IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — The Ionia County prosecutor says he will not file charges against a homeowner in the New Year’s Day shooting death of a man because he acted in self-defense.
Ionia County Prosecutor Kyle Butler told the Ionia Sentinel-Standard that the 69-year-old homeowner was justified in shooting Justin Eddy of Lansing because he had “reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.”
Eddy, 44, rushed into the man’s home in the 400 block of East Musgrove Highway in Sebewa Township around 10:35 p.m. on Jan.1, telling the homeowner and his wife that “they” were chasing him and were going to kill him. The homeowner followed the panicked man outside to search for the suspects while his wife called 911.
The Sentinel-Standard says Eddy was acting erratic during the search, hiding behind bushes and the homeowner, and never clarifying who “they” were.
When they returned to the home, Eddy apparently disregarded the homeowner’s order to stay outside, coming into the home and smashing the cellphone his wife was using to call 911 before repeatedly asking the homeowner for his gun. The prosecutor’s office tells the Sentinel-Standard that Eddy then assaulted the homeowner, hitting him in the face, pushing him to the ground and trying to grab his pistol before the homeowner shot him once in the chest.
Eddy died at the scene.
Authorities later determined Eddy had stolen a pickup towing a trailer loaded with a piece of heavy equipment from another property where he had left his own vehicle still running.
Toxicology tests showed he had fentanyl in his system and a blood alcohol level more than three times above the legal limit, the Sentinel-Standard reported. The paper confirmed Eddy struggled with drug abuse and had a history with the Department of Health and Human Services and police.