September 17, 2009
"University of Maryland professor David Gray, who specializes in criminal law, said prosecutors must weigh whether [20-year-old John] Pontolillo felt his life was in danger or whether he became the aggressor. In Maryland, Gray said, an individual is not expected to retreat from suspected danger in his own home. But it is unclear how the law applies to an enclosed backyard. If the student felt he was in danger of severe bodily harm, then he was within his right to protect himself, Gray said: 'It doesn't matter if he used a gun, a sword or a frying pan.'"