Five Shots at Close Range
Lessons from the Stephen Maddox Case
PART 1: THE FACTS OF THE CASE
In this five-part case study, we will examine "The Four Elements of Self-Defense." What lessons can past self-defense shootings teach concealed carriers today?
In previous case studies, like the Jerome Ersland Case, we've combed through the details of a self-defense shooting that garnered a significant amount of (local) press. We've looked at what went wrong, what went right, and when a self-defense shooting can be legally justified - and when it can't.
In the case of Stephen Maddox, after examining the basic facts, we'll dig into how location, escalation and reasonable fear supported his legal defense. Then we'll look at post-incident actions and explore how CCW Safe helped build Maddox's defense while supporting him emotionally.
On Saturday, October 17, 2015, Stephen Louis Maddox Jr., from Durham, N.C., took part in the festivities surrounding the Queens of Chrome Motorcycle Club's 10th anniversary. The celebrations were held at Bill Ellis' Convention Center in Wilson, N.C.. At approximately 10:40 pm, Kelly Wilkerson, from Raleigh, N.C., assaulted him.
Around 10:48 pm, Maddox spoke with a 911 operator. During the call, he told the dispatcher that he had just been "attacked," and that he "had to shoot him [Wilkerson]." On the recording, Maddox said, "He attacked me in the bathroom, and when I came outside, he jumped on me again."
Maddox shot Wilkerson five times. He then took shelter at a neighboring gas station, telling the 911 dispatcher (still on the line) that he was "afraid to go back to the front of the building." Maddox eventually made his way to the Bill Ellis Barbecue restaurant next to the convention center. The dispatcher told him to set his .44-caliber revolver on the ground, step away from it, and keep his hands raised until the police arrived.
Maddox did as advised. He kept 50 feet away from his revolver. Officers arrived on the scene, then escorted Maddox to the Wilson County jail. The next day, on Sunday, October 18, Maddox was charged with first-degree murder and detained without bail.