Stoned security guard paralyzes man in 'Stand Your Ground' shooting
12/14/2015 10:23 am PST
Monroe "Trey" Bird, a talented 21-year-old, was shot and paralyzed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on February 4, 2015. The shooter remains a free man.
The case is setting the stage for another major test of the "Stand Your Ground" law.
Monroe Bird was talking in his car with a female friend on the night of Feb. 4 when an armed security guard appeared.
At Bird's apartment complex, armed security guard Ricky Stone was on patrol in an unmarked vehicle.
Bird and his friend, Talie Owen, were parked outside his door when suddenly a man dressed in dark clothing flashed a light through the car window. It was Stone.
Bird had no idea who Stone was, and didn't give him his identification. He didn't need to -- after all, he lived there. Bird's stepdad says he decided to avoid a fight and just drive away.
What happened next depends on who you talk to.
Ricky Stone claims Monroe Bird moved to the front seat, and once behind the driver's wheel, he put the car in reverse and tried to run him over.
Stone claimed the car hit him and he jumped onto the trunk, the butt of his gun smashing the rear window.
Stone shot three times at the car, later claiming self-defense. One of the bullets hit Bird in the back of his neck, instantly paralyzing him and causing him to lose control of his car, which ran into a tree.
Neighbors heard the gunfire and called 911.
Four months after he was shot, Bird died from a blood clot in his leg.
But would the armed security guard pay any price? Moments after the incident cops bring Stone in for questioning, he defended his actions, claiming it was a justified self-defense shooting under Oklahoma's "Stand Your Ground" law.
Bird's family attorney, Benjamin Crump, says when you look at the actual evidence, things just don't add up.
As police continued to question the security guard, they soon found a piece of evidence in Stone's own backpack that paints a different picture of what might have happened that dark night. Ricky Stone's backpack held a small amount of marijuana.
"When was the last time you smoked weed?" a police officer asks Stone during the interrogation.
"Probably about two and a half weeks ago," Stone said on camera.
But Stone submitted to a drug test, and the toxicology report soon revealed his blood contained 6.8 nanograms of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, an amount deemed "impaired" in any U.S. state.
The evidence of drug use was clear, but justice for Bird was more murky.
Would the Tulsa County district attorney charge Ricky Stone in connection with the shooting? Soon, Stone was charged with misdemeanor pot possession, and a warrant is issued for his arrest. But Stone is long gone. He skipped out of the state of Oklahoma.
Tests reveal Stone was actually stoned the night of the shooting. Though he faced possession charges, he was never charged in connection with the shooting of Monroe "Trey" Bird.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler agreed: "Stand your ground" stood up in this case. Prior to the decision to not bring charges, Kunzweiler had said on the Pat Campbell radio show that if Stone was stoned, it would make a difference in his decision.
A lucky break for Ricky Stone, who soon left the state of Oklahoma.
But Crime Watch Daily wanted to hear from Stone, who has never publicly commented on his case. We tracked him down in his hometown of McLean, Texas, about 350 miles away from Tulsa.
As soon as we arrived, so did a sheriff's deputy. At first, Stone refused to talk, telling us to go away. An hour later, he agrees to an interview by phone -- no cameras. Stone says he doesn't want to show his face because he has received death threats.
Talie Owen is the young woman who was in the car with bird that fateful night.
Owen is speaking out for the first time, exclusively to Crime Watch Daily, and she disputes the security guard's story.
Owen says Bird's car never hit Stone, as he claims. And she says the security guard fired those three shots as they were driving away.
In her interview with detectives the day after the shooting, Owen was very emotional but she told police the same story.
Despite her unwavering claims, Ricky Stone remains a free man. Though D.A. Kunzweiler says he would look at the case again with any new evidence.
A civil suit has been filed against the apartment complex and the security company that hired Stone.