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Old August 3, 2007, 12:58 PM   #51
Spenser
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"Not to prevent them from fleeing, but to prevent them from escaping with property. There are other restrictions, the law isn't quite as simple as stated above.

"Legalities aside, he may be charged, but it will be hard to get an indictment. If they manage, all he has to do is ask for a jury trial. IMHO it would be pretty hard to seat a jury that would convict him."

You're absolutely correct. If I generated a misconception, I apologize.

Another statute to consider is Tex. Pen. Code §9.32, which states that deadly force can be used if justified under 9.31(basically: reasonably necessary to use) and a reasonable person in the actor's situation would not have retreated, and when and to the degree he reasonably believes deadly force was necessary to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force, to prevent the imminent commission of ag. kidnapping, murder, sex assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery. You can use deadly force to protect someone else from the same perceived threats. Tex. Pen. Code §9.33.

Tex. Pen. Code 9.34 says that a person can use deadly force if reasonably believed necessary to to preserve his life in an emergency.

A court of appeals in this state has ruled that a person responding with deadly force to a drive-by isn't reasonable after the drive-by had already been completed. Hernandez v. State, 914 S.W.2d 218. There has also been a similar finding that deadly force wasn't justified after the perpetrator had left and might have intended to come back and rob the shooter. Fry v. State, 915 S.W. 2d 554.

Again, not knowing all the facts makes this a hard call. Time will tell if the shooter falls into any of these categories. If it is as reported, he might have some trouble under the law.

I think the shooter in this case will probably have raised enough evidence to get a self-defense instruction at trial (if it makes it past the grand jury, which it seems it will). It's then up to the state to prove beyond a reasonble doubt his actions were not justified by 9.32, 9.33, or 9.42.

Last edited by Spenser; August 3, 2007 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Left out 9.33 in last paragraph
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Old August 3, 2007, 05:43 PM   #52
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Most of you are not considering civil liabilities. He may not be indicted on criminal charges or may be aquitted by a jury, but he could face a civil trial by the families of those he shot. Remember the O.J. Simpson case!! Aquitted on criminal charges but lost big time in the civil trial! All they need in a civil trial is a preponderence of evidence that he went too far, and he is toast, financially!
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Old August 3, 2007, 06:28 PM   #53
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OJ Simpson was in California. This is Texas.

It is a shame the event didn't happen after castle doctrine goes into effect, but even so, Texas has a history of shootings in defense of property that have gone very well for the shooters, even when folks have been killed.

Maybe this should be compared to the recent Ft. Worth shooting where a good guy CHLer pursued after a guy who robbed his wife and then threatened him with a gun. Are we also worried about this guy getting sued?

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...ght=albertsons
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Old August 3, 2007, 08:11 PM   #54
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You betcha!!!
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Old August 3, 2007, 10:34 PM   #55
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I'm not as worried about civil litigation as the impression that this set of actions may leave on others. It may just increase the chance of others pursuing their assailants which, as I wrote, I believe to be a tactical error.

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Old August 6, 2007, 08:39 PM   #56
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Well now!

I think we all agree that three of the four got what they deserve. IMO number 4 needed a hole in his posterior to assure equal opportunity in this educational situation. If all housebreakers, car jackers, etc, could have the experience of having body parts rudely perforated or removed, the next time they would have pause to reflect on the advisability of kicking in another's door. However..............

When you climb into a car to give pursuit, the argument "I feared for my safety" goes right out the window. The sheriff (had he been on the ball) should have retroactively deputized the homeowner (wishful thinking) to preclude the civil lawsuit that's probably coming. Now where do we get some jurors whose homes or cars have been hit??? Hmmm..........
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Old August 6, 2007, 08:52 PM   #57
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A jury will never convict him.

In CA you can fire on a fleeing felon who does not stop and surrender if that person is known to have used or threatened to have used deadly force.
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Old August 6, 2007, 09:15 PM   #58
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Also, how did he know they wouldn't be coming back? In light of what happened to the good doctor who saw his wife and daughters murdered, I can't believe they would file any charges against this guy.
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Old August 6, 2007, 09:29 PM   #59
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Hes a hero in my book! I would MUCH rather have him living next door than the family of human crap that i am dealing with now.

Would any of those jackasses be in jail now had he not done what he did? Highly doubtful.
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Old August 6, 2007, 09:41 PM   #60
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That man is a hero. Since common sense is left out of the legal system, he may be in trouble, unfortunately.
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Old August 6, 2007, 10:39 PM   #61
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Here's my question to those who read this for training purposes.

Was pursuing the felons a wise choice? If this was a training exercise, what would the instructors say? I know real life is different. I'm just trying to see what the thinking out there is on this.

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Old August 7, 2007, 11:53 AM   #62
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I think he probably did go too far, from a defensive standpoint.

I don't know this for certain, having no experience in the matter, but it would seem to me that a person defending his home (or any position, for that matter) has tactical advantage. It would also seem to me that if you give up the cover of your home to pursue out into the street, you've given up cover, concealment, and all the other tactical goodies that come from defending a position as opposed to attacking. If he's beat them out of his home, I would think the prudent thing to do is call 911, and hunker down until the constabulary makes its appearance. Pressing the attack doesn't seem to be the best thing to do.

