No charges in shooting death of Marine in downtown Wilmington

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WITN) - A district attorney says there will be no charges filed in the shooting death of a Camp Lejeune Marine in downtown Wilmington.

Corporal Edwin Estrada was shot back on November 19th outside of an apartment and business on Front Street.

District Attorney Ben David said Stephen Hughes II shot the Marine in self-defense. David cited the Castle Doctrine where a person can legally use deadly force if there's reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury when in their home or immediate property.

The D.A. says Hughes, a former police officer from Maine, heard banging on a rear door around 6:00 a.m. The man encountered the Marine outside, and Hughes said Estrada tried to twice force his way inside his apartment. On the second try, Hughes told police that the Marine lunged at him and that he fired two shots.

David said there was no evidence to contradict Hughes' version of events and nothing to say the two had any previous contact.

Estrada was in Wilmington for his unit's Marine Corps Ball, but couldn't attend because he wasn't dressed properly, according to the D.A. Friends told investigators that the Marine went drinking at several bars and witnesses said he was heavily intoxicated.