BRIGHTON, Colo. — A 34-year-old man who contended that he shot three neighbors in self-defense was acquitted Thursday of one count of second-degree murder and two counts of assault.
David Guenther, 34, of Northglenn had once based his defense on Colorado's "make my day" law, which permits the use of deadly force against intruders, but shifted to conventional self-defense for this trial.
Guenther still faces trial next year for first-degree murder in the slaying of his wife--the woman he said he was trying to protect when he shot his neighbors--and the wounding of her male companion earlier this year.
Burden of Proof
A judge last year dismissed charges against Guenther in the April 19, 1986, shoot-out, citing the "make my day" law. However, the Colorado Supreme Court later ruled that the burden of proof was on the defendant and ordered Guenther to stand trial in Adams County District Court for second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault.