BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Charges have been dropped against an Alabama man accused of killing a 4 year-old girl. A judge ruled he fired at the car the girl was inside in self-defense. reports Darrell Montez Hutton, a 34-year-old Birmingham man, was charged with murder for the July 2017 killing of 4-year-old Taleayah Stafford.

Authorities say a passenger in the car with Stafford, Anthony Fowler, pulled a gun on Hutton before Hutton returned fire. The little girl was struck in the head with a bullet fragment and died three days later.

A Jefferson County circuit judge ordered the charges against Hutton dismissed Tuesday, saying he was justified in defending himself.

Alabama adopted Stand Your Ground laws in 2006 and people that use deadly force to defend themselves are generally immune from prosecution.