Update: Bennet man cleared in shooting
Posted By: Kayla Bremer
The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office says there's not enough evidence to support criminal charges against Michael Kinney.
Sheriff Terry Wagner says his office has concluded the investigation into the shooting of 21-year-old Jeffery Stotler last Wednesday morning at Kinney's home in Bennet.
The Lancaster County Attorney says Kinney was acting in self defense and protecting his family.
50–year–old Kinney, who is a corrections officer, was originally arrested for first degree assault and use of a weapon to commit a felony.
The Sheriff's Office says Stotler and Kinney's 18–year–old daughter got into a fight while driving to Bennet. He's accused of hitting her with the car door and holding her down outside the house. The Sheriff says soon after that Stotler took off.
“After the daughter entered the house, Stotler had left the residence, but he returned, attempting to get into the locked house,” Sheriff Wagner said. “Stotler forcibly entered the residence and was shot twice with a .22 caliber rifle by Michael Kinney.”
This morning, the Sheriff's Office announced that Kinney acted in self-defense and would not face any criminal charges.
In a statement released from Kinney's attorney, Robert Creager, they say they were confident the County Attorney would come to this decision.
Creager says, “Being in law enforcement, it was difficult for Mr. Kinney to be arrested, jailed and facing criminal charges for doing what he believed was necessary to defend his family. But he understands the way the system works and he appreciates the professional manner in which law enforcement handled the investigation.”
As for Jeffrey Stotler, he remains in the hospital. The County Attorney is still deciding if charges will be filed against him.
He's currently on probation for a past domestic incident that involved a former girlfriend.
The domestic violence case between stotler and kinney's daughter that led up to the shooting is still under investigation.
Michael Kinney's full statement offered through his attorney:
We were confident that once law enforcement completed its investigation, the county attorney would conclude that Mr. Kinney acted lawfully in defending himself and his family. Being in law enforcement, it was difficult for Mr. Kinney to be arrested, jailed and facing criminal charges for doing what he believed was necessary to defend his family. But he understands the way the system works and he appreciates the professional manner in which law enforcement handled the investigation. Mr. Kinney found great comfort in the strong support he received from the community, his friends and his family. He offers his thanks to all of them. Without such support this situation would have been even more stressful. He is relieved that he can now put this matter behind him and he looks forward to returning to a more normal life.
Robert B. Creager
Attorney for Michael Kinney