A man convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of his stepdaughter will return to court in February.
David McFarland, 47, of Magnolia, claims he was the victim of domestic abuse and should be exempt from the requirement that he serve 85 percent of his 18-year sentence, according to court records. He is incarcerated at Northpoint Training Center.
McFarland was married to Annette Curry for four years, but remained in contact with her children, according to records. In 2007, his former stepdaughter Sabrina Shirley began making allegations that Mc-Farland had sexually abused her.
McFarland claims that on July 11, 2007 – the day of Shirley’s death – she called him and “threatened to kill him.”
McFarland also said he barricaded himself in the bathroom after Shirley arrived at his home in Mount Sherman. He claims she raged through the house, breaking items and spraying him with a fire extinguisher.
He called for help from a LaRue County constable, but before assistance arrived, Shirley, a mother of two toddlers, was dead. She was standing on the porch when McFarland shot her in the right eye with a 9-millimeter handgun, according to police.
Shirley was not carrying a weapon.
McFarland said he feared for his life and meant only to scare Shirley, not kill her.
McFarland originally was charged with murder, domestic violence, after a three-month investigation by Kentucky State Police. Investigators had to first determine if the castle doctrine applied to the case. According to castle doctrine, officers could face civil penalties if they arrest someone and it is later determined they acted in self-defense.
McFarland has filed a motion in LaRue Circuit Court, asking the judge to change his final decree to reflect that he was a victim of domestic violence, according to Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Whitney Meredith. The judge will have to determine if the motion was filed timely before he decides the merit of the motion. An attorney may have to be appointed to represent McFarland.
If McFarland’s request is successful, he could be eligible for an earlier release.
McFarland’s file will be reviewed Feb. 7.