District Attorney: Self defense claim “bogus”
BENTON COUNTY, Tenn. — A stern warning to Benton County residents from District Attorney Matt Stowe after a shooting earlier this week left a 19 year-old dead and a 21 year-old behind bars. The man who is accused of pulling the trigger in Monday’s Big Sandy shooting is now charged with second degree murder. Deputies said he told them he was acting in self-defense. Matt Stowe’s warning, if you plan to commit a crime in his district and “cover it up as something it’s not,” you are headed to jail. “Every two-bit cut-throat and gang member thinks that they can kill whoever they want and make it look like a suicide or claim it was self- defense,” Stowe said. George Burns III is charged with second degree murder after deputies said he shot Michael Nuzzo in the chest during a fist fight. “It was a disagreement between two young boys that just went bad,” Benton County Sheriff Kenny Christopher said. “He said that he was being assaulted and that it was self-defense.” After a lengthy investigation, prosecutors said that self-defense claim is just not true. “We’re all fed-up, everyone is fed-up,” General Stowe said. “This notion that got out there that you can kill whoever you want to and pretend like it’s self-defense, it’s got to be stopped and it will be stopped.” Investigators said Burns had just completed a gun training class before the shooting but did not yet have his license. Now, prosecutors said their main goal is to put people like Burns away to protect the rights of gun owners. “The law abiding citizens will not allow the ability to protect themselves with guns to be exploited with this type of self-defense fabrication,” Assistant District Attorney Bruce Griffey said. Deputies said they are still investigating the case and that heightened charges could be brought against Burns. He is currently being held at the Benton County Jail on $500,000 bond. He is expected to be formally arraigned on Wednesday.