Jake Gardner Commits Suicide After Being Accused of Manslaughter in Self-Defense Case

Jake Gardner has died by suicide, his attorney says. (Photo: Jake Gardner/Youtube)

An Oregon man who had been accused of manslaughter by a grand jury in what appeared to be a self-defense case has committed suicide, according to his attorney.

Jake Gardner was accused of first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of James Scurlock following an incident that took place earlier this year at a Black Lives Matter riot in Omaha, Nebraska. Gardner was also accused of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted first-degree assault, and making terroristic threats.

A warrant had been approved for his arrest, and his lawyer, Stu Dornan, said he had planned to turn himself in on September 20.

“That night down in the Old Market was a crossroads of where anger and fear met,” Dornan said during a press conference. “And unfortunately, violence ensued, and two young men… have lost their lives.”

SEE ALSO: Grand Jury Reverses Self-Defense Decision, Indicts Omaha Man for Manslaughter During BLM Riot

Dornan said his client was a military veteran who served two tours in Iraq. He suffered from traumatic brain injuries, and he felt like he was “back in the warzone” the night he is accused of killing Scurlock.

“He told us that he felt that he was in the war zone that night outside of his bar with violence, the tear gas, and the mass confusion,” Dornan explained.

The Hillsboro Police Department said in a press release that they found Gardner’s body around 12:20 pm outside a medical clinic in Hillsboro, Oregon. Gardner had been in Oregon due to death threats he’d received in Omaha, but planned to return to Nebraska to face charges, Dornan said.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine had initially decided not to bring charges against Gardner. Video from the incident appeared to show Gardner being attacked as he tried to defend his bar against rioters and looters.

Gardner said that Scurlock jumped on his back and put him in a chokehold, which prompted Gardner to shoot him.

SEE ALSO: Yale Law School Students: Gun Control is Preemptive Self-Defense

After receiving complaints from citizens, Klein decided to appoint special prosecutor Frederick Franklin III and form a grand jury.

Franklin said during a press conference that the grand jurors had access to evidence, including video footage and information from Gardner’s phone, that prompted them to issue an indictment.

“[The grand jury] had much more information available to them than [Kleine] had at the time that the original decision was made,” Franklin said. “That evidence can be reasonably construed as an intent to use a firearm for purposes of killing someone.”

Hillsboro police say Gardner’s death is still under investigation and have not released additional details.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Glenn Roland May 7, 2021, 8:34 am

    Mob Justice Rears its Head once again. I thought Lynchings Went out in the 60s?
    Guess Now it’s Just Electronic. Unsubstantiated Statements to Ruin a man’s life and Forced him to take it. I hope the “Virtue Signaling” Complainants are Breaking Their Arms patting themselves on the Back.

  • Ej harbet September 29, 2020, 8:18 am

    Hounded to his grave for preventing some p o s from strangling him to death. This happened in Nebraska not the place you’d write off as not America. But the Bible belt! So called. This could be you or me or one of our kids. The state might as well have killed him.are we going to stop this or are we going to urinate on the graves of those who died to keep such wickedness from happening? Stay tuned

  • Ben Slam September 26, 2020, 10:42 am

    Terrible injustice. The pressure the politically correct prosecutors put on law abiding citizens just to protect re-election. Like the special prosecutor had more Information …B.S. As they say you can indict a hand sandwich. Just imagine all of the potential force related calls cops go into wondering if this call will be their murder charge.

  • JRB September 25, 2020, 11:35 pm

    I guess I am naive. I thought Nebraska was conservatives, not a haven for Marxocrats.

  • Michael September 25, 2020, 10:57 pm

    It is now Officially a Cold Day in Hell as the Greatest Free Nation in the history of civilization is being torn apart by corrupt leftist politicians and citizens…let’s see who will stand for Freedoms sake and Justice now that the Heathen Hordes are at the gate…Thank You for your service and sacrifice for your country Jake Gardner Rest In Peace American Warrior…

  • HOWARD D. FIELDEN September 25, 2020, 9:02 pm

    Ditto Jake…SemperFi, Rest in Peace, and bask in the Lords shadow brother…The USA will return…

  • Sammyboy September 25, 2020, 6:57 pm

    He committed suicide after being indicted. That suggests a guilty mind. Just another gun happy idiot giving the rest of us responsible gun owners a bad name.

    Rest in piss Gardner. Rittenhouse should do the same.

    • Rozziebo October 12, 2020, 7:58 am

      They’re are no words to describe a low life commie troll like you. You should just be picked up like the garbage you and your whole shitty family are and dumped in a landfill for bird food.

  • James A. Williams September 25, 2020, 2:22 pm

    These DA’s need to be held responsible as well as the mayor’s & governors who have allowed this rioting & destruction to take place Gardner & Rittonhouse should never have had to be in a position to defend themselves to begin with ! Where are the prosecutions of the seditionist’s ? All of these riots should have been dealt with as Lancaster PA. has done end of story !

  • Mauser6863 September 25, 2020, 1:30 pm

    The Process of this weaponized use of Justice is the punishment.

    The simple fact is any prosecutor can be told, “No” by a 100 Grand Juries and on the 101st try, they get a “Yes”. The process is already weighted 100% to the prosecutor, they should only get one chance to use it, period.

