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Old March 14, 2014, 08:36 AM   #1
Double Naught Spy
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Houston Father Kills Faux Intruder

Tragic story. The little brother sees boy in (in bed, under bed, or hiding depending on which version of the story you find) sister's room and tells the father. Father thinks it is an intruder and confronts boy that sister denies knowing. Like a good father being protective, he is armed. Somewhere in the process, the 'unknown' boy makes a furtive move and the father shoots and kills him. The daughter then lets on that she knows him and let him in the house.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/03/13...m-report-says/

In some ways, this reminds me of the Tracy Denise Robertson story. Husband returns home from card game and discovers wife with unknown man. Wife yells rape and the husband kills the man. The man was the wife's lover. Wife gets convicted in her lover's death and husband does not get charged because he acted in a reasonable manner to protect his wife.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/...indicted_N.htm

So I have to wonder if the daughter will be held culpable in some way as Robertson was.
http://www.star-telegram.com/2008/05...rape-gets.html
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:18 PM   #2
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Yes, I saw this story yesterday and noted that there were two or three slightly different versions. I suppose this can be attributed to different media outlets or the various parties changing their story – who knows.

Obviously I wasn’t there and I’m not trying to pass judgment, but the main thing that struck me was the lack of seriousness the people involved seem to apply to the situation. The daughter lied about what was going on even though her father was armed. The young man was being held at gun point and apparently ignored the commands of an armed homeowner.

Sad story and it will be interesting as more solid facts come out to see what if any charges are filed.
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:29 PM   #3
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Let's see. The father has a gun on you, and you've been messing with his daughter, who says she doesn't know you. Dad says don't move. You move.

Darwin award.
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:58 PM   #4
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Interesting legally because some versions of the Castle Doctrine say a homeowner/resident can presume someone inside their home without permission has felonious intent or intent to injure or kill the homeowner/resident. Since the teenager actually had permission to be there, does the presumption of felonious intent apply?

In any event, it's a real tragedy all the way around.
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Old March 14, 2014, 01:06 PM   #5
Grizz12
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Quote:
Since the teenager actually had permission to be there, does the presumption of felonious intent apply?
Is the daughter in a position to let "someone" in the house or is that left up to the home owner who pays the bills for the daughter to stay there?

From the fathers point of view, the kid did not have permission to be there and nobody knew who he was, so yes, the kid did have felonious intent.
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Old March 14, 2014, 01:19 PM   #6
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Normally, she can allow people into the home. She can have friends over during the day, right? As I said, interesting case legally.
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Old March 14, 2014, 01:29 PM   #7
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It all boils down to the " reasonable man " doctrine.

Did (or should) the father know the boy was there with permission? The answer (on the face of it) is NO.

A reasonable person upon being told there was someone hiding in their home and upon confronting that person the reasonable person is told the intruder is not known to any of the family members....

The reasonable person would have to conclude this person was in the home illegally. Upon a threatening movement a reasonable person would fear for their safety

Looks pretty defensible to me. As to the daughters culpability....???
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Old March 14, 2014, 01:33 PM   #8
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyJim
Interesting legally because some versions of the Castle Doctrine say a homeowner/resident can presume someone inside their home without permission has felonious intent or intent to injure or kill the homeowner/resident. Since the teenager actually had permission to be there, does the presumption of felonious intent apply?...
All the Castle Doctrine laws I've looked at require as a condition of the presumption applying that the defender knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used was unlawfully or forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcefully entered, the residence.

See this post of mine from a couple of years ago:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltc444
...In AZ our laws are not as draconian as many of the liberal states. Basically, if we have an intruder we are presumed to be in danger for our lives and we may shot the BG. If we do not administer a coup de grace and we keep our mouths shut we will not be charged. The exception is Pima County and Tucson they tend toward CA rules...
You really need to get your facts straight.

[1] The same presumption applies in many States, including California (California Penal Code 198.5).

[2] As with most similar presumptions they apply only (ARS13-418) if the defender knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used was unlawfully or forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcefully entered, the residence (i. e., he's not you daughter's boyfriend who she sneaked in). So you will still need to put forward evidence of your knowledge or belief to have the advantage of the presumption.

[3] Since this is an Arizona state statute, it applies in Tucson and Pima County.
But this case seem to raise a knotty issue. At least according to one report the daughter initially lied and said she didn't know the boy. So the question will be whether considering all the circumstances the daughter's lie gave the father reason to believe that the boy unlawfully entered the house. And that question could raise issues of the daughter's past conduct and truthfulness.
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Old March 14, 2014, 02:14 PM   #9
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What a tragedy indeed. This stupidity ruins the lives of several families.

Quote:
The confrontation occurred around 2:20 a.m. The father had a gun and asked the teen to identify himself, police said, according to the report. His daughter reportedly told her father that she did not know the teen and that the two were not in bed.

The father said he told the teen not to move, but reportedly saw the teen reach for something, at which point police say the father opened fire. The teen did not have a gun. His daughter later confessed that she did indeed know the teen, the report said.
I'm surprised at the lack of seriousness with which this situation was handled... however having not been there, this could have all taken place in a matter of split seconds, in the dark.

