Jordan testified that he knew Cantrell and that they has been shooting together. Spence asked Jordan “You are certainly fast on the draw. What about Sheriff Cantrell?" Jordan answered, "Ed? Well, I reckon he's a mite bit faster'n me." The jury found Ed Cantrell not guilty.
Under Wyoming law, as it is in most states, it is not necessary that Rosa actually be going for his gun, only that Cantrell reasonably believed that he was. Thus, even if Rosa were merely going for his wine glass, if Cantrell reasonably believed that Rosa was going for his gun, Cantrell was not guilty As noted by the Wyoming Supreme Court in Hernandez v. State, 976 P. 2d 672 (Wyo. 1999):
The right of self-defense exists whether the threatened danger is real or apparent and that it is not necessary for the danger to be real or impending and immediate before self-defense is justified as long as the defendant reasonably believes it is.
Even though Cantrell was found not guilty, this is not always the case in situation such as this. It is possible to be so fast in your defensive actions that you become the attacker. Sometimes it may be a fine line between you being the victim and you being the attacker. For it to be a self-defense situation, the law requires you to believe you are in imminent danger before you may act in self-defense. This does not mean you have to wait until the attacker actually attacks you, but if you react so quickly that witnesses say you attacked before the other person had made any movement, you may be found guilty of a crime.
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