From a legal standpoint, cases are easy to win when there's good guys and bad guys. When you can point to someone and say definitively they are the bad guy, the contrast makes things easier. This homeowner, rightly or wrongly, chose to step out of his home to continue the fight. As noted, there might be some legal justification, only time and all the facts will tell. However, he did blur the line to an uneducated citizen/juror as to the good guy/bad guy equation. Pressing the attack in this case now has made him harder to defend, legally. From a valiant homeowner, he can now be portrayed as a bloodthirsty vigilante. That's the angle I'd take if I were prosecuting him.
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Old August 7, 2007, 03:09 PM   #63
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well as for thinking process 4 armed people with semi-auto rifles(1 at least)
is not a robbery it is a murder squad.I agree with alot of you here he should be given a medal & a free nra membership!
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Old August 7, 2007, 06:29 PM   #64
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Quote:
Was pursuing the felons a wise choice? If this was a training exercise, what would the instructors say? I know real life is different. I'm just trying to see what the thinking out there is on this.
From a self preservation standpoint, absolutely not. I do not see where there was a life or death reason to chase a larger force.

With that in mind, it sounds like it was a perfectly legal thing to do here in Texas, but not all legal things are good ideas.
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Old August 7, 2007, 06:59 PM   #65
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I would be interested in knowing what kind of weapon the homeowner used. It doesn't make that much difference, but I'm nosey.
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Old August 7, 2007, 07:21 PM   #66
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Right about now i am REALLY wishing that guy was my neighbor. We need more like him.
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Old August 7, 2007, 09:13 PM   #67
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I'm sure it has been brought up in several replies. But the homeowner most definately went too far in terms of legality and definately in safety. Im sure he shot more than 3 times. so where might the rest of his rounds have gone. Was he well within his rights to defend his home? Absolutely but he was out of his damn mind to chase after them in his vehicle firing a weapon in a residential neighborhood.
In the federal law enforcement system, deadly force is authorized when the threat or action of seriously bodily harm or death is imminent. And why you present your weapon it is used solely for deadly force, not to wound, maim, or warn. If someone is fleeing, he is no longer presenting a threat to you of bodily harm or death.
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Old August 7, 2007, 09:21 PM   #68
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It's hard to say what you would do. But I think if my home was invaded by armed men, jeopardizing the safety of my children. I would follow them to the end of the earth, especially if I thought they were untrained and unskilled. Wrong, yea.
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Old August 7, 2007, 09:59 PM   #69
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Awakened in the middle of the night, terrorised, threatened with a gun, He got a chance at them and did the right thing. I probably would have done the same. However, our society has all these stupid laws about the rights of the criminal, so he will be charged. I hope he has a good lawyer. Maybe the NRA will weigh in.
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Old August 8, 2007, 09:50 AM   #70
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He didn't go too far, and he wasn't persuing (according to post 24, updating the originating post).

As far as I can tell, from both post #1 and post #24, this is a good shoot.
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Old August 10, 2007, 10:41 AM   #71
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Legally, he's in some doo-doo. However I must take the position that I am not him, was not in his circumstances, and know all I know about the situation after the fact. It took courage from him to do what he did and zero from us or anyone else to Monday morning quarterback his case. All the perfectly legally sound strategizing and analysis means exactly zero compared to what happens when bullets are flying at him--we are in a position of luxury which chance did not afford him. Placing myself in his shoes I would not have wanted the possibility that those people could have simply retreated to return another day or go to someone else's house. There's a possibility that they might have considered a career change, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. Given that repeat offenders tend to be more the norm than the exception, I would argue that the threat is not extinguished by that kind of group simply being flushed from the home. It's not at all unreasonable to say this was far from an isolated incident nor an undeliberate act on their part.
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Old August 10, 2007, 10:48 AM   #72
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One of my main issues here is if you look at the crime:

Homeowner was forced to take thousands of dollars from his safe. There is more to this case than meets the eye. Not a random home invasion for sure. Lets wait until all the facts come out before we hail this man a hero or a villan.

It could be that he was a drug dealer and wanted revenge on the stoolies that robbed him. Or there could be a perfectly legitimate reason to chase down 4 heavily armed men through a neighborhood.

Theres more to meet the eye here.
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Old August 10, 2007, 11:00 AM   #73
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It does sound a little odd...
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Old August 10, 2007, 11:43 AM   #74
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Doesn't matter if he is a criminal or not
If he was not engaged in criminal activity at the time he is entitled to the same self defense measures the rest of us are

Courts have already ruled on that several times
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Old August 10, 2007, 02:36 PM   #75
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Actually it does matter if he is a criminal and a member of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

First of all - I do not think any criminals are allowed to posses firearms.

Second of all - how would you like it - if a criminal "defending" himself from other criminals shooting indiscriminately shoots up your house and injures your SO, dogs and kid?
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