PULASKI CO., Va. (WFXR) — Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Baptist Hollow Road in the Hiwassee area to find a New River Valley Community Services employee alive and their client dead, both suffering multiple stab wounds.

The Sheriff’s Office declared it a justifiable homicide, finding in their investigation that the client had attacked first and that the community services employee had acted in self-defense. John Fishwick, the former U.S. attorney, and owner of Fishwick and Associates explained what “justifiable” means.

“Justifiable homicide means if you’re defending your life, if you’re being murdered yourself, killed yourself, you’re justified in that split second to defend yourself,” he said.

He emphasizes things often aren’t settled as quickly as they were in Hiwassee. It’s common for a person to argue for justifiable homicide in court.

“Oftentimes it plays out in a courtroom and it’ll be a defense at a trial that the defendant will raise, but in this case the commonwealth attorney again I think made the right call saying I don’t think we need to go through that process, it’s clear what happened here it was justified the self-defense was clear under these circumstances,” said Fishwick.

He adds there are no legal consequences to justifiable homicide.