I doubt the father would be charged because he was defending both his home and daughter, and acted reasonably by asking the daughter if she knew who was in the room, and only fired when the intruder reached for something or otherwise moved (assuming those are the facts).

The girl could be in hot legal trouble, and the father would be right if he were seriously angry with her for her fatal stupidity and deceit.

I honestly can't say how I would react in such a situation, but it's a great learning point.

1. Communicate with your children, especially the sexually curious teens, about this type of situation of sneaking in or out, or sneaking lovers inside the home.

2. While it may be armchair quarterbacking, the father could have retreated him and his daughter from the bedroom, closed the door, called the police and waited it out. That would have given the daughter time to think and come clean. May not have had time or thought about this option.

3. Not sure how clear the fathers instructions to the intruder were, but perhaps, "I have a gun, don't move, identify yourself..." Again, unfair to armchair quarterback. 2AM, foggy situation, intruder in your teenage daughter's room... Then again, it's not unforeseeable that Suzy would sneak a boy into her room.

But I don't think the father is criminally liable. Perhaps the daughter could be sued for this situation, which would ultimately fall upon the family and perhaps their home owners policy.
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Old March 14, 2014, 05:33 PM   #10
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Frank, good point about the unlawful and forcible entry provision for the presumption to apply. I decided to actually look at the Texas statute ( ) and it appears to have substantially the same provision.



Quote:
Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

(b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.u.../PE.9.htm#9.32.

The father might "have reason to believe" the teenager entered unlawfully and with force if he thinks the house is locked up for the night and the daughter says she doesn't know the guy. That would give him the presumption that he believed the "intruder" was going to commit one of several types of felonies listed in the statute, including sexual assaults. Even without this presumption, it seems the father would have reason to believe the teenager was trying to sexually assault his daughter.
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Old March 14, 2014, 05:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
The father might "have reason to believe" the teenager entered unlawfully and with force if he thinks the house is locked up for the night and the daughter says she doesn't know the guy.
Actually, a lot of what you cited doesn't apply.

Simply put, father perceived intruder, confirmed by daughter, and the intruder moved in what he believed to be a threatening manner and he responded to defend himself and his daughter. It doesn't matter at that point from the father's perspective how the intruder got into the house.

Whatever the possible nefarious reasons were that might have been for the intruder to be in the house originally are in the past at the point when the father shot the boy whom he had at gun point. He didn't shoot the boy because the boy was their to commit sexual assault and there is no indication at the time of the shooting that the boy was trying to sexually assault the daughter.
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Old March 14, 2014, 06:23 PM   #12
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It's surprises me that this kind of thing doesn't happen more often.

A few years back, a friends softball coach was sneaking around outside the houses of a few players and eventually got bold enough to actually go inside a bedroom looking for panties... girl walks in and for a minute, doesn't notice intruder standing in dark corner. Then the german shepard down the hall smells bad guy, comes running in on full attack mode and takes a chunk out coach's butt as he jumps out the window... dog follows out the window and takes off chunks as they fight across the yard. Dad comes running outside, pistol in hand as coach makes it over fence... dad chases down street and holds at gunpoint until police arrive. He's still in jail and will be a registered predator when he gets out... lucky to be alive.

I have 2 daughters, currently 5 and 3, blonde haired and blue eyed and stubborn like their old man... stories like this scare the carp out of me.
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Old March 14, 2014, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
2. While it may be armchair quarterbacking, the father could have retreated him and his daughter from the bedroom, closed the door, called the police and waited it out. That would have given the daughter time to think and come clean. May not have had time or thought about this option.
And big time Monday Morning Quarterbacking at that. You'd leave a total stranger carrying who knows what free reign of a family member's bedroom behind a closed door so you can't observe his actions? Remember at this point Dad doesn't know the guy is unarmed himself. I wouldn't close the door on a guy who could be armed if I hadn't gotten the drop on him. Even if he wasn't armed, I wouldn't want to close the door, and have the police have to storm the room.

Deadly force was used. Given the overall tone of "There but for the Grace of God go I" we're using in discussion we're all thinking that with the facts we have it was pretty reasonable given what the Dad knew. If we're assuming that, we're also assuming Dad was in some level of fear of an imminent threat of serious bodily harm (or whatever the standard is where we/they live depending on how much we're projecting ourselves into the situation). At that level of reasonable fear, you don't close the door on the guy on the off chance he behaves.
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Old March 14, 2014, 07:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
...The father said he told the teen not to move, but reportedly
saw the teen [who his daughter had said was a complete stranger]
reach for something, at which point police say the father opened fire.....
QED threat where a weapon could be reasonably seen to come into immediate play in the presence of his minor child.

Xin Loi....







(Now, however, the daughter does have some explaining to do....)
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Old March 14, 2014, 09:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Actually, a lot of what you cited doesn't apply. . . .

