A judge ruled Friday afternoon that a Myrtle Beach businessman who filed a Stand Your Ground challenge in regard to a November 2015 shooting incident will go to trial.
Circuit Court Judge Steven John denied the Stand Your Ground challenge filed by Shai David’s defense attorney after hearing testimony and viewing evidence, including David’s own body camera footage of the incident, on Thursday, and stated Friday the matter will go to trial.
David is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon after the shooting injury of Jack Isaiah Rabon, who was charged with the third-degree assault of David, stemming from the same incident, according to court records.
David said Rabon began threatening him after some failed business dealings. The day of the incident, David said he was in the Superblock area in Myrtle Beach collecting rent from his tenants when he saw Rabon come “out of nowhere,” according to testimony.
David activated a body camera he was wearing, capturing the incident. A witness working at a nearby business said he heard shouting, told someone to call 911 and ran out to help. Rabon then backed away to his vehicle, and David opened fire, according to court statements.
Rabon was injured during the shooting, and testified in court Thursday that he was on life support in the hospital for about three days after the incident.
David sought immunity from the charges in the incident under the shield of the state’s Stand Your Ground law, which says deadly force is allowed to defend someone’s home, place of business or vehicle.
During closing arguments Friday morning, David’s defense attorney said David had the right to use force until he believed the threat he was encountering was over.
David told police that Rabon carried “several guns” in his truck and that he feared if he didn’t shoot, Rabon would have carried out previous threats, according to court statements.
The defense also said in closing that David believed he saw a weapon and had the right to act on appearances. The defense claimed that when Rabon was in his vehicle there was a pause in his departure where he repositioned his vehicle, so David fired his gun until he believed the threat had ended, which the defense said was his right, and that David was acting in self defense.
The defense called Rabon’s attack on David just before the shooting “unprovoked and vicious.”
“Was he justified of being fearful of Jack Rabon? Absolutely,” David’s attorney said.
While the State said Rabon did assault David, it argued that any threat ended when Rabon retreated to his vehicle and that Rabon was fleeing the scene when David advanced toward him and fired.
Rabon testified Thursday that he did have a firearm, an “old pair of brass knuckles,” several different rounds of ammunition and a “small baseball bat” in his truck that day, but said he never used any of the weapons against David.
Rabon said that he lived in a rough part of town and that he had been robbed before so he carried weapons for protection. The defense said that David knew Rabon carried weapons, making him feel threatened.
The State also said that Rabon was driving away from the scene when David moved toward him and opened fire.
“He ended the altercation. He drove away, and the defendant pursued,” said attorney Martin Spratlin, representing the State.
The judge made his ruling Friday afternoon after hearing closing arguments that morning, and denied the Stand Your Ground challenge. Now, a jury will decide the case.
The matter will be scheduled to go to trial, but a date is not set.