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Murder suspect released, charges dropped 

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PITTSBURG, Kan. — All charges against Dominik Short, a suspect in the May 13 fatal shooting of his mother, Stephanie Short, and the shooting of Velma Cubie, have been dropped by order of Judge Lori Bolton Fleming. A second suspect, James Hamilton, is still facing charges. 

According to court documents, Short claimed he acted in self-defense. Short claimed Hamilton put a gun to his head and was reaching into Short’s pockets. Short said he felt he had to stand his ground, saying, “I wasn’t going to but he is reaching to take mine.” 

Short then indicated that he stepped back and ran along a fence line and started shooting at Hamilton, according to a motion to dismiss filed by Short’s attorney, Carl E. Cornwell. 

Other evidence allegedly showed that Hamilton and his sister instigated the initial provocation that resulted in Short’s mother losing her life and Velma Cubie being shot in the back. According to the motion, Hamilton’s sister instigated a fight with Stephanie Short, while he pulled a pistol and ordered everyone to get back. 

Short’s attorney argued that the prosecution failed in its burden to show that Short could not rebut a claim of statutory immunity. “The evidence will show,” said Cornwell in his motion to dismiss, “the defendant was defending himself, thought he was going to be shot and that he had a reasonable belief that had he not pulled his pistol out and shot at Mr. Hamilton, he could have been shot, his mother could have been shot and anyone else in the area.” 

Judge Fleming agreed with the defense and ordered all charges to be dropped and Short to be released, effective Sept. 21. James Hamilton is still facing charges and is scheduled for arraignment on Friday, Oct. 7. 

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