Judge nixes ‘castle’ defense in road rage incident

December 11, 2012

UNIONTOWN (AP) — A man’s home may be his castle, but a judge says the state’s Castle Doctrine doesn’t necessarily apply if he feels threatened in his vehicle.

Fayette County Judge Nancy Vernon has rejected a request to dismiss attempted homicide and other charges against 22-year-old Ralph Fisher.

The Herald-Standard reports the Uniontown man is charged with shooting 29-year-old Derek McKulka, of Connellsville, on May 15.

That’s when police say McKulka was tailgating Fisher and hit the back of Fisher’s vehicle. Fisher’s attorney, Samuel Davis, contends Fisher shot McKulka in the hands — but only after McKulka drove at Fisher before driving off.

County prosecutors contend Fisher walked up to McKulka’s car and fired without provocation.

Davis says Fisher was defending himself under the Castle Doctrine, which allows people to use deadly force in some self-defense situations.



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