State v. Mills, ___ N.C. App. ___, 788 S.E.2d 640 (Jul. 5, 2016)

In this assault with a deadly weapon case involving two neighbors, the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s request for an instruction on self-defense. The defendant provoked the confrontation by willingly and voluntarily leaving his property and entering the victim’s property with a loaded rifle. The defendant was not forced into the confrontation. The defendant escalated the confrontation by affirmatively opting to retrieve his rifle, loaded, and carry it with him on to the victim’s property. No evidence showed that the victim possessed a weapon during the altercation or that the defendant had a good faith belief that the victim was armed. The defendant fired the first shot before the victim made any threatening movement. Thus, the defendant was not justified under G.S. 14-51.3 or 14-51.4 to use deadly force against the victim and claim self-defense.