LA Woman Jailed for Shooting in the Air to ‘Scare Boyfriend’s Ex’
Love can make you do crazy things. When that love happens in Louisiana, that's doubly true - especially when an ex-girlfriend and a firearm are part of the equation.
The emergency calls starting rolling in on Sunday
According to the report from KTVE, dispatchers from the Monroe Police Department received an anonymous call claiming that someone was driving down US Highway 165, in front of God and everybody, waving a handgun out of the passenger side of a Ford Taurus. When the men & women in blue caught up to a vehicle in the area matching the description, they immediately pulled the car over and questioned the occupants.
The suspect wasn't just waving a gun, she was using it
When police questioned the passenger, 23-year-old Johnavia T. Baker, she admitted that she had been the one wielding the weapon. During the investigation, she also admitted to firing the gun into the air while the car she was riding in was travelling down the road. According to the report, Baker blasted her handgun into the sky above her as a warning to the person she claims was following close behind - her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend.
If she fired a "warning shot" because she was scared for her life, would the law be on her side?
Almost definitely not. Firing a "warning shot" still counts as use of deadly force, and you'd have a hard time proving that in a court of law - and that's if you were defending your home from an imminent and violent attack. Personal protection expert Ben Findley at USACarry really dissects the issue in his report on the matter, but he sums it up nicely here:
Firing a warning shot is usually never a good idea because most states legally treat it as the use of deadly force by the aggressor. The difficult and costly burden of proof may be on you to clearly show that it was a righteous use of deadly force
That being said, Johnavia admitted to officers that her warning shot came from a moving vehicle on a busy highway and was absolutely meant to intimidate someone. Scared or not, that's reckless and certainly illegal.
The charge against her is a serious felony
Baker was arrested and transported to the Ouachita Correctional Center. She is being charged with "Illegal use of Weapons or Dangerous Instruments" - a felony in Louisiana. If convicted, she faces 10-20 years at hard labor without the chance of parole.