The New York Criminal Law Blog

Wrestler Kills Mugger in Newark

Be careful who you mug, or you could wind up the victim of a “wrestler kills mugger” headline. Gian Davis was a would-be mugger who chose the wrong marks. Over the weekend, Davis allegedly tried to steal a cellphone from a college student. The college student’s friend was a former high school wrestler and he was able to choke the mugger — to his death — reports the New York Post.

The 30-year-old Davis approached the students and reportedly asked them for money. The students refused and Davis then tried to grab one of the student’s phones, putting the student in a headlock.

The second student, the former high-school wrestler, then grabbed Davis and put him in a headlock that was so tight that Davis choked to death, reports the Post. The students called police and remained at the scene. So far neither has been charged with a crime in Davis’ death. However, that may not be the case for long.

Generally, someone has the right to use lethal self-defense if they are in fear for their life. Had the student who was being choked warded off the attacker and killed Davis, he likely would have a viable self-defense claim to the killing. But the wrestler friend does not appear to have been in danger, and it’s unclear in he could legally use lethal force to protect his friend.

Wrestler kills mugger in Newark. If it was found that the wrestler used more force than was necessary, or had no right to use self defense since he himself was not in danger, the wrestler could possibly face manslaughter charges for sticking up for his friend and killing Gian Davis.

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