JONES COUNTY, MS - Last week, a man was shot trying to get inside a home in Jones County, according to officials.
The homeowner is arguing that his life was threatened. Jones county officials are investigating to see if this could be a possible Castle Doctrine case.
The Castle Doctrine states a person has the right to use force if someone is trying to attack you at your home or on your property and you feel an immediate threat.
"You have every right to defend yourself and whatever minimal amount of force that it is necessary to do that," Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge said. "If that means you have to shoot somebody or whatever you have to do to protect yourself you have that right."
Hodge said Timothy Jefcoat was trying to visit a woman at the home when he became belligerent and refused to leave.
According to the news release, the victim, a man at the residence, said Jefcoat then tried to force his way into the home. The man then shot Jefcoat in the upper left chest.
"He states that he felt, fear of his life and in the protection of his home, his property and the lives of his other family," Hodge said.
Under the law, the court assumes the person felt threatened if someone tries to break into their personal property, which includes their home, car or business. However, the state can also step in.
"It would be on the state to prove that you weren't afraid of this person and they were always coming into your house, if you had a relationship with them to where you knew they weren't going to hurt you and shot them anyway," lawyer Daniel Waide said.
Waide said this does not happen often, and overall these Castle Doctrine cases are rare. However, Hodge said he expects to see more.
"People are going to learn that you can't mess around on people's property whether they know you are there or don't and you're going to get caught," Hodge said.