Margaret Stockstill, a woman accused of fatally shooting her friend's fiancée during an argument at a home near Folsom earlier this month, suffers from lupus and may not be able to get her medications while in jail, her attorney argues in a motion asking for a reduction in her bail.
Stockstill's medical condition plus her five children and other extended family in Franklinton mean she is not likely to flee the jurisdiction, according to attorney Buddy Spell, who is asking a judge to reduce her $500,000 bail.
Stockstill, 32, faces a single count of manslaughter in the shooting of 27-year-old Cody Couch, who was engaged to Stockstill's friend.
According to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, an argument began late on the evening of April 14 at the home that Couch and his fiancée shared on Tantela Ranch Road near Folsom.
Stockstill admitted to detectives that she shot Couch with a .22-caliber revolver, hitting him in the lower abdomen, but she said it was self-defense. After several days of investigation, she was booked on the manslaughter count, with her bail set at $500,000.
"The government will be hard pressed to meet its burden of proving each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt," Spell wrote in his motion, saying that he plans a "vigorous and robust defense."
Aside from noting Stockstill's medical condition, Spell also points out that she has no criminal history.
The case bears some similarities to another domestic shooting in St. Tammany Parish from 2015. In that case, Kacie Breen fatally shot her husband Wayne in the couple's garage during a late-night argument.
After a lengthy investigation, the Sheriff's Office declined to arrest Breen, who claimed that she feared for her life as her husband, a prominent doctor, pressed her up against the side of her SUV.
The District Attorney's Office took the case to a grand jury, which declined to return an indictment. In the Breen case, there were no witnesses to the shooting, while in Stockstill's case, Couch's fiancée, who has not been identified, presumably was present.
In his motion, Spell suggests that prosecutors would be hard pressed even to indict Stockstill.
No hearing date has been set for the motion to reduce her bail.