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Old November 30, 2012, 09:45 AM   #32
Spats McGee
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 6,905
I read a thread on this on The High Road, as well as a linked story on this. A poster there who goes by westhope posted the following Minnesota statute:

Originally Posted by westhope

The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.
While there may be some argument that the initial shooting was defensible, I think it's going to be a pretty weak one. I don't think there's any way that the "good clean finishing shot" clears the hurdles set forth above.

I will also say that the story told to investigators, as I understand it, leaves too many questions unanswered for the shooter to have much credibility with any jury. I'm not all up to speed on MN law (so someone correct me if I'm wrong), but my gut says this guy is going to have to take the stand if he wants to claim SD or defense of home. I can almost hear the prosecutor: "You expect the jury to believe that an 18-year-old girl came down a flight of stairs to investigate MULTIPLE GUNSHOTS, after she and her cousin had broken into the house?"*

*What I am unable to tell from the story that I've read is how much time passed between the initial shots and the man shooting the girl. Obviously, without that information, I can't really judge whether she was necessarily in a position to hear the first shots.

On the political side, I agree with several posters that if: (1) the facts in the story are correct; and (2) this guy successfully pulls off a defense of the home argument, then Castle Doctrine laws are in trouble.

My $0.02: I fully support Castle Doctrine and Stant Your Ground laws, but this goes way beyond that. Even if his story is true (& I have my doubts), he still went way beyond defending himself or his abode. The finishing shots were murder, plain and simple. I also suspect that there's a great deal more to the story than has surfaced. His story about not calling the police "because he didn't want to disturb their holiday" is hogwash. This sounds more like someone who spent a day or so trying to figure out what to do with the bodies. When he couldn't come up with a decent plan, he figured he'd just claim that they'd broken into the house.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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