This is a true story, taken from a documentary that I just watched
There were two sisters, Jordan and Jessica, both 7 years old. Whilst out playing, this 12 year old boy, Stephen Lee, on skates came by, wearing a tu tu to show off. Both girls were enthralled with him.
Roll on some years. Jordan’s life was on the up whilst Jessica’s was not going very well. Then, Jessica noticed someone from her past on a motorbike; it was Stephen Lee.
They started dating, both enjoyed lots of alcohol and the relationship became toxic; Stephen Lee was by then on drugs.
They argued a great deal and Jordan worried about her sister; she was always the protector.
To avoid any further trouble, Deborah, the girls mother, moved and took Jessica with her. To avoid any further trouble, Deborah and Jessica took out a trespass order which, in the states is a criminal thing, to prevent Stephen from coming to the house.
One evening, Jessica sneaked Stephen into the house and they both fell asleep. In the morning, the mother, Deborah, entered Jessica’s room to see her there with Stephen. She also saw Stephen’s drug kit with him so she hid it behind a picture.
When Stephen awoke, he could not find his drugs and, as no one else was there, he assumed that it was Jessica who had hidden the drugs, although it had been her mother.
A big row ensued and Stephen became abusive to Jessica. As her sister had always come to her aid, she called her mother but Jordan overheard the conversation as she was out shopping with Deborah.
On hearing what had happened, Jordan and Deborah got back into their car and headed for Deborah and Jessica’s house. The trip took around 30 minutes and the route took them directly past the police station.
When they arrived, Jordan took her gun out of her glovebox and headed into the house to find Stephen. Seeing the gun. Stephen belted and ran out of the house. He was around 25 yards from Jordan and was arguing with Deborah; he was not carrying a gun but had been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon before.
Jordan was a very bad shot and being that far away from Stephen, she intended to just frighten him but her shot actually hit Stephen and killed him. Jordan was later arrested.
This is a really difficult one. Although she was carrying the gun and shot Stephen, I do not believe that she intended to kill him. Neither was she, at any time, in danger so self defence did not apply.
Her legal team did a plea deal and Jordan agreed to the charge of manslaughter; she was sentenced to 17 years, which is not far off what a person here would get if they were found guilty of intentionally murdering someone.
The reason why I entitled this as “Unintended consequences” is thus.
Just roll back a bit to when Stephen was sneaked into the house by Jessica, although he should not have been there. It was Jessica who had invited him in and her mother who had hidden the drugs.
If the drugs had not been hidden, Stephen would not have become abusive to Jessica. In turn, Jessica would not have called her mother; Jordan would not have gone to the house with her mother and Stephen would not have been shot and killed. In fact, given what actually happened,as it was Jordan who was driving, Deborah had the opportunity to call the police and none of the very unfortunate events would have happened.
But, those events did happen the way that I have described, albeit paraphrased. I still feel that the sentence of manslaughter was the right one for Jordan and that although a life had been lost, the sentence was far too harsh. I do not know what you would get for manslaughter here but it would be nowhere close to 17 years.
To summarise; unintended consequences happen on a regular basis, with dramatic and damaging results.