In 2020, I really should have learned not to be surprised by much of anything. I mean, we found out there were signs of life on Venus and I don’t even bat an eye. The only surprise I felt was that we didn’t learn they were there because they’d launched an invasion fleet at us.
Yet, I can still be just a smidge surprised, apparently.
After all, I didn’t think anyone would really have the cajones to try this defense.
A wanted man shot several times by Winnebago County sheriff’s deputies in an exchange of gunfire has seemingly made a full recovery.
Now he’s trying to prove his innocence by arguing he fired in self-defense and didn’t know the people approaching him were law enforcement.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I do believe that one can plead self-defense for firing at police officers. The best current case is during the Breonna Taylor shooting when police executed a no-knock warrant and Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire. He had reason to believe their home was being broken into, not a police raid was taking place.
Him claiming self-defense? I totally buy that.
This guy? Not so much. Why? Well…
Wainer Sousa Ancheta, 28, appeared Monday in a suit and unhandcuffed before Judge Ronald White in the Winnebago County Justice Center. He remains in Winnebago County Jail.
In October 2018, Ancheta was wanted on warrants in Winnebago and Boone counties for narcotics violations. He was a passenger in a white Mercedes that sheriff’s deputies had followed to the parking lot of Fas Fuel at North Main Street and Halsted Road.
When five deputies approached the vehicle, Ancheta fired at least one gunshot at them while still inside the car. All five deputies returned fire, striking Ancheta several times.
Now, the defense is alleging that one of the deputies didn’t have a vest marking him as police. Presumably, the officers had their weapons drawn, which Ancheta is claiming he interpreted as a threat.
Maybe it’s just me, but if I see five guys in body armor and four of them say “Police” or some variation on them and they’re not shooting the fifth guy, I’m probably going to make the leap that he might be a cop as well.
Honestly, while self-defense can be valid when dealing with the police, I’d be absolutely shocked if this one went anywhere.
At the end of the day, this is a reach by the defense. They know Ancheta is going to prison for a very long time without trying to grasp at something, so they’re looking to make the case that he didn’t realize it was the police. Sometimes that defense can work, but I just don’t see it in this case. Especially considering there were four other officers who apparently had properly marked vests. I just don’t see how it will stick.
But, the purpose of a defense attorney is to put up the best defense for their clients they can. That includes grasping at straws when that’s pretty much all you have.