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Old February 16, 2012, 04:25 AM   #1
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gotta love the Lone Star state

I think this could be in the legal thread too. What was that character's name who said: "Stupid is as stupid does." No sense at all on the burglar's part no matter how you look at it or what state you live in. BUY YOUR OWN PLANT! Anyways, just rambling...trying to avoid a driveby post...

"Dirty Harry" was in the right or the wrong I ask TFL members?
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Old February 16, 2012, 04:45 AM   #2
Pond, James Pond
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Potentially killing someone for a potted plant....hmmm
Personally, it seems a tad excessive....

Still, from a purely legal stand-point, is it OK to keep shooting at the guy once he had retreated from the property to his van?
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Old February 16, 2012, 04:49 AM   #3
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I hoping to hear some legal experts and/or TX residents on this one. On one hand in some states, you can be completely legal in a life treatening situation only to be scared to death(no pun intended) and swamped w/legal fees and legal troubles. Then in TX, you can kill someone stealing property off your lawn as he retreats. I'm neutral, but it is a good discussion. I myself am big on people being able to protect their families and homes, but over the years I have also learned it is a fine line and you should think twice if there is any doubt because one can gamble with his/her life.
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Old February 16, 2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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I dont think I would shoot some one over a potted plant.

However, every item I own consumed part of my life time to earn, I can never get that time back so when someone steals from me they are taking part of my life.

Lots of folks will say, that is what insurance is for, but I have to spend my life earning the money to pay for the insurance.
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:27 AM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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Here are the Texas statutes that justify the use of deadly force in defense of property:

Originally Posted by Texas Penal Code Section 9.41 & 9.42
(a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.
(b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:
(1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or
(2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
The biggest issue I see off the top of my head is that stealing a potted plant from your neighbor's yard is theft. Under Texas law, deadly force may only be used to prevent the imminent commission of theft during the nighttime or prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after the theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property.

According to online sources, dawn was at 7:14am on the day of the shooting and the article reports the shooting took place around 8am... meaning it was about 45 minutes into daytime if the report is correct. The second issue is that if the shootee did something rational like drop the plant or flee, then any shot that struck him after that point may be problematic for the homeowner who can no longer claim a reasonable belief that the shot was necessary to prevent him from escaping with the property.

I'll be interested to see how this plays out legally. There have been cases like this that have been no-billed and cases like this where they buried the guy under the jail. Tough to say how it will play out.

Here is a Google Maps link to the site of the shooting:
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:51 AM   #6
Glenn E. Meyer
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Being someone who lives in TX, I don't want this person in my neighborhood.

1. He shot for a plant - while some may be full of bloodlust and congratulate him - it is not a smart act.

"When the homeowner saw that someone was trying to steal his plant he used his firearm, shot several times at the suspect
Where did those shots go? They were fired at a van and could have zipped off to anywhere. Flat out stupid.

If you look at the map, there is a middle school a block away. Genius. God Bless Texas that the rounds didn't go there.

3. This has nothing to do with TX as the OP totally misinterpreted TX law as Bart points out. I caution that posts containing such misinformation contribute nothing to TFL. I have seen such before - if you are not from TX or don't know our laws - I prefer you not post nonsense because you like bloodlust.

4. For his plant - he will face large legal bills and I'm sure his neighbors would appreciate such.
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:15 AM   #7
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I'm right there with you Rusty
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:37 PM   #8
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Morally, would you kill someone over a 69 cent plant?

I live in Texas and have been burglarized 4 times over several decades, and have held 2 burglars at gunpoint until the police arrived (about 30 minutes later in Dallas).

State law may allow someone to blast away over a plant, a quarter or new car, but there's also moral dilemma at least to me: If I, by all legal rights, legally shoot someone, do I want that on my conscious later on as a "what if"? Am I tired of being burgled, yes. Would I kill someone over a plant, not likely. Over a family member or an invasion, no question.

As a footnote, I'm happy to report the 2 burglars were extremely compliant and polite when introduced up close to the finer point of a Remington auto 12 Ga.
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Last edited by TXAZ; February 16, 2012 at 07:59 PM.
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:47 AM   #9
Tom Servo
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trying to avoid a driveby post
...and failing.

If we want to discuss the idea of property vs. human life, fine. I have a real problem equating a man's life with a plant I can easily replace, but if we're to have that debate, let's start a thread that doesn't cheer on vigilantism in the opening post.
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
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burglary , defense , handgun , home protection , thief

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