Lawyers on both sides of the case agree on this: Kendall Green barged into Matthew Pinkerton's Glen Burnie home, despite being told to leave. Pinkerton fired two shots, killing Green.
Prosecutors say the killing of Green in the early morning hours of Sept. 15 was the culmination of a feud between the two men.
Pinkerton's defense attorneys argue their client was acting in self-defense, protecting himself, his wife and friends from a man he knew to be violent.
Pinkerton's trial on second-degree murder, manslaughter and handgun charges opened in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
"Every man has his limit. Every man has his breaking point," said Brian Marsh, assistant state's attorney, in his opening statement.
Marsh claimed that Pinkerton, a sergeant in the Air Force, had learned while deployed to Korea that his wife had a relationship with Green. The night of the shooting Green banged on the door of Pinkerton's home on Arbor Drive at 2 a.m., demanding to see Pinkerton's wife, Marsh said.
He said Pinkerton cracked open the door and told him to leave but Green barged through the door, which hadn't latched. Pinkerton pointed a gun at Green and told him to leave again, when Green responded that Pinkerton wasn't man enough to shoot him, according to Marsh.
Peter O'Neill, Pinkerton's defense attorney, built an argument around the idea that Pinkerton was justified in protecting his home, commonly called the "castle doctrine." Green had been drinking and was belligerent, O'Neill said, and Pinkerton had no other choice to protect himself.
"He had every right to do what he did. Every legal right," O'Neill said.
Pinkerton has drawn support online, including a Facebook page with more than 10,000 "likes" that's encouraging supporters to wear pink to the trial, as well as an online campaign to raise money for his legal fees. The jury trial is expected to last for several days.
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