In February of 2017 an Indiana conservation officer who had responded to a suspicious person call was attacked by 25-year-old Justin Holland. According to a courier-journal.com report, Kystie Jaehnen, a local homeowner, saw the struggle and came to the officer’s aid.
An unidentified woman at a nearby home came to the scene to help the officer, who was “being overtaken by Holland,” the release said.
The woman fired once from her personally owned gun, striking Holland in the torso, the release said. He was given first aid by witnesses and transported to Dearborn County Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The officer was injured and transported to the Dearborn County Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
It was subsequently found that Holland had meth, benzodiazepines, marijuana, methadone, and dextromethorphan in his system. Jaehnen was cleared of any criminal liability by the Indiana State Police, but Holland’s family, claiming wrongful death, is suing her, the conservation officer and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
The state has plenty of resources to defend itself. The officer is backed by his department and the Fraternal Order of Police. Jaehnen, however, is left to face mounting legal bills on her own.
A GoFundMe page has been established by local police officers to raise money for Kystie Jaehnen’s defense. As Sgt. William Halbig of the Aurora Police Department wrote:
I am asking our community of citizens and law enforcement Officers to help in this legal battle. Attorney fees are an expense well beyond Kystie’s income and this will not be a quick process. The legal fees and emotional stress may drain every resource she has. I have pledged that any funds received above the cost of her legal defense, will be donated to charities; specifically, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the FOP Police Benevolent Fund. …
This case is about more than the right or wrong of one party suing another. Imagine not being able to come to the aid of another person for fear of being sued, possibly to the point of bankruptcy. The case is about a person having the basic God-given right and the 2nd Amendment right to defend both yourself and others and without the fear of civil retribution.
Perhaps the worst choice we make, is not to protect our family, ourselves, or others when confronted with life threatening situations when we clearly have the power to do so.
The person in harm’s way needs to have faith that someone may come to their rescue in that moment of extreme need without fear of retribution.