The Anatomy of a Self-Defense Shooting, Pt. 2

Interview with Spencer Newcomer and Attorney Christopher Ferro, Esq.

by Marty Hayes

A note to readers: In our January 2019 edition of this online journal, we told the story of Spencer Newcomer who after months of harassment by several neighbors was told by one, David Wintermyer, “I am going to kill you,” during a confrontation on the street. That verbal threat–coupled with an aggressive, fighting stance and grabbing something out of his right front pants pocket–resulted in Wintermyer’s death when Newcomer shot him to avoid being killed with what he believed was a gun the man was pulling out. The object turned out to be a cell phone in a black, rubbery case. Newcomer was subsequently charged with first- and third-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

If you missed the first installment, we suggest you return to this link to read the details of events leading to Newcomer’s arrest. Picking up where we left off in January, our interviewer, Network President Marty Hayes, now turns to defense attorney Chris Ferro and asks him to outline his decision to take the case and the challenges that entailed.

Hayes: Chris, please give us your recollection of how you first heard about the case and who contacted you. How did you get involved?

Ferro: Well, the location where this took place is actually not too far from my home. It’s not often in one of these neighborhoods that you have a shooting that results in a death. There’s an elementary school within 1,000 yards from where this took place. It’s very quiet, with tree-lined streets. It’s the last place in the world you would expect a homicide. It was big news from the very beginning.

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President’s Message

Marty eJournal column pix

State of the Industry

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

I just got back from a quick, two-day visit to the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade) Show and if glitz and smiles are any indication, the state of the industry–despite what people say about the “Trump Slump”–is encouraging. I saw no indication of gun makers and other product manufacturers downsizing. The halls were filled with people going to and fro, with their minds on making money.

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Attorney Question of the Month


Recently a Network member asked about our affiliated attorneys’ thoughts on under what circumstances they might choose to try a self-defense case before a jury or under what circumstances they might prefer to seek a bench trial. Here is what we asked–

What circumstances if any might lead you to ask for a bench trial to have a judge make a finding about criminal charges stemming from use of force in self defense, as opposed to trying the case before a jury? What rationale drives your preference for a jury trial or for a bench trial?

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Book Review

The Concealed Handgun Manual
By Chris Bird
592 pages, softbound, 5.5x8.5
ISBN-13: 9780997558135
7th ed. published and sold by Privateer Publications $24.95. Kindle version at for $12.99

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

“A lot has happened since I published the last edition of The Concealed Handgun Manual in 2011,” writes Chris Bird, by way of introduction to the seventh edition. Now in his 70s, Bird shares a lifetime of training and shooting experience with new concealed carry practitioners. This book addresses much more than guns and holsters, although there is plenty to get new practitioners off to a good start with their carry gear, too.

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Editor's Notebook


by Gila Hayes

Oh, how we love exotic, extreme, and specialized guns and gear. We forget that much of our personal safety depends on behavior and not on gear, so how about tackling behavior issues that can cascade into use of force situations? Let’s consider a few basics that, while certainly not inclusive, are preventive measures most of us can improve and thus keep trouble further at bay.

Doors–Solid steel framed doors are great! The role of the door is to delay intrusion. If you’re inside, the noise of someone trying to get past your door provides warning and time to prepare, issue orders to leave, ensconce in a safe room, call authorities to get your problem on record, and be ready to fight if necessary. But doors work only if they are locked!

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About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

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