Castle Doctrine protects sheriff’s daughter accused of firing paintball gun

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One day after a Mississippi sheriff’s daughter shot a man in the eye with a paintball gun, there  is still no one in custody or even charged with a crime.

The entire incident happened Wednesday night up a private drive in Panola County, less than 100 feet away from the entrance to the Panola County Jail, involving the adult daughter of Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby.

Officials say an ex-boyfriend visited her house to collect belongings, and refused to leave. When he approached her, she shot him in the eye with a paintball gun.

But she hasn’t been charged, protected by Mississippi Code 97-3-15, also known as the Castle Doctrine.

"Fear of imminent bodily harm or death, you’re allowed to use lethal force on your property and we can’t do anything about that," District Attorney John Champion said.

Law enforcement said there is a history of domestic issues with the couple.

"To my knowledge there’s been no physical violence, other than him showing up and her asking him to leave and him refusing to,” Champion said.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Break the Cycle, a national site dedicated to ending abuse, includes yelling, stalking and humiliation as forms of abuse, and encourages all victims to speak out.

With elections less than a month away, law enforcement admitted that rumors might swirl, but say Sheriff Darby followed protocol.

"The sheriff did make the scene — obviously it’s his daughter, what dad wouldn’t make the scene on something like that? But he did not inject himself, and he immediately called MBI,” Champion said.

We reached out to Darby, but have not heard back. We also spoke with his competition, Shane Phelps, who declined comment other than to say he was praying for everyone involved.

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