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Old March 27, 2018, 07:05 PM   #1
Glenn E. Meyer
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Here's a perfect storm for a CCW type

https://www.courtlistener.com/pdf/20..._storms_m..pdf

Found it from Claude Werner's page. The shooter had a concealed carry badge which he flashed. He intervened and threatened in a nonlethal force situation with his gun. He had a history of proclaiming his heroics.

A perfect storm for a CCW type gone wrong.

Kind of answers the CCW badge question, should you just jump in and can your blather hurt you in court?

Yes, it can in circumstances like this.
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Old March 27, 2018, 07:38 PM   #2
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Interesting case. The appellant did so many things wrong.

The Appellant intervened when it was unnecessary (others had calmed Decedent)
The Appellant forced the situation unnecessarily.
The Appellant upped his game when his "authority" (badge) was rejected and brandished with the intent to intimidate.
The Appellant was much too close to the Decedent and upon upsetting the Decedent sufficiently, the Appellant was punched.
The from a safe distance away, the Appellant drew and fired his gun, killing the Decedent.
The Appellant made claims in court that were not backed up by witnesses and there were a lot of witnesses to the event (church full of hundreds of people).

So the Appellant seems to be a self righteous hothead who tried to exert authority he did not have over the upset decedent who defended himself from the Appellant after the Appellant brandished.

As for flashing the badge, it failed to have the desired impact. That has happened with cops before as well.

Blathering? Didn't help. Given the witnesses present, I don't believe the outcome would have been different, however. No doubt the state called plenty of witnesses during the actual trial.
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Old March 27, 2018, 08:03 PM   #3
Evan Thomas
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Yes, it's hard to find much of anything that he did right.

I find it interesting that the defendant's self-reported history of acting the hero worked so strongly against him, as indicating that he would continue to be a danger to the community. That alone should give pause to a lot of internet warriors...
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Old March 28, 2018, 12:21 AM   #4
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“away and directed someone to call the police.“. End of story for the appealent and anyone else. Call the police, back off and wait for the police to arrive. Unless the decedant pursues physical course or engages in some action other than verbal just let him be and wait.
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Old March 28, 2018, 12:00 PM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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It is rare someone is a bad example so completely through every step of the conflict that there is nothing to discuss about it.

While PA law apparently contains a duty to retreat (if you can safely do so), the appellant would have been in trouble in a “Stand your ground” state like Texas as well since the brandishing of the firearm would only be lawful if the appellant was justified in using non-deadly force against the victim. And since the victim had merely been rude up to that point, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
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Old March 28, 2018, 08:18 PM   #6
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Sounds like one of those guys who thinks of himself as a "sheep dog".
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Old March 29, 2018, 08:13 AM   #7
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It is rare someone is a bad example so completely through every step of the conflict that there is nothing to discuss about it.
I'm with you on that. My initial reading left me wondering how someone could have been so mistaken and made so many obvious errors along the way. It is still the concluding question I am left with when reading this. It's like a "CCW: what not to do 101" training manual.

But we are reading a judgement and one in this case where the "findings of fact" are laid out as exactly that. There is no question if the facts are accurate only if the findings of fact are without judicial error. It makes things sometimes seem more clear than they may be.

It does serve to illustrate how quickly a situation can get out of hand. One person is dead seemingly for no reason. Another will, rightly from what I have read, spend a lot of time in jail. Countless witnesses have a violent encounter seared into their minds. No one intended to be the "bad actor" and everyone would have painted themselves as "the good guy".
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Old March 29, 2018, 09:37 AM   #8
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Bad judgement and mind your own business come to mind...
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Old March 29, 2018, 09:45 AM   #9
Ricklin
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Wow, just wow.

A good time for all to question what that CC piece on your hip really means.

This tool truly got it all wrong. A long stay at the gray bar hotel is warranted.

As for me, that piece on my hip represents responsibility, a great responsibility that I hope to ONLY and ever apply in the gravest extreme. Getting punched in the nose, no way, not if I can retreat.

It's not POWER, It's not CONTROL. It's RESPONSIBILITY.

The fact that it occurred in a church and the trauma that created for all the parishioners to witness is even worse.
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Old March 29, 2018, 09:52 AM   #10
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To me, the key thing is that the supposed good guy escalated the situation. I don't mean offense to anyone, but when I see those CWP badges my immediate thought is "LEO wannabe." My overall impression is that this was someone was sought an opportunity to shoot, rather than one how had a gun for use as a last resort.
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Old March 29, 2018, 10:20 AM   #11
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Bad judgement and mind your own business come to mind...
Agree on the first part. As to the second part, there is a lot of room for consideration. On one side of the argument are those who have the "mind your own business" mindset and on the other side you have your folks that feel strongly that the only way for evil to succeed to for good folks to stand idly by. There are definitely folks who feel very strongly about what goes on in "their" churches, that other members of the congregation are part of a family and you take care of family.

