Merritt Landry Case: Overview of Louisiana’s Self-Defense Statutes


Hey folks, We’ll be covering the second degree murder trial of Merritt Landry, who was charged with second degree attempted murder for his shooting 14-year-old Marshall Coulter (described as a “professional thief” by his brother in news reports).

Coulter had scaled a spiked metal fence to enter Landry’s property at 2AM, in a Louisiana neighborhood riven by burglaries, home invasions, and car-jackings.

Landry, alerted to the presence of the intruder by his dog, and acting in defense of his pregnant wife and infant child, as well as himself, fired his licensed handgun at Coulter when it appeared the “professional thief” was reaching for a weapon.

Landry’s single shot struck the intruder in the head, severely wounding him. As of this writing, Coulter remains alive, albeit grievously injured.

In preparation for our coverage of the case I thought it might be useful to set a stake in the ground in the form of the relevant Louisiana self-defense statutes that will come into play.  Accordingly, I've drafted up an overview of the relevant self-defense statutes and their likely application in the Landry case, over at Legal Insurrection:

Merritt Landry Case: Overview of Louisiana’s Self-Defense Statutes

Check it out, and keep your eyes on Law of Self Defense and Legal Insurrection for all the latest legal news on the Landry case, as well as other self-defense cases around the country.



--Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


"The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition," covers the current state of self-defense law in all 50 states. We've heard from many of you, however, that you'd like to dive even deeper into the self-defense law of your particular state--to have on hand the full-text of every self-defense statute, jury instruction, and even the full-text of the most important and controlling self-defense court decisions. Fitting 50-states worth of level of comprehensive detail would result in a book that weighs 500 lbs, which is why we didn't take that approach in "The Law of Self Defense." Due to the great demand for this further detail, however, we have begun rolling out a series of State-Specific Supplements that do provide exactly such  comprehensive coverage of each particular state's self-defense law. Right now these are available on a pre-publication basis at a 38% discount, with delivery of each to occur over the next 2-3 months--pre-publication customers will, as always, receive their books first, with shipment to the general public not beginning until all pre-publication customers have first been sent their books.  To see the five states we are starting with, vote for other states to be covered, or to place your pre-publication order, click here:  State-Specific Supplements.


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About Andrew F. Branca

Andrew is an Massachusetts lawyer in his third decade of practice and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,, 2nd Edition" now available at and also at as either a hardcopy or in Kindle version.

He is also an attorney-member of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, a Guest Instructor at the Sig Sauer Academy, an NRA Life-member and Certified NRA Instructor, and an IDPA Charter/Life member (IDPA #13) and Master-class IDPA competitor in CDP and SSP.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.