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Gainesville woman accused of fatally shooting man claims self-defense
10252021 Sarah Voss
Sarah Voss

A Gainesville woman accused of fatally shooting a man at an apartment complex has filed a motion for immunity from prosecution, saying the man had threatened to hurt her days before, according to court documents.

Sarah Star Voss, 35, was indicted in December on charges of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault from the Oct. 24 shooting death of David Parnell Best, 42, of Lithonia.

In a 911 call released to The Times via an open records request, Voss told the 911 operator that he threw a brick through her window and that she started shooting.

“He’s been harassing me for the past two days, and I think I shot him,” Voss said.

Voss and her attorney, Larry Duttweiler, filed a motion for immunity on Sept. 8 and a motion to “introduce evidence of victim’s violent character” on Sept. 20.

The motion for immunity requests a pretrial evidentiary hearing on whether Voss should be granted immunity from prosecution, claiming she was justified in using force under Georgia’s laws regarding self defense.

According to the motion, Best contacted Voss before the shooting and told her that he was coming to her apartment in Hall from DeKalb County.

The motion stated Best was intending to assault her the way he had another woman a few years before, which involved “raping her and beating her to the point of unconsciousness due to her head injuries and broken jaw.”

Best was charged in DeKalb County with rape, aggravated assault and aggravated battery from an assault involving the woman referenced in Voss’ motion. According to DeKalb County online court records, that case is still open.

“This was something that he bragged to Sarah (Voss) about after being released on bond,” according to the motion,

The motion also references the hurling of a “brick or rock” through Voss’ window.

“In response to this violent and tumultuous assault, Sarah armed herself, eventually went to her door, and fired her weapon in self-defense into the darkness,” the motion stated.

Duttweiler said the motions would speak for themselves when reached for comment.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh declined to comment.

A hearing has been set for Oct. 31.