Hero or murderer? District attorney to weigh charges against Ada man

ADA, Okla. - The Pontotoc County district attorney will make a decision on whether to pursue criminal charges against a man who police said killed his neighbor to save two children.

Cash Freeman rushed over Friday to a home in Ada to find Leland Foster attempting to drown 3-month-old twins in a bathtub, police said. That's when Freeman shot and killed Foster.

Police questioned and released Freeman, but the district attorney - as is standard practice - is now tasked with determining whether the shooting was a criminal act.

"A reasonable person has the right to use deadly force in the defense of others, if that person's belief is reasonable that that person is in imminent danger of great bodily harm or death," said Jacqui Ford, a defense attorney with experience in self-defense law. "Sometimes, people must be stopped and, sometimes, homicide is the only way to stop them."

Oklahoma law allows for what is known as 'justifiable homicide,' defined by "the lawful defense of such person or of another, when the person using force reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another."

"Homicide does not mean morally unjust," Ford said. "Because, sometimes, homicide is justified, and it doesn't necessarily mean someone needs to go to prison or that anybody did anything wrong."

In this case, Ford said, the child victims were clearly unable to defend themselves and there may not have been another option.

"Some people might say, why shoot this person instead of call the police?" Ford said. "Well, how long does it take to pick up the phone and call those police officers? How long before those police officers arrive? And, by then, is it too late?"

She sees the case as an act of chivalry, much like many residents around Ada do.

"They better not file charges on that guy," said Kathy Hart, who was dining in downtown Ada. "Because, he protected two innocent babies that couldn't protect themselves. How can he be guilty of anything? He's a hero. He should not be in trouble."

James Williams, dining at a nearby table, agreed.

"Even though a life was lost and that's tragic in any case, in this case, two lives were saved that were innocent," he said. "He would be a hero in my book."