OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City-based legal group is celebrating its first big win after freeing one of its conceal-carry members of a first-degree murder charge.
Stephen Maddox, a concealed carry permit-holder and dues-paying member of CCW SAFE, thought he might have to spend the rest of his life in prison.
"It was a lot of dark days," Maddox said.
Maddox was at a motorcycle convention in Wilson, North Carolina when he was attacked by another attendee.
"At that point he had me on the ground, he was actually choking me, and I tried to fight to get him off me and couldn't," Maddox said.
With the help of four others pulling the attacker off of him, Maddox was able to escape, only to be attacked a second and third time.
"A 300 lb. guy that was 6'4", " Maddox said. "He was in complete control that night physically."
Finally Maddox was able to get his gun, and he shot the man several times in self-defense.
"Was able to get me to the ground and I fired my weapon to get him off of me," Maddox said.
When police arrived, he was confident they would believe his actions were in self-defense.
"There was no doubt that had I not discharged my firearm that night, he would have killed me that night," Maddox said.
But he was wrong, charged with first-degree murder.
"I fought to save my life but here it is again," Maddox said. "I'm in a fight to save my life again because the state of North Carolina wants to lock me up for the rest of my life."
However, Maddox wasn't alone. He called CCW SAFE and the team leapt into action for him.
"A responsible father, husband, gun-owner," CEO and co-founder Mike Darter said, "as a victim, he is now having to defend himself in the court of law."
CCW SAFE provides lawyers, expert witnesses, and other support for self-defense cases for their members.
Darter and several of his associates are former Oklahoma City law enforcement, pooling their experience and efforts to serve a membership of ex military/law enforcement, and concealed carry permit-holders.
After two long years, Maddox's case finally went to trial, and after a one-hour deliberation, the company got its first big win.
Darter said this was the first case that a company like his saw through from the beginning to the end of the trial.
He said the win wasn't a surprise because the investigators in this case were grossly negligent.
"Because we had 20 year careers in law enforcement, we expected them to do their job," Darter said, "and in this case they clearly didn't."
Experience that earned Maddox his freedom.
"Hopefully there are a lot of lessons learned that can come out of this experience that I went through," Maddox said.
For more information on the service, visit www.CCWSAFE.com.