    My understanding is that after the incident, the landlord terminated the lease on his bar, so bye-bye business and income. He had to flee the state for his protection and then was finally charged, after being “cleared”. This is plenty to put an at risk person over the edge.

    The rioters, their financial backers and the political bosses will pay zero price for their actions, that resulted in a dead veteran and a tremendous amount of police shot, killed and injured.

    This is organized rebellion and the financiers need to be identified and arrested and have their assets seized.

    • Slim September 25, 2020, 2:20 pm

      I hope you don’t believe that CNN or any other stupid money making business actually is handing out hundies to people to walk around and loot shit do you?! Nothing about a riot is organized my friend! I do agree with most you said up top, but at the bottom you lost me. These are all dumb ass individuals who choose to go out knowing there are many guns in people’s hands right out in the open and hidden that nobody ever sees so if they get shot… Should of stayed away from felony crimes like looting and\or rioting when again everyone knows many people have high caliber rifles right out in plain sight! Notice the morons walking around in the riots, they’re so mostly young morons! So hang out with armed young morons and when someone gets shot you guys are surprised? Really? The dumb shit who tried to choke out an ex soldier who defended that losers freedom deserves to be dead and glad he is since that’s one less tool bag who will breed with anyone! Sad he killed himself, but glad he took one with him!

  • POPPER September 25, 2020, 11:45 am

    How sad that a good American lost his life because of a Thug that jumped on his back and tried to choke him, and our lawmakers punish him. He was not the one who started this issue, it was those FRIENDLY LAW ABIDING THUGS and the Liberal KISS ASS POLITITIONS that are ruining this country.

  • William C Douglas September 25, 2020, 11:29 am

    It’s a sad day in America when you’re attacked by the mob, you defend yourself, and then some leftwing DOJ POS charges you with murder. It is time for the people to wake up and vote these mob loving scum out of office before they completely destroy our country.

  • Allen September 25, 2020, 10:49 am

    I’m from Portland but got out of Oregon 30 years ago. I have family living there and was going to visit soon. I’m afraid to use force for fear of prosecution in Oregon but I will. I can’t take a beating getting pulled from my vehicle nor can I take going to prison. My physical health isn’t up to either of those options so I guess I’ll cross each bridge as it comes. I still live in a place where there is right and wrong but malicious prosecutors are everywhere. It’s a disease of the soul that’s swept through when they saw a chance to let the virus out of their souls. God help us and God be with this young man who tried to play by the rules in this life and even served the scum who attacked him. I’m saddened by this story and saddened to see the way Oregon is going.

  • Ej harbet September 25, 2020, 10:32 am

    You war is over jacob gardener,i thank you for service. May we have the strength to continue your fight to keep ouur freedom and rights.a fight that lasts as long as we are breathing

  • Peter Brown September 25, 2020, 9:27 am

    My condolences go out to his loved ones.
    In the people’s republic of oregon, pervland province, would this terrible loss of a good life be viewed as an arkancide?

  • Mike Blackmon September 25, 2020, 8:27 am

    Lawlessness breeds contempt and the result is often vigilante law, born of fear and survival.

  • Rex September 25, 2020, 8:27 am

    Sad. Justice in America is upside down. The left wing mob tilts the scale heavily against anyone who is white and/or (especially) conservative. America is in a dark place and heading further into the abyss.

  • Pete Faz September 25, 2020, 8:13 am

    Rioters lives don’t matter

  • Jim Smith September 25, 2020, 8:12 am

    Next time don’t bring a skateboard to a gun fight.

  • deanbob September 25, 2020, 7:55 am

    I am surprised that an enterprising team of lawyers has not found a way to sue the mayors of these towns that permit and possibly encouraged the rioting and destruction of so much private property. Is there the legal means for a class action law against all of these mayors?

  • Rob September 25, 2020, 7:55 am

    R.I.P Jake.

  • Dr Motown September 25, 2020, 6:52 am

    Where is all this “telephone evidence” indicating “malicious intent?” The Gardner family needs to sue the prosecutor and get some compensation for this gross miscarriage of justice. An innocent veteran is dead because of a punk ass terrorist🤬

    • Yep yep September 25, 2020, 10:26 am

      Very true but we call them something else besides terrorist

  • Joe Ernst Jr September 25, 2020, 6:21 am

    Mr. Gardner should not have been put in a legal situation that would ruin the rest of his life. Shooting looters, arsonists and and folks destroying property seems fair game to me. This death is an outrage. Condolences to family and friends.

    • Michael Zavodny September 25, 2020, 7:51 am

      He was protecting his buiness. If the state would take action on these rioters this would not have happened.

  • tsh77769 September 23, 2020, 4:20 pm

    The malicious political prosecution of this innocent man is what killed him and the prosecutors should be held accountable.

  • tsh77769 September 23, 2020, 1:39 pm

    Is this murder by malicious political prosecution?

  • SuperG September 22, 2020, 10:22 am

    Not fair. The man was sitting in his business, minding his own business, when the urban terrorists showed to destroy it. Regardless of what ensued afterwards, the event would never have transpired but for the actions of the urban terrorists.

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