Local News

Ex-Councilman Claims Self-Defense in Marine's Shooting

Posted April 26, 2007

— Attorneys for a former Fayetteville City Council member said he shot a Marine reservist in self-defense last fall after the reservist climbed into the man's car and refused to get out.

Steve Satisky, 59, was indicted Wednesday on attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charges in connection with the Oct. 16 shooting of Cpl. John Lake III.

Satisky, who served on the City Council in the 1970s and was on the Cumberland County Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at the time of the shooting, surrendered to police Thursday morning and made his first court appearance.

Prosecutors outlined the case in court, saying Lake had been drinking when he got out of a cab outside a sports bar on Bragg Boulevard and jumped into the back of Satisky's car.

Satisky and a woman were in the front seat, and he shot Lake in the head after the reservist refused to get out, prosecutors said.

The two men didn't know each other, and it's unclear why Lake got into the car, prosecutors said.

Lake remains in a coma at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Although his family declined to comment on his condition, prosecutors said it's unlikely he would regain consciousness.

Defense attorney Gerald Beaver declined to provide more details about the incident, including identifying the woman who was in the car, but called the shooting a case of self-defense.

"(Lake) came into the vehicle uninvited. He would not leave when asked to do so. When Mr. Satisky ... tried opening the door to try to get him out, Mr. Satisky was struck in the face," Beaver said.

Lake, an Iraq War veteran, returned to the U.S. last summer with an injured shoulder, but remained on active duty.

John Lake Jr. said Thursday he was happy that Satisky has been charged with shooting his son. But he expressed frustration that more than six months passed before that happened.

Fayetteville police were tight-lipped about their investigation for months after the shooting.

The lack of information even frustrated Satisky and his lawyers.

"This has been half a year. It's been incredibly agonizing not knowing what's going on," defense attorney David Courie said.

John Lake Jr. said he doesn't buy the self-defense argument.

"It's kind of difficult for me to understand that they can claim self-defense (when) you shoot an unarmed man," he said. "In my opinion, this didn't warrant it at all."

Satisky, who owns a pawn shop, resigned his position with the ABC board and kept a low profile in recent months.

Beaver said Satisky has been fighting esophageal cancer and had undergone chemotherapy, radiation and multiple surgeries shortly before the shooting.

"When you have someone who is high-profile in the community, that explanation doesn't fly as well," Beaver said of the self-defense argument.

Satisky was released on bond Thursday night.


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  • lizard Apr 27, 2007

    I think you're right, sick. This duty to retreat mess that is being spun sounds like a liberal lie. Sort of like "temporary tax increase".

  • sick of You Apr 27, 2007

    If a man comes into my vehicle un-invited regardless if my family is there or not and assaults me, the un-invited guest will probably tote a chunk of lead in the center mass area. It is irrelavant that he has a weapon or not. If you do not know the person then you do not know thier background or training. I think prosecutors are going to have a hard time finding a jury to convict this man based on the circumstances. I suppose time and the facts will tell.

  • 2little2late Apr 27, 2007

    sorry for all the typos

  • 2little2late Apr 27, 2007

    "The Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, signed a bill this week to expand the rights of citizens to use deadly force in order to protect themselves. Previous statutes required that a person back down before resorting to gunfire. This law takes away such a requirement. "...Florida and South Dakota are the only ohter states that have the same provision as Indiana...which means that this guy is going to have a tought time using the self-defense plea..not that i might not have done the same thing

  • 2little2late Apr 27, 2007

    although wrathbin didn't quote the staute, that answetr is correct...and up until recently, you had to do the same even when in your home

  • 68_polara Apr 27, 2007

    We really need to let the accused as well as the victim and his family have their day in court and trying the accused here in this forum is really just unfair. Remember what the Duke Lacrosse players went through? I'm not saying what happened here is equivalent but let's give the system a chance to sort things out.

  • lizard Apr 27, 2007

    Wrathbin - where is it written in case or legislative law one has to retreat. Don't give the me CCHP mess. Where is it WRITTEN?

  • gi jane Apr 27, 2007

    GI: Get it correct. If you say it , it's slander, if you write it down, it's libel ..

    danhoggard -at- hotmail -dot- com
    April 26, 2007 4:04 p.m.
    Report abuse

    I dont have to get it correct, I wasnt the one to suggest that I was slandering this man's name. Perhaps you should read the comments from bottom to top before trying to correct someone.

  • Panther Apr 26, 2007

    This looks like a case of murder to me. Satisky could have left and called the police. Something stinks about this story. Why has the woman not been ID? Is it because one or both of them might have been married, to different people? Or is she some poor lost soul asking for a ride home? Too many questions.

  • wrathbin Apr 26, 2007

    lizard I take it you haven't taken the cchp course, you do have to retreat if retreat is possable, the other person DOES NOT have to have a weapon, if you feel that imminent threat of death, great bodily harm, or sexaul assault may come to you then you may use deadly force.
    what probably is going to get him into trouble is according to the story he got out and tried to remove this person in which case if he got out he had the option to retreat.
    retreating does not mean turning around and running, it means that you could be backing up and if the guy still kept coming towards you after you have told him you have a gun then anbd you feel like imminent threat of death or BODILY HARM may come to you then you have the right to defend yourself with deadly force, the only time you dont have to retreat is when you are at your home.