Domonick Matthews Testimonial
On May 4, 2019, I was in my home in Northwest Baltimore when my cousin, a mentally unstable man who had for years threatened me and my family, were arguing through text messages. At one point in the conversation, he told me, “You’re Dead.” Because of this, because of his history of unpredictable behavior, because of the fact that I knew he was nearby and because I am a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair, I was nervous.
Not knowing what he was going to do, if anything, I grabbed my gun and started locking the doors to my house. Before I could lock the front door, he was walking in. He approached me, punched me twice in the face and began to reach for my neck. Concerned that he might strange me and with no options to get away or otherwise defend myself, I shot him. I didn’t kill him, but I did hit him in the shoulder from very close range. Fortunately, this caused him to stop his assault and leave.
Not wanting to be arrested, I left the neighborhood and stayed with various relatives until I could call a lawyer and come up with a game plan. A friend told me about Mr. MacFee and I called him. He told me that there was no question that I would be arrested soon, and that once that happens, I should call him and he will come and see me at the jail. Because of my condition, he said that they would house me at the hospital at MTC.
Within 2 days of that conversation, I was arrested and charged with attempted 1st and 2nd degree murder, 1st and 2nd degree assault, reckless endangerment and gun charges. While jail is never a fun place for anyone, because of my condition it was really bad. Like Mr. MacFee, said, I was processed and immediately placed in the “hospital” at MTC.
On June 4, I met Mr. MacFee for the first time. He asked, and I told him the complete story about what had happened. I gave him the police report and he went over it with me. We discussed 2 defenses. The first was called “the Castle Doctrine.” He taught me that all this really means is that there is no duty to retreat from a fight when it happens inside of your home. The second defense was self-defense. He explained to me that most people don’t believe there is a self-defense law in Maryland, but that there is, and that we would be using it in my case. Finally, he said he would need to get some witnesses in to testify as to the character of my cousin, because part of the self-defense law was that I would need to show that I was in fear of what this man might do, and that the fear was reasonable under the circumstances. To do that, he named my mother and brother as witnesses.
On November 20, the case was sent to trial in front of Judge Althea Handy. The state’s first witness was my cousin, Rodney. Mr. MacFee cross-examined him and made it clear to the jury that on the day he attacked me he was angry. He illustrated that my cousin had a choice to let the argument die, but instead he purposely came to my house with the intent to assault me once he got there. He got Rodney to say that he had known me for years, and knew that I was a paraplegic and couldn’t defend myself. In short, he got the jury to hate the victim by depicting him as a common asshole who would literally physically attack a disabled person. As Mr. MacFee said the jury, “what kind of person does that?”
Thereafter the state put on 2 detectives, and we defended by putting on my brother and mother. I was the last witness to testify, and I told the story truthfully, making sure to hit the points that Mr. MacFee and I had discussed previously. Once I had completed my testimony, the jury began their deliberations. After deliberating for an hour on Friday evening, and another hour on Monday morning, they came back and acquitted me of all charges except for discharging a handgun within the city limits, which carries a year in jail. Brad asked the judge to sentence me to time-served and Judge Handy agreed.
Now that I am home and about to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with my family, I wanted to take the time to let you know how grateful I am for the work Mr. MacFee put into my case. Any time there is a trial, there is always the risk of a bad outcome. I am extremely glad and thankful that my family hired Mr. MacFee, because without his expert assistance, I am not sure I would be home right now.