Friend Says Deadly Shooting Was Self-Defense

By: Deon Guillory Email
By: Deon Guillory Email

A Staunton man is in jail, accused of killing a Harrisonburg man last weekend. Someone close to him, is only talking to News 3.

Her name is Lisa Brown. Her son is best friends with murder suspect Dallas Chaplin. Brown wants you to know the real Dallas Chaplin.

Police say Dallas Chaplin is a killer, but those in his inner circle say he's anything but.

"He is the most well mannered, well liked, I mean he's got a heart of gold." said Lisa Brown. Her son is Chaplin's best friend.

"Out of all my son's friends, he's my favorite kid."

Brown says Chaplin's parents divorced. He had trouble with the law as a child, but turned his life around. He got a job and his own place, but she says the image some people have of him is all wrong.

"Dallas is not a cold-blooded killer, like everyone is trying to portray him to be." said Brown.

Chaplin is accused of killing Ben Graessle early Sunday morning. Brown says she talked to Chaplin after the incident and he explained that it was all in self defense.

"He said that he was involved in an altercation, there was a fight with him and his friend and the deceased and he said there was a knife drawn from the deceased then he issued a threat to Dallas and Dallas got scared and he shot him."

Brown says she told Chaplin to surrender, but she says the 19-year-old felt that he didn't stand a chance.

Brown said, "I mean it was a college boy, and you know what I'm saying a delinquent. That's how he was looking at it."

Now, Brown just wants to make sure Chaplin gets a fair trial.

"I love him like he's my own son and I will fight for him like he's my own son." said Brown.

Chaplin's friends say they have gotten him a lawyer. He's due back in court in February. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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