EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - A man charged with homicide for a shooting in Eau Claire last Friday says he was punched by the victim first and was just defending himself when he pulled the trigger.
Selwyn Smith, 55, is charged with 1st degree reckless homicide for allegedly shooting Freddie Flowers, 38, at a house on Dodge Street on Feb. 12.
According to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Eau Claire County Court:
Smith said Flowers showed up at the house and asked if someone was there. Smith said he told Flowers no and to leave the property. He said Flowers pounded on the door again and then kicked the door open. Smith claims then Flowers punched him in the face and a scuffle ensued.
He said at some point during the scuffle the gun he was holding went off. He said he only had the gun to scare Flowers and had no intention of shooting him.
Smith told police, "The guy came to my house, kicked my door in and tried to beat me up. What was I supposed to do?"
Then Smith said he took off because he panicked. A witness who was at the house during the shooting and in the vehicle with Flowers when he fled said Smith had a plan to go to Hudson and he didn't want to deal with the cops. The witness said then Smith decided it was smarter to go back and tell police what happened.
That same witness said Smith told Flowers more than once to get off his property.
When police arrived they found Flowers dead from a gunshot wound to the forehead.
An autopsy determined the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head due to a homicide.
In an interview with police, Smith said Flowers was under the impression Smith was sleeping with his girlfriend and that Flowers had sent him a message a few weeks back threatening to beat him up.
In court on Tuesday, Judge Jon Theisen set a $10,000 cash bond for Smith and ordered him not to leave the state or possess weapons. The state had asked for a $100,000 cash bond.
In addition to the homicide charge, Smith is charged with being a felon in possession of a gun. The two charges come with a combined max sentence of 70 years in prison.
He will be back in court on March 23 for a preliminary hearing.