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Man claims self-defense after shooting unarmed woman eight times in Kentucky

Investigators said the man fired off about five or six rounds in his handgun and after the woman fell to the ground, he started shooting again until the gun jammed on the 11th round.

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A man accused of gunning down an unarmed woman in Kentucky was in court Thursday as his attorney told a judge the shooting was in self-defense.

Investigators said Joseph Francis Witkowciz, 25, fired off about five or six rounds in his handgun and after the woman fell to the ground, he started shooting again until the gun jammed on the 11th round.

Nicole Daugherty, 35, was hit eight times and died at the scene.

Witkowciz’s attorney told the court that his client was firing at the woman to protect his family.

“She was on the side of the vehicle where his 4-month-old and girlfriend were and he warned her that he had a gun before he made any shots,” the defense attorney said.

Detectives said the incident began July 16 as Witkowciz turned onto a street in Elsmere, just south of Cincinnati. Daugherty pulled her truck up behind him quickly, investigators said. Both pulled off the road, got out of their vehicle and started arguing.

Police said the two did not know each other.

Daugherty, who friends said weighed about 100 pounds, was unarmed, but investigators said Witkowciz opened fire until she fell.

“He kind of described her arm as kind of moving almost like in a flop and says he didn’t know what she was doing. So, he opened fire on her again while she was on the ground,” the detective told judge Ken Easterling.

Investigators said the gun held 12 rounds, but Witkowciz told them the gun jammed on the 11th shot.

Witkowciz’s attorney asked Easterling to lower the cash bond from $250,000.

Kenton County Commonwealth attorney Rob Sanders objected.

“I believe if anything in this case, bond ought to go up,” Sanders said.

Easterling agreed.

“He stood over this poor victim and finished her off. I have zero sympathy for that,” Easterling said. He then doubled the cash bond to $500,000.