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Bradley v. Hunter
Louisiana Court of Appeal
413 So. 2d 674 (1982)
In May 1980, J.W. Bradley, a 28-year-old man, entered a restaurant owned by Ora Hunter, an 82-year-old woman. Ora’s 65-year-old daughter, Aurila Hunter (defendant), worked in the restaurant with her. Ora and Aurila were the only two employees. In the restaurant, J.W. requested a coke, but Aurila refused to serve him. Aurila had experienced issues with J.W. in the past and had told him not to come into the restaurant. Specifically, Aurila had been threatened by J.W. two weeks earlier after refusing to sell him beer. Ora offered J.W. the coke, but he refused and began to curse at and threaten Aurila. After J.W. left, Ora went outside to make sure he had gone. Aurila grabbed a gun kept under the counter and followed Ora onto the porch. On the porch, Aurila saw J.W. approaching and flailing his arms with clenched fists as he continued to make threats. Aurila threatened J.W. with the gun and warned him not to come any closer. Aurila fired a warning shot, but J.W. kept approaching. Aurila fired at J.W., striking him in the head and killing him. Susie Mae Bradley (plaintiff) brought a civil suit for wrongful death on behalf of J.W.’s four children (Bradley children) (plaintiffs). At trial, evidence was presented on J.W.’s history of criminal activity and tendency toward violence. The trial court granted Aurila’s motion for a directed verdict, finding that the doctrine of self-defense operated as a complete defense to Aurila’s claims. The Bradley children appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cutrer, J.)
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