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Charges Against Man Assaulted In His Own Car Dropped As He Acted In Self-Defense

HORRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA — Court documents reveal that Anijah Robert Yarnell, who was charged in a fatal shooting near Surfside Beach in 2020, acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Michael Pennington III in the Maddington Place parking lot on May 14, 2020.

An order granting a motion for immunity was issued on Tuesday, following Yarnell’s Stand Your Ground hearing from November 14-16, 2022, according to WBTW.

In fact, reviewing the evidence of the case, it’s hard not to wonder who thought pressing charges in this case ever made sense.

According to the order, Yarnell fired at Pennington after the latter attempted to enter Yarnell’s vehicle and assaulted him through a partially rolled-down window.

Yarnell remained in his car throughout the confrontation. Evidence, including finger and palm print analysis and witness accounts, confirmed Pennington’s attempt to open the vehicle’s door and his threatening language directed at Yarnell.

The court ruled that Yarnell’s presence in the parking lot, despite being private property, did not violate the rules of Maddington Place, based on the property manager’s testimony and case facts.

The order stated, “[Yarnell] had done nothing to Pennington to provoke Pennington’s attack on him while [Yarnell] was in his vehicle” and that Yarnell was not at fault for the altercation.

The court found that Yarnell, who was not engaging in illegal activities, believed he was in imminent danger and was indeed facing such a threat from Pennington.

As Pennington had no right to enter Yarnell’s vehicle, the court determined that Yarnell met all legal requirements for self-defense and granted him immunity from prosecution for the charges.

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