Charges dropped in ‘stand your ground’ gunbattle case

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Charges have been dismissed for a man who unsuccessfully argued that Iowa’s “stand your ground” law should protect him from prosecution following a Cedar Rapids gunbattle.

Linn County prosecutor Monica Slaughter requested the dismissal Wednesday of attempted murder and other charges filed against Michael Hodges Jr. Court records don’t explain why she made the request. She and her boss, Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden, didn’t immediately return messages Thursday from The Associated Press.

Hodges and Zevon Johnson had both said the law passed last year made them immune from prosecution. Security video shows them exchanging gunfire Jan. 28 in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The law says a person doesn’t have to retreat before using deadly force if he or she thinks his or her life is being threatened.

On Monday a judge denied Hodges’ request to dismiss the charges.