Big Story Followup

Nov 15, 2012 11:18 PM

Man Suspected Of Hatchet Murder Set Free

A Bourbon County man, who police say killed his neighbor using a hatchet, has been let out of jail. The family of the man Daniel Carter is accused of killing, is furious.

Carter had been locked up at the Bourbon County Detention Center since last summer. Wednesday he left there a free man. A judge dismissed his manslaughter charge. We're told there wasn't not enough evidence to charge him.

"I'm scared at what he could do to somebody else, yes, I mean this is not justice!" Terry Mitchell says. He's Chris Mitchell's brother.

It's been five months since Chris' family said goodbye to him in the hospital, five months of trying to move on. Police say Chris was attacked by Carter, his neighbor, with a hatchet, and later died.

"My kid cries for her papaw and those kids cry for their daddy every night," says Chris' stepdaughter, Leslie Robinson.

Carter was charged with Mitchell's murder, until November 14.

A judge took a second look at evidence and witness testimony, and decided Carter was entitled to "immunity" under a state self defense statute. But if the prosecution finds new evidence, that could change.

In july, Carter told us from jail, he was defending himself against Mitchell that night.

LEX 18 did some digging and found Carter faced a similar situation almost a decade ago in Florida when he was 15. He claimed self-defense after being charged with killing his uncle. Carter was acquitted.

"Once maybe, but twice, come on. I mean I think he's learning how to beat the system a little too much," Robinson says.

"It wasn't self defense," Terry Mitchell argues. "He's a free man. Honestly, truly, it's ridiculous>

LEX 18 reached out to Carter. He didn't want to talk to us on camera but says he's focusing on getting his life back on track.

Carter did serve time for more charges pertaining to this case. He pleaded guilty to fleeing from an officer and resisting arrest and served 135 days in jail.

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