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Attorney Suspended After Posting Murderous Advice

Nashville's Winston Sitton posted instructions on getting away with killing, denies it was sincere
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2021 1:21 PM CST

(Newser) – A Nashville attorney is temporarily no longer practicing law after he offered some legal advice to a woman on Facebook. The problem is that the advice centered on how to kill somebody and get away with it, reports ABC News. The unusual case goes back to 2017, when attorney Winston B. Sitton responded to a woman's online plea for advice on dealing with a potentially abusive ex, per the Tennessean. The advice that got Sitton into hot water: "If you want to kill him, then lure him into your house and claim he broke in with intent to do you bodily harm and that you feared for your life," he wrote. "Even with the new stand your ground law, the castle doctrine is a far safer basis for use of deadly force." When the woman responded, "I wish he would try," Sitton cautioned her to keep quiet about any such plans.

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"As a lawyer, I advise you to keep mum about this if you are remotely serious," Sitton wrote. "Your defense is that you are afraid for your life—revenge or premeditation of any sort will be used against you at trial." The woman deleted the exchange, but not before her ex saw it and informed the district attorney in Shelby County. The matter eventually made its way to the state Supreme Court, which has ruled that Sitton's license be suspended for four years, including three on probation. In an online post, Sitton insists he was being sarcastic and was actually trying to convince the woman not to resort to violence. However, he admits the language was "intemperate" and regrets using it. The court's view: "Lawyers who choose to post on social media must realize they are handling live ammunition; doing so requires care and judgment." (Read more attorney stories.)

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