Had the appellant successfully interceded at a point where the decedent produced a weapon and stopped a possible murder or mass event, we would be praising him for not minding his own business.

Similarly, people often say that they would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6, the idea being is that if you feel your life is on the line, your odds of surviving are better if you make it to court and let due process run its course than if you are killed in the incident. Yet when we see people take that route and their actions are questionable, we often condemn them for being so wrong in their actions. It would seem that the only way that it is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 is only if the situation is obviously in your favor and it isn't likely that the process will get to the point of being judged by 12. If it does get that far, then we often are critical of the system of due process for putting on trial an obviously innocent person.

We have a lot of competing and sometimes conflicting concepts regarding our social behavior relative to self defense and defense of others.
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Old March 29, 2018, 11:05 AM   #12
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Yet when we see people take that route and their actions are questionable, we often condemn them for being so wrong in their actions
Judging only from the judgement posted I would have a hard time believing the defendant's life was ever in jeopardy. Aside from his own actions in escalating the situation to where it became physical the defendant he "absorbed" the first blow, a punch to the face, and was still fully capable of squaring off and producing the weapon.

That brings up an interesting point that we have long discussed here. The defendant tried the "he was bigger, younger, stronger and faster" than me line of reasoning to justify his disparity of force. There is so much done wrong here that we cannot judge if this was simply ineffective or meaningless because of the amount of other issues in his defense. If you are going to "bring a gun to a fist fight" in public how injured do you have to be to justify it's use?
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Old March 29, 2018, 11:17 AM   #13
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"...answers the CCW badge question..." As in, "A what?"?
"...shot the unarmed [Decedent] twice..." Storms is a murderer. Plain and simple.
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Old March 29, 2018, 11:28 AM   #14
Lohman446
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I found this excerpt near the end to be especially interesting

Quote:
[the court] was troubled by Appellant’s tendency to
insert himself into circumstances that could cause his death and portray him
as a hero.
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Old March 29, 2018, 12:27 PM   #15
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absolutely unconscionably stupid. a sit on your butt, stay calm and quiet, don't even make eye contact situation. the impression i get is that the people would have been well advised to treat the intruder like an angry, barking dog.

pastor maybe should have tried to evacuate from a door by the altar. the fact of it is that the entire congregation was a hostage in a way, to a possibly dangerous guy. they were trapped. otoh, the guy obviously wanted to be ignored.

this is a classic case. give the unstable guy your watch and wallet and say goodbye.

this killer was quite obviously a nutter. he willfully escalated a situation that was at the time stable. it wasn't necessary to remove him; several others had already tried and chose to stand down.

this is why the taser was created, why cops carry them. the simple answer to everything was that police would have been there in minutes and it would have almost certainly ended peacefully.

we have to remember, maybe the guy was just looking for a little peace? was he there because he needed god? needed to hear a sermon, see people in suits singing hymns? people in terrible distress sometimes turn to churches for sanctuary.
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Old April 1, 2018, 09:55 AM   #16
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This case illustrates one of the potential dangers of carrying a gun--how it can affect your mindset. I can't help but wonder if, in his mind, him having the gun in the first place gave him permission to intervene. He wanted to play the hero because having the gun gave him the confidence to do so. He became the aggressor when he decided to brandish his weapon. Now someone is dead and a church is dealing with the knowledge that one of their members shot and killed someone in the sanctuary, all because someone wanted to play the hero with his gun.
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Old April 1, 2018, 12:08 PM   #17
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I agree. I wondered about wearing his concealed weapon "on his belt" in what is a barely concealed manner. I'm assuming that he had a jacket draped over it. It's a situation that probably caused his weapon to be seen frequently.

With that, his ridiculous badge, his attitude and his statements to police, the full range of his actions resulting in a bullet to the heart after a double tap, it's incomprehensible, Wyatt earp mimicry.
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Old April 1, 2018, 02:07 PM   #18
In The Ten Ring
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Lots of people are carrying guns to church now.....especially after what happened in Texas a few months ago. I suspect that played a role in this, if only on a subconscious level.

I apologize as I didn't read the entire pdf, I have problems reading long articles online, it does something to my eyes and I cannot print it out at the moment for proper reading.

This has been an excellent article and discussion. My take: there is always a risk sticking your neck out for someone else and if things get rough, you can't expect that person to stick their neck out for you! I think also had the defendant been a good boxer, wrestler, or just had pepper spray, we never would have heard of this case. He might not have felt welcome at that church later, but I doubt he'd be headed to prison. The same can be said for George Zimmerman. *And staying in his car.

One question on the pdf: were the internet posts the defendant made included for us to read? Was the context of those posts included as well? I suspect any post made on just this forum by any member here could be made to look threatening.


*I recall seeing the "CCW Badge" ads in gun magazines about 20 years ago....I thought those were silly then.
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Old April 1, 2018, 02:19 PM   #19
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I'm assuming that he had a jacket draped over it. It's a situation that probably caused his weapon to be seen frequently. a barely concealed manner.

