Florida state attorneys ruled Thursday that a woman was acting within the state’s “Stand Your Ground” laws when she shot and killed her husband on March 22.
Now in an interview with local media, Michelle Dinkins-Penland offered remarks that were forgiving of the man she killed.
“I love him, I absolutely love him, I knew this man was my soul mate,” Dinkins-Penland told WESH News in Orlando, Florida. “And that’s the only reason I stayed and protected him this long.”
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, police responded to a domestic disturbance call at a residence in Ocala, Florida at 9:00 p.m. on March 22. When they arrived, deputies found Mark Penland, 53, suffering from a gunshot wound.
He was transported to hospital in critical condition and died of his injuries several hours later.
The state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, removes the legal obligation to retreat before using force, even deadly force, in self-defence.
Dinkins-Perland says the night of the shooting was “the most traumatic night of her life” as her husband became violent with their 14-year-old son.
Dinkins-Penland says Mark was “a sweetheart” for most of their six-year relationship but suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his time in the military and refused to seek proper treatment.
“I had to make a decision between the man that I love and the child that I love.”
In deciding not to press charges, the state’s attorney said Dinkins-Penland had a legal concealed carry permit for the .38 calibre handgun used in the shooting, and was justified in using the weapon to protect her and her son’s physical wellbeing.
“My mother-in-law and brother-in-law tell me on a daily basis, I made the right decision,” Dinkins-Penland said. “And that it could have been my funeral, my son’s funeral and my mother’s funeral.”