Man found not guilty in shooting death of father has important message

Posted at 11:15 PM, Mar 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-07 23:15:17-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The last year and a half has been anything but easy for Michael Luedecke.

"My world has been turned upside down in more ways than one," he said.

The 22-year-old was charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm after the shooting death of his father back in November 2013.

On Thursday, Luedecke was found not guilty on all charges.

"I began to break down and cry out of sheer happiness," said Luedecke, "Everything else around me went into a sheer blur."

Luedecke said he and his family grew up with a father who had many issues.

"Scared everybody in the neighborhood," he said, "We were terrified and, at the same time, that was the norm, and it's sad that people have to get adjusted to a lifestyle that was just abusive."

Michael said that night, he shot his father out of self defense to, not only protect himself, but his brother and family.

"I feared for his life, I feared for the lives of my family that night," he said.

However, Luedecke said this is more than just sharing his side, he wants to raise awareness on mental illness with his story.

"They need to be helped, my dad had a mental illness -- he was sick," he said, "But, he would not get the help he needed."

Luedecke said he and his family will do whatever it takes to push for change.

"We want to get out to people about the domestic situations," he said.

Luedecke said he always wants to give a big thanks to his attorney Jeffrey Oppleman and his team for all of his help and support during this time.