On Monday, May 20, the suspect in a fatal shooting appeared in Perry County circuit court under Perry County Circuit Court Judge Alison Wells for a special hearing, with his defense attorney making multiple motions, including motions to reduce the bond amount and to hold his trial sooner.
James Ronnie McIntosh, 45, of Busy, was arrested on Feb. 28 in connection with the Feb. 27 shooting death of Danny Ray Mullins, 42, of Chavies, and was charged with one count of murder and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
Monday’s hearing started with McIntosh’s attorney, David Johnson, requesting a motion to dismiss the case by the “stand your ground” defense. Johnson argued that Mullins was not in a right state of mind and was behaving erratically, and that he posed a threat to McIntosh, forcing McIntosh to defend himself.
“On Feb. 27, at approximately 3:30-4 p.m., Mr. (Danny) Mullins met with my client, Ronnie McIntosh at Fourseam in Perry County. At that time, according to the text messages that had been started that morning before 9 a.m., all going to his (Mullins’s) wife Crissy, he (Mullins) was in a state of extreme emotional disturbance,” said Johnson.
Johnson continued, explaining that Mullins had texted his wife Crissy Mullins more than 35 times that morning, beginning at 8 a.m.. Many of the messages were threatening and emotional, said Johnson, who read a few to the court, including messages where Danny Mullins plainly stated he intended to harm and kill McIntosh. Additionally, Johnson said, the time between messages being sent kept getting shorter and the messages got angrier. The messages, he said, revealed that Danny Mullins had been following Crissy Mullins and McIntosh for weeks, trying to find evidence of their affair.
“The law is clear here,” Johnson said. “McIntosh was triggered to act in self defense under these circumstances and was acting legally under the law in defending his life under the stand your ground statute. He had a right to meet force with force to stand his ground.
“A jury could very well acquit him based on self-defense,” said Johnson.
The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in this case, now being represented by special prosecutors from Clay County, James Gregory and Harold Rader, addressed the statute to which Johnson was referring, and argued that McIntosh’s actions were not of self-defense, but rather of ill-mannered intent.
“The statute states ‘a person who is attacked’ — not threats or some belief that you may be attacked — it actually says who is attacked,” said Rader, claiming that some kind of aggression must be taken out before it can be considered self-defense.
“The evidence is this case will show that Danny Mullins simply did not attack James Ronnie McIntosh,” Rader said, explaining that the blood stains and shell casings obtained as evidence show how Mullins and McIntosh moved. “The shooting happened quickly, and was probably over in a matter of seconds.”
Prosecutors also argued that, because McIntosh made no effort to contact law enforcement to inform them of the incident and explain what happened, he showed behaviors not demonstrating self-defense. When questioned by police, McIntosh initially lied, Rader said, stating that McIntosh only admitted to shooting Mullins in alleged self-defense when confronted with evidence. That, combined with the disposal of evidence and an attempt to create an alibi, prosecutors said, clearly shows McIntosh’s dishonesty.
Rader further argued that the wounds on Mullins’s body didn’t appear to be from self-defense.
“There were 11 rounds fired — eight of them struck Danny Ray Mullins. Most of those shots landed in his head and torso and were shot causing a lot of damage to him,” Rader said.
When McIntosh was initially questioned, Rader said, he was asked if he had shot Mullins as he was falling to the ground. In his statement, McIntosh said whenever Mullins was falling, he hit (shot) him twice in the head.
“So, he opened fire on Danny Ray Mullins and then pursued after him. As this man is falling to the ground or is on the ground, he (McIntosh) stood over him and discharged two additional shots into his head. That’s not self-defense. That shows an intent to bring about death with an evil intent in his heart to do so,” said Rader.
Judge Wells ruled that Johnson’s motion to dismiss the trial was denied, stating that the case would continue as planned by going to a jury trial. Johnson then made additional motions including that the trial date be moved to a sooner date and Johnson also asked for a bond reduction.
On two separate occasions, Johnson had previously requested that a bond reduction be made in McIntosh’s case, arguing that McIntosh is a low-flight risk and has minimal criminal history. Both times, the motion was denied by Perry County District Court Judge Cody Goehring.
This hearing was no different, with Judge Wells agreeing with the Goehring’s reasons for denying the previous motions. Wells said that, considering the evidence and factors of both sides, she believes the seriousness of the crime could push McIntosh to run if released to in home incarceration and if released, McIntosh could be a threat to witnesses.
“I find that there is a risk to the community, as well as a flight risk,” said Wells.
As there is still evidence being processed in the lab, said Wells, the trial will remain as scheduled.
McIntosh’s bond remains set at at $250,000 cash or $500,000 of property and he is still currently lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 7.