Prosecuting Attorney: “We can’t allow this to turn into the Wild West”

At a press conference at Lake Saint Louis Civic Center Wednesday afternoon, St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar explained the charges filed in a Lake Saint Louis shooting death earlier this month.

Charles Lewis Flagg II was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter after shooting Shawn T. Jimenez as he was trying to steal Flagg’s car.

READ MORE: Murder Charges Filed Against Lake Saint Louis Man in November 4 Shooting

Lohmar said that the charges were alternatives, and just one would be presented to the grand jury, depending on how the evidence shaped up.

For a second-degree murder conviction (which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison), prosecutors must present evidence proving that the accused purposely caused serious injury which resulted in a death. For a manslaughter conviction (which carries a sentence of up to 7 years in prison), prosecutors must show that the accused recklessly caused the death of the victim.

“The take-away from this is that you have the privilege of being a gun owner . . . but you have the responsibility of knowing what the rules are,” Lohmar said. “We cannot allow this to turn into the Wild West.”

Lake Saint Louis Police Chief Michael Force agreed. “I would encourage all who have a weapon, or plan to, to make sure they understand the law, to know when they can discharge that weapon.” However, he said, unless you’re under imminent threat, the best thing to do is call 911.

“Let the professionals handle it,” Force said.

Missouri State Statute 563.031.1, commonly known as “The Castle Doctrine,” states that a citizen can not use deadly force unless they reasonably believe that it’s necessary to protect themselves or another person from death, serious injury, or any forcible felony.

Chief Force read the probable cause statement, in which the investigating officer said that “at no time did Flagg state he felt threatened or assaulted by [Jimenez].” Force also confirmed that Jimenez did not have a gun.

Flagg was not yet in custody, but that Force said the department knew where he was and that he was confident that Flagg would soon be in custody.