A 34-year old woman who pointed a gun at a motorist during a Louisville protest back in September will not face any charges in the incident after a grand jury declined to indict the demonstrator. Robin Ash had claimed that she pulled her gun in self-defense when the driver flashed his own gun, and the grand jurors couldn’t find enough evidence to contradict her story.
Louisville police spokesperson Lamont Washington said at the time the motorist was the victim, and the driver wasn’t taken into custody. But others at the scene reported he pointed his gun toward at several people.
A silent aerial video released on the LMPD’s Facebook page showed a car stop in the street by the protesters, and several people walk up to the vehicle.
As we reported at the time, another video taken by a protester at the scene showed the man get out of his car after the kick to his vehicle and briefly display a handgun at the protesters crowding around him before he got back in his vehicle and drove away. According to Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine, who presented the case to the grand jury, he recommended that Ash not be charged with wanton endangerment because “there was insufficient evidence to rebut claims of self-protection and protection of others beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Ash was also originally facing charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, but Wine says that the woman received a full pardon from then-governor Steve Beshear in 2015, despite previous reports that Beshear’s pardon didn’t restore her right to keep and bear arms.
Robin Ash, the woman arrested by the Louisville Metro Police Department and charged with wanton endangerment, criminal mischief and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, was previously charged with burglary in the third degree and unlawful taking over $500 but less than $10,000 according to state records.
She served two years at the Bullitt County Detention Center, according to the documents.
Beshear signed the pardon restoring her civil rights to vote and hold public office in November of 2015. The pardon document states the order does not allow Ash, whose last name is stated as Crandal in the documents, to possess a gun.
According to local TV station WDRB, Wine on Wednesday released documents showing that Beshear had issued a full pardon to Ash, contradicting those earlier reports about the pardon document and Ash’s right to keep and bear arms. I’m curious why this information is just now coming out, given that Ash was arrested back in September and her pardon was reported by the media a short time later.
Ultimately, this was a case about self-defense; both for the motorist (who was never facing charges) as well as for Ash. Could prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either individual drew their firearm in self-defense as opposed to brandishing their weapons offensively? Based on the evidence, that seems highly unlikely. The outcome of the case may not satisfy protesters who wanted to see the driver charged or those who wanted to see Ash hauled into court, but if nothing else Second Amendment supporters can take some solace in the fact that Kentucky’s laws regarding self-defense aren’t being ignored by prosecutors in Louisville.