Paso Robles man tells jury he shoots to kill
September 18, 2015
A Paso Robles man took the stand in his own murder trial Thursday, and he testified that his father taught him to shoot to kill when attacked. [Tribune]
John Steven Danner, 25, is accused of murdering Billy Don Law, 47. Law was the boyfriend of Danner’s mother, and all three lived in the same home.
On Feb. 7, 2014, Danner allegedly shot Law 13 times. Danner claims he was acting in self defense against a man who had abused him in the past.
Danner said he pulled a handgun to warn Law to end a loud argument with his mother. Law then charged at him, Danner said.
A few weeks prior to the shooting, Law knocked out one of Danner’s teeth when he sucker-punched him while Danner was sitting on a couch.
During his testimony Thursday, Danner said his father instructed him to shoot to kill in life-threatening situations, Danner said. He told me to shoot all the bullets in the gun at an attacker, Danner testified.
Danner said, upon moving into Law’s rural Paso Robles property, he got along well with Law for a year. But the situation became tense after the electricity was shut off.
Danner also described the drug use in the household. He said he began using methamphetamine around the time he moved in with Law, and they would use drugs together.
Danner’s attorney, David Vogel, has argued Law is a drug user who would make threats and have violent outbursts.
Prosecutors have argued the shooting was a premeditated murder.