DC Shocker: Woman Acquitted of Murder, Other Charges After Self-Defense Claim

by Tommy Grant

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In a verdict that is more notable for where it occurred—Washington, DC—more so than why it occurred—a justifiable self-defense claim, Tierra Posey, a 24-year-old woman, was acquitted of all charges related to fatally shooting another woman during a fight in 2020. The acquittal came after a week-long trial in DC Superior Court, as reported by DC Witness.

The case centered around the events of January 6, 2020, at a gas station on the 3700 block of Minnesota Avenue, NE, Washington, DC, where 21-year-old Tia Carey was fatally shot. Posey faced charges of second-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and carrying a pistol without a license outside of a home or business. The core of the defense’s argument was that Posey acted in self-defense during an altercation with Carey.

Both the defense and prosecution acknowledged, based on video surveillance evidence, that Carey was the initial aggressor in the confrontation. The prosecution, however, contended that Posey had the opportunity to retreat from the situation and therefore, her decision to use a firearm was not justified. This perspective was summarized in their questioning of whether deadly force was necessary to repel Carey, to which they answered negatively, suggesting Carey confronted Posey after finding her with Carey’s boyfriend.

Despite presenting video surveillance footage and eyewitness testimonies, including those from the victim’s sister, boyfriend and niece, the prosecution faced challenges. Notably, Carey’s boyfriend was hesitant in his responses to many questions, and other witnesses provided conflicting accounts of the events leading up to the shooting. The discrepancies included whether Carey had intentionally sought out Posey or encountered her by chance.

The defense highlighted these inconsistencies and further introduced evidence of Carey’s history of domestic violence arrests. Additionally, they brought forward an independent eyewitness who testified to hearing Carey make threatening statements towards Posey during the altercation, although they could not recall the exact words.

In a compelling testimony, Posey recounted her own experience of the event, framing it within her broader experiences with gun violence. She described how she felt her life was threatened during the altercation with Carey, leading her to defend herself with the firearm.

After less than a day of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict acquitting Posey of all charges. The decision allows her to continue her life in the community, marking the end of a legal battle rooted in a tragic event. Washington, DC, is one of the least gun-friendly cities in the nation, with a duty to retreat rather than stand your ground laws in place and juries that seldom go for acquittal even in self-defense when a firearm is involved.

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