Simply put, father perceived intruder, confirmed by daughter, and the intruder moved in what he believed to be a threatening manner and he responded to defend himself and his daughter. It doesn't matter at that point from the father's perspective how the intruder got into the house.
I guarantee that in the hands of an attorney, it will matter if the father thought the guy was there to commit a sexual assault and it will matter if the father had reason to believe the guy entered forcefully and unlawfully. Those perceptions, and the law, support the reasonableness of the belief the teenager was dangerous and going for a weapon. Now, that may not resonate with you, but it will resonate with some people on a grand jury or a petit jury if it goes that far.

BTW, I cited the entire section of the statute so, sure, not every word is applicable to this case.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:04 PM   #16
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Were I on a Grand Jury, I would have a hard time indicting the homeowner as I likely would have reacted similarly. The daughter ? I could support charges on her.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:15 PM   #17
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Things like this are why one takes a girl OUT on a date.....

No doubt the daughter panicked when she denied to her DAD that she knew the boy. An instant's lack of thought has given her a lifetime of regret.

The boy, no doubt also panicked, and it became a case of terminal stupidity.

Tragic.

but as far as I can see, not criminal, for the Father, anyway.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Were I on a Grand Jury, I would have a hard time indicting
Based solely on what we've discussed here- I'd have an easy time indicting. I'd have a hard time voting guilty.
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Old March 14, 2014, 11:49 PM   #19
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JimDandy Wrote;
Quote:
Based solely on what we've discussed here- I'd have an easy time indicting.
Really ? whom, and on what charge ?
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Old March 15, 2014, 03:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
JimDandy Wrote;
Quote:
Based solely on what we've discussed here- I'd have an easy time indicting.
Really ? whom, and on what charge ?
If the father were charged with a first/second degree murder, I would have a hard time indicting.

If the charge came through as Voluntary Manslaughter, I think I would have to vote to indict. There's still too much doubt surrounding the situation.

Again, all this assumes that the facts are as they are presented in the article.
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Old March 15, 2014, 06:19 AM   #21
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Picture Father leaving on a stretcher? He was a big guy! Did he need a gun against a teen? So many unanswered questions. Dad will have a lawyer when he exits Hospital.

Seems to me, the questions will remain unanswered. Till the natural process takes place.

Police examine physical evidence. GSR will show Father fired shot? Can not take the GSR test, unless Dad is charged with a crime?

Hard to charge Dad, no evidence? His House, His Daughter, His gun?

Unless some one talks to Police? Which the Father, or Daughter are not obliged to do? Good luck Mr. Police Chief!
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Old March 15, 2014, 03:24 PM   #22
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I have trouble believing pure defense-of-another motives of the husband in the Robertson case, and the father in this illicit teen romance case.

I don't think it takes a Sherlock Holmes or more than a moment's worth of thought for someone stumbling on either scene to figure them out. In the first one, a claim of rape in a vehicle in the driveway... has any rapist driven up to a house, kidnapped a woman, and raped them in a car in the victim's own driveway? In the second case, a 16 year old claiming that a 17 year old in her bedroom at 2AM is an intruder rather than a boyfriend... the boy, presumably, not exactly wearing a hoodie and sagging jeans?

There may not have been an outright vengeance motive in either case, but willful blindness as to what was going on, because neither of the shooters wanted to believe it, is just as bad, with the same consequences. As to legal consequences, that's up to a jury after seeing far more evidence than we have.
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Old March 15, 2014, 05:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyme
....There may not have been an outright vengeance motive in either case, but willful blindness as to what was going on, because neither of the shooters wanted to believe it, is just as bad, with the same consequences. As to legal consequences, that's up to a jury after seeing far more evidence than we have.
And I think that's exactly right.

It may be that on the surface it looks like the father is legally in the clear, but I don't think it can be a forgone conclusion that he will be exonerated. No doubt this incident will be examined under a microscope, and so far our evaluation of the incident is based primarily on the stories told by the father and the daughter. But in the end, the outcome will be decided by what a grand jury, and perhaps a trial jury, believe actually happened after seeing a lot more evidence than we have now.

I'm not going to make any bets on the outcome -- one way or the other.
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Old March 16, 2014, 11:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyR
If the father were charged with a first/second degree murder, I would have a hard time indicting.

If the charge came through as Voluntary Manslaughter, I think I would have to vote to indict.
Why is that? Aside from I'm given to understand they charge the kitchen sink more often than not anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
Really ? whom, and on what charge ?
Just about anyone, for just about any charge, if the state can make anything better than a half-assed case. The standard for an indictment is supposedly far lower than a guilty verdict. I think it'd be pretty easy for a Prosecutor to present a pretty one sided account of how the daughter really did know the boy, making a fibber out of her, and by extension the Dad, and the Dad obviously knew, etc. etc.
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Old March 17, 2014, 10:11 AM   #25
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Let assume for a moment the father was found to be 100% justified in this shooting.

What charges can/should the daughter face? If we take the news stories as accurate and the father acted based only on what he saw and what he was told by the daughter, it seems she is the one who should/could face charges.

Sort of like the guy who drives the getaway car for a bank robbery or a killing. He may not have known about the shooting because "It was not supposed to happen that way" but he is still charged with murder.
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