On February 3, 2020, Jackson County Circuit Judge Jennifer C. Holt ruled against granting Brittany Joyce Smith stand your ground immunity in the shooting death of Joshua Todd Smith. Judge Holt ruled Smith and her defense team had failed to present a preponderance of evidence proving that she had acted in self defense. Had Smith succeeded in convincing the court she had no other recourse but to use deadly force, she would have been granted immunity against the charges, and a trial would not be necessary.
In the state of Alabama, a person is immune to charges when using force in self defense when that is the only recourse in order to prevent imminent harm to themselves or to another person.
In order to establish her immunity, Smith underwent the Stand Your Ground trial on January 14, 2020 to provide adequate evidence of her innocence from committing a malicious act of deadly force.
After Holt’s ruling, Smith filed a writ of mandamus with the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, requesting the ruling be reversed and immunity be granted to her. Smith cited she had provided an abundance of evidence to the court, proving she had acted in self defense.
Upon review of all evidence, testimonies presented to the court and the filing of Judge Holt’s ruling, the Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of and upheld Holt’s ruling.
Smith now has the option of bringing her appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court. If ruled against there, no other recourse will be available for Smith and her defense team, and the case will be going to trial indefinitely. Even though not enough evidence was provided to award immunity, Smith is still able to claim self defense at the trial.
A full accounting of the Stand Your Ground hearing and Judge Holt’s ruling can be found at by clicking here.