The self-defense claim by one of the four men charged with killing a Shawnee gun store owner during a robbery last year was denied Tuesday by a Johnson County judge.
Attorneys for De’Anthony Wiley argued that he was paralyzed from a gunshot wound and was trying to give up when Jon Bieker was fatally shot inside She’s A Pistol, the shop he co-owned with his wife, Becky Bieker.
Wiley and three other men are charged with the January 2015 attempted robbery of the store and with first-degree murder in Jon Bieker’s death.
District Judge Timothy McCarthy heard a day and a half of testimony and viewed a video of the robbery attempt and shooting before finding Tuesday that the self-defense claim was not warranted.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
According to court testimony, Becky Bieker was working in the front of the shop when the robbers, two armed with handguns, confronted her and demanded money. A third defendant jumped on the counter and punched Becky Bieker in the face, breaking her nose and knocking her unconscious.
Jon Bieker, who had been working in a back office, came out with his gun drawn and shots were fired.
Three of the suspects, two of whom were hit by shots, fled from the store.
Wiley was shot and fell just inside the front door.
Jon Bieker advanced toward him, firing. As he rounded a corner and approached Wiley, he was fatally shot.
Lindsey Erickson, one of the attorneys for Wiley, argued in court Tuesday that the incident should be dissected into two parts. The first part was the attempted robbery and the flight from the robbery, which had ended.
The second part was when Wiley was on the floor paralyzed and unable to flee. At that point, she said he only had two choices.
“He could lay there and be executed or defend himself,” she said.
Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Riebli however argued that Jon Bieker was the one who was acting in self-defense when he saw his wife threatened with guns and knocked to the ground.
She said that during the 24 second incident, Wiley had continued firing shots, even after he was on the ground, and there was no evidence that he had tried to give up.
Under Kansas law, someone who instigates the use of force or who is committing or fleeing from a violent felony cannot claim immunity from prosecution by arguing self-defense, she said.
In denying the defense motion, McCarthy found that Jon Bieker was faced with an imminent threat to his wife and himself when he took action.
The judge noted that all of the bullets in Wiley’s gun were fired during the incident.
Becky Bieker, who testified Monday, did not regain consciousness until the shooting was over.
In her testimony , she said that when she came to, she saw Wiley reaching toward a gun on the ground. Becky Bieker testified that she told him to stop or she would shoot him.
When he continued reaching, Becky Bieker said she fired at him as she was calling 911.
Co-defendant Nicquan Midgyett, who also was wounded, joined Wiley’s motion seeking immunity from prosecution for murder.
Besides Wiley and Midgyett, both 21, the other men charged in Johnson County District Court with murder in the case are Hakeem Malik, 20, and Londro Patterson, also 21.
All four are due back in court Wednesday for a scheduling hearing.
They are all being held in the Johnson County Detention Center, and trial dates have not been set.