OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — There will be no criminal charges filed against an assistant district attorney related to the beating of a man, who was trespassing on his property.
Corey Miner works in the Garvin County District Attorney’s Office. According to a report from Pauls Valley Police, Miner woke up around 4:20 AM on Sept. 30 when he heard someone at a window at the back of his home. Miner fired two shots from a personal firearm into the ground at the would-be intruder. According to police, a physical altercation ensued after Miner said the man did not comply with his instructions.
The case was investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which was provided to District 20 District Attorney Craig Ladd. In a letter to the OSBI, Ladd declined to file charges against Miner for the incident.
In the letter, Ladd says the victim, Gary Minyen was 70-years-old, 5-foot-10 and weighed 180 pounds compared to Miner who was 49, 6-foot-2 and weighhed 205 pounds.
Ladd says Miner would have been well within his rights to shoot and kill Minyen in his backyard. The question in the case, according to Ladd, was what happened after Minyen was no longer a threat and had been taken to the front of the home.
According to the letter written by Ladd, Minyen had a lengthy history of substance abuse and prior to arriving in Miner’s backyard had been at the nearby Pauls Valley Hospital where staff called police to have him removed. A family member told investigators Minyen had “torn up” her house looking for prescription pills. In the letter, Ladd said the family member said Minyen was not violent or aggressive, but she thought on this night he was hallucinating and she threated to hit or kill him if he didn’t leave.
Ladd writes the physical altercation between Miner and Minyen began in the backyard and continued as Miner brought Minyen to the front yard.
Of the front yard portion of the incident, Ladd wrote: “Corey woke his neighbors to the east and asked them to call 911 and check on his daughter while he stood guard over Gary. Corey told Gary several times to stay still and keep down till the police arrived. However, Gary would either try to sit up or get to his feet, resulting in Corey striking him several more times. A witness later stated that, at this point, Gary did not seem to be in any kind of condition to constitute a threat to Corey but that Corey was nevertheless still being 'rough with the guy.'"
Witnesses said Miner appeared “full of adrenaline.”
However, a subsequent drug screening, Ladd wrote, found Minyen had “methamphetamine, amphetamine, opiates, benzodiazepine, and oxycodone in his system.”
According to Ladd, Minyen suffered “life threatening injuries including numerous broken bones (fractures to hand, arm, spine, ribs, nose and eye socket) as well as two collapsed lungs. Ladd said the determining factor in whether a felonious assault occurred is the presence of broken bones.
However, Ladd wrote any attack on Minyen while he was attempting to break into Miner’s home or was in the enclosed part of the yard was justifiable. Ladd said because it was impossible to determine at which point the bones were broken it was not possible to prove felony assault.
“There really is no question that Corey’s use of force on Gary in the backyard, as well as his side yard, is justifiable,” Ladd wrote to the OSBI.
Ladd wrote he also considered whether a misdemeanor assault charge would be applicable in the situation. However, given the circumstances, Ladd said when viewed from the point of the defendant the actions are likely justifiable under Oklahoma law.
“Such an exciting and stressful chain of events, which were set in motion by Gary’s unlawful actions, undoubtedly resulted in Corey being filled with adrenaline and much less able to soundly deliberate the level of force necessary to keep Gary at the scene until law enforcement officers arrived,” Ladd wrote.