Guns are important tools for self-defense, hunting, and are ultimately only as dangerous as those who use them. But there are cases where people use them poorly, as in the case of Mary Katherine Higdon. This infamous case has already been wrapped up. But let’s take a closer look at the details and determine what we can conclude from the results.
The Mary Katherine Higdon Case Examined
The shooting reportedly took place on the evening of August 1, 2018.
Higdon herself, then a 24-year-old, called the police and informed the police that she’d shot her boyfriend, Steven Freeman, by accident.
Allegedly, she had no idea that the gun that had shot him had a bullet in the chamber.
Though Freeman was quickly rushed to the hospital, the 23-year-old died just before midnight.
Higdon was taken into custody and questioned by police.
This was especially after they noticed several signs in the couple’s kitchen that indicated that there may have been a struggle or altercation. Food was strewn across the floor, for example.
When questioned, Higdon reportedly changed her story and said the gun accidentally went off while she was tossing it to her boyfriend.
At this point, investigators say that Higdon confessed to the murder.
She also admitted that she shot Freeman in anger rather than accidentally.
They then arrested her on the spot.
There was a problem with the eventual prosecution’s case.
The supposed confession on the tape was corrupted by feedback and static.
Whether this was because the police fudged certain elements of their story or because of a true technical error is still not known.
Higdon’s trial took place in June 2019.
A friend of Freeman mentioned that Higdon knew how to handle guns quite well.
The prosecution added this to its story, using details from circumstantial evidence and other accounts of the pair’s relationship to claim that Higdon had killed Freeman because their relationship was unraveling and she’d finally snapped when he had refused to eat a meal she had cooked for him.
Higdon was questioned on the stand for her own defense.
She again emphasized that the shooting was an accident and that she didn’t know the gun was loaded.
Then she added more details to her story, testifying that while she didn’t know the gun was loaded, she had retrieved and held up the gun because she was scared of her boyfriend.
She provided details of alleged former abuse, including threatening text messages and rape.
All of this did little to dissuade the prosecution.
The Ultimate Verdict
With a lack of firm evidence, the jury gave a full verdict of not guilty, acquitting Higdon of all the charges arrayed against her.
Many were stunned by the decision, citing Higdon’s apparent fear and regret.
But the result was the same, regardless of whether the jury held sympathy for Higdon or there was simply a lack of convincing evidence against her.
In our opinion, this case brings up some interesting points in regard to the gun control debate, and the role guns should play in our everyday lives.
Higdon is either telling the truth or isn’t, but it’s ultimately irrelevant.
Her story, one way or another, emphasizes the importance of proper gun training and safety.
It admittedly matters a little less if she intentionally murdered her boyfriend.
But if it was an accident, this merely highlights how crucial it is that everyone who uses a gun gets the right training to avoid accidents, as well as learns to always treat guns as loaded.
There is no doubt some on the other side of this debate could use it as ammunition to claim a need for stricter gun control laws.
We don’t believe that to be the case. Yet, it will be interesting to see how the greater community debate continues as a result of this trial and its result.
How about you, care to share your thoughts on this matter in the comments section? We'd love to hear from you!