U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On 8 July, 2019, in Madison, Illinois, at about 7:40 pm, there was a confrontation between twin brothers and three other people. The confrontation appears to have been between twin brothers Corion Mosley, and Torion Mosley, both 21 years old, and at least three other people, two minors and an adult. The story has been covered extensively by reporter Scott Cousins of The Telegraph.
Both twins had felony convictions from 2016 for armed robbery, according to thetelegraph.com. Torion Mosely faced a pending assault charge and an aggravated domestic battery charge. The two brothers faced a 21-year-old, unnamed adult, a 16-year-old minor, and 15-year-old Omarion Coleman, according to reports in bdn.com.
During the confrontation, Torion Mosely passed a handgun to Corion Mosely. Corion Mosely shot the three people confronting him, killing Omarion Coleman and wounding the other two.
The two brothers were charged with First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of Weapons by a Felon.
Before the trial of Corion Mosely, his brother, Torion Mosely, had already plead guilty to lesser charges to obtain a six-year prison sentence. Corion Mosely decided on a jury trial.
Scott Cousins reports two versions of events were presented to the jury. The prosecution portrayed the shootings as payback for verbal disrespect; the defense claimed Corion reasonably considered himself under a deadly threat by a street gang.
In their closing arguments Thursday, attorneys painted different pictures of the incident.
Assistant Madison County State’s Attorney Luke Yager said Corion Mosley shot and killed Coleman for smarting off to him, then shot two other people. Defense attorney Patrick Ryan Dunn Sullivan said the two brothers were surrounded by a gang of hostile, possibly armed, youths and Corion Mosley shot them in self-defense.
Corion had spent two years in the County Jail awaiting trial, on a 1 million dollar bond. The jury found him not guilty. From bdn.com:
A Madison County jury has found a 23-year-old laborer not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2019 shooting death of a teenager in Madison.
Corion Mosley had spent more than two years in the Madison County jail before his trial this week in Edwardsville. He walked out Thursday evening and went home to his family.
The case shows the disfunction in crime-ridden neighborhoods where there is limited trust in police. The Mosely brothers had felony convictions when they were about 18. When people are convicted of felonies at 18, they usually have numerous run-ins with the law as minors.
We do not know if the two people who were wounded and Omarion Coleman had police records. The two minors’ records are shielded by law. The adult man, 21-years-old, was not named. The unnamed man might have been legally able to own a firearm in Illinois. None was mentioned.
The point of this tale of dysfunction and woe is the jury saw the serious potential for self-defense.
The accused had previous felony convictions. The accused could not legally possess a firearm. The accused did not stay at the scene, attempt to preserve evidence, give aid, or contact the police. The accused fled the scene and hid from the police.
Yet the jury found reason to believe the shooting was self-defense. The defense is reported as claiming the crime scene was chaotic and poorly secured, allowing the potential for evidence to be removed.
Felons do not give up the right to self-defense. It is an inherent human right.
It has become unusual for criminal cases to go to trial. In previous times, jury trials were common. Plea bargains were unusual.
Perhaps those times are returning. Juries are not perfect. They can make mistakes. They are just better than most alternatives.
When a jury can find a convicted felon, who used an illegally possessed gun, not guilty in a muddy case, by reason of self-defense, it is an example of checks and balances, of the right to self-defense and to a jury trial.
It may be juries are becoming more skeptical of prosecutors. That could be a good thing.
I do not expect the Mosely twins to become great proponents of Constitutional Law. It is not the way to bet.
Respect for the right to self-defense is a positive thing for society. Several lessons are reinforced by the Mosley Twins’ example.
- Avoid confrontations.
- Support the rule of law.
- Develop those habits early.
If you win the confrontation, and the trial, you can still lose. Two years in County lock-up is not fun.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.