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Prosecutor Rules Self-Defense In Slaying

By Jeff Arnold
Fort Smith, Arkansas • Thursday, June 21, 2001
(Originally ran here)

Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Tom Gean announced Wednesday that he will not file charges against a Fort Smith woman who shot and killed her boyfriend.

O’Brien Atchison Jr., 68, of Fort Smith was shot and killed by Everlean Porter, 68, after Atchison entered her residence at 2019 N. 12th St. early June 12.

Porter told police she terminated a 21-year relationship with Atchison on June 11, but he refused to return a key she had given him to her home. She told police Atchison used that key to enter her residence.

After Atchison entered the home, Porter told police they argued and at one point Atchison got up from where he was sitting and told her he had come over to kill her and her two sons.

Porter said she then fired three shots from a .32 caliber pistol she retrieved when the argument started. Atchison was hit twice in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene.

Porter told police she feared for her life and that Atchison threatened her with a gun twice before and he was known to carry a pistol. Police found a .22 caliber revolver in Atchison’s right front pants pocket.

Gean said the shooting was clearly justified.

“This was a classic case of self-defense,” Gean said. “A person in their own home can use deadly force when they think a person is about to commit a felony using force or violence.”

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By calling attention to a well-regulated militia for the security of the Nation, and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our Founding Fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny, which gave rise to the second amendment, will ever be a major danger to our Nation, the amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic military-civilian relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of the country. For that reason I believe the second amendment will always be important. --JOHN F. KENNEDY

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