Marvel comics and the right to use a firearm for self-defense in America were bullet points by attorneys who presented opening statements Wednesday in the trial of a man who shot the son of a reality television series celebrity in Lake Havasu City. There’s no dispute that Garrett Wilder, 22, shot and injured, Garrett Dotson, on Sept. 13, 2020.
The surviving victim of a single gunshot is the son of Dan Dotson, host of the A&E Network ”Storage Wars” program. Wilder is charged with drive-by shooting, 3 aggravated assault counts and disorderly conduct with a weapon.
Deputy Mohave County attorney Kellen Marlow told jurors that comic book superheros are figures revered for wielding awesome power responsibly. He urged the jury to find that Wilder acted irresponsibly when he wielded awesome power by discharging a firearm, making note that the defendant admitted to police investigators that the shooting was unnecessary.
Defense attorney Paul Amman focused on of the Second Amendment right to bear arms and use weapons when necessary for self-defense, particularly in an open carry state like Arizona.
``Garrett Wilder did what any of us would have done in this instance. He protected his girlfriend and he protected himself, Amman said.”
Marlow said Wilder provided inconsistent story versions regarding his near deadly encounter with Dotson and Mauro Owens about 3 a.m. Marlow. He said neither of the victims possessed weapons of any kind when Wilder opted to shoot Dotson and that Wilder told different stories about how close they were to his vehicle when he fired from his Fiat.
``Mr. Dotson carries a bullet in his spine to this day,” Marlow said.
Amman countered that Wilder was driving home early in the morning when he spotted two men who appeared to be in some form of a dispute. He said Wilder pulled over in the vicinity of the 2100 block of Injo Drive.
``He wants to help out,” Amman told the jury. ``He tries to help people. He is a peacemaker.”
Amman said his client was sober and that Dotson was highly intoxicated when Wilder tried to see if he was needed.
``They didn’t want any help,” Amman said. ``They were looking for a tussle.”
Amman said words were exchanged and that Wilder intended to drive away but that his girlfriend leaned from her passenger side position, somehow pushing the button putting the car in park. Amman said Wilder fired his handgun when he heard either Dotson or Mauro say “You’re going to get glocked” as his driver’s side door was kicked and the handle was pulled for entry .
``Dotson wasn’t kicking in the door because he wanted to chat,”Amman said. ``Wilder was in fear for his life and his girlfriend.”
The trial, attended by about 20 people Wednesday morning, is expected to extend into early next week.