Wednesday happened in the 7500 block of East 102nd Street.

Police said the victim was serving eviction papers to Barnett. The victim was shot in the elbow as he was walking back to his vehicle, according to police. The victim said Barnett told him several times that he would kill him, according to the police report.

Barnett is being held without bail.

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