Excellent examples of personal bias. Forum member "assumes" and uses the term "probably." Did the dpf state evidence of how the weapon was carried and testimony where church members "saw the weapon frequently?"

"...a barely concealed manner." I get the impression how one conceals is important to you.

Wyatt earp mimicry.

That's exactly how a lot of people see non-police carry of guns. And that's the crux of the thread.

briandg, I'm not that concerned with your replies but I think these go a long way to illustrate the points being made in this thread, i.e. "how a jury might view your mentality after the use of lethal force."
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Old April 1, 2018, 03:34 PM   #20
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Gotta love those CCW badges.
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Old April 1, 2018, 04:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lohman446 View Post
. . . .But we are reading a judgement and one in this case where the "findings of fact" are laid out as exactly that. There is no question if the facts are accurate only if the findings of fact are without judicial error. It makes things sometimes seem more clear than they may be. . . . .
It's important to understand that at this juncture, the facts as you have read them are the facts, for all legal purposes. At the trial level, the court or the jury "finds the facts," and decides what the facts were. The appellate court can review those facts, but no new evidence may be introduced. The defendant can make a motion for a new trial, for example, if new evidence has been uncovered, but that would go back to the trial court. Appellate courts look at the record on appeal. They do not allow new evidence to be introduced at the trial court level.

If I ever needed more proof that CC badges are a bad idea, this case would have provided it. In this case, the decedent was already calm, and nobody was in any imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. Not only did the appellant flash the badge, then approached him with the intent to remove him from the church. That's not defense of self or others. That's an arrest, and I know of no jurisdiction in which a CCL gives one arrest powers.

A tragic story all the way around, but I will admit that given the appellant's history and the facts as recited by the appellate court, the sentence is not all that surprising.
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Old April 1, 2018, 06:10 PM   #22
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Ten ring, it's in the report that he had an on the belt holster. If it's in an official document it was on the belt. Guy's in church, how well can you conceal anything on your belt? He may have been wearing a suit or jacket, but nobody could wear on otb holster for an hour or two every week and not give away that secret.


Yes, the way it is concealed matters. If you truly hide it, it shows that it's there to be hidden, and be unseen. If no effort is made to truly, deeply conceal it it shows that he chose to not hide it well. Maybe he wanted it to be seen, and his statements seem to support that.

Wyatt earp? Yep. There was a disturbance in the church. He admitted that his plan was about ejecting the guy from the church, not defending the people. He ordered him to come with him out of the church. When the guy (quite predictably. He had already refused once) refused to leave, he flashed a badge, then a gun. When the guy got violent, for whatever reason, he shot, maybe intentionally killed him. He stands by his actions as smart and proper.

Wyatt earp at the corral ejected a horse from the boardwalk and it began a series of events that wound up in the shooting. The killer really had no need or business appointing himself as the 'bouncer', the pastor said so. He escalated that situation, which was not obviously a risk to anyone, to the point of death, according to the pastor.

I read that paper, and it reminded me of a rough and tough 'cowboy' that I knew in the past. He was 6'5" and a bully and tough guy. He carried a 1911 and flaunted it. He talked about 'stare downs'. On the internet he was a troll and a bully, and described himself as being that way in real life, that was confirmed by others who knew him in person.

You see, I have well thought out reasons for saying these things and it all fits together. It is possible that I am misreading the context or documentation.

I find it ironic that he used the badge and gun as 'persuasion tool's. An leo has his in plain sight, and shouldn't put his hand near that gun until he feels a level of threat, you can't use that as a threat.

"What ya gonna do, shoot me for not going outside"? Wow, that would have been really helpful.
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Old April 1, 2018, 06:14 PM   #23
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The idea of a CCW badge is rediculous! I would be leery of anyone who chose to carry one much less brandish it as if it gave them authority. Having a carry permit and a lethal weapon on my person empowers me to keep my mouth shut, mind my own business, and avoid trouble like the plague...NOTassert myself over everyone and everything in my presence that doesn't conform to my self righteous beliefs.

The shooter didn't need boxing skills or pepper spray. He needed to mind his own business.
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Old April 1, 2018, 06:16 PM   #24
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Btw, Joe, described above once said, verbatim, "I'm a lot less mouthy if I'm carrying. I don't want to get in trouble."
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Old April 1, 2018, 06:30 PM   #25
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At one point, many years ago, I wondered if a marker of some sort would be a good idea. Not a stupid plastic shield that can be bought at k Mart, but an actual registered tag that could be carried outside of the wallet for identifying purposes. It seemed like it might be better to have one in the wallet and one that was more easily accessed. Maybe clipped on the clothing or dashboard.

That wasn't an important idea, just a way to easily identify as licensed if asked, say during a traffic stop. Now with my state offering permitless carry, I don't even have my card.

Carrying a shield would make me think of a ten year old with his gold sheriff's star that he got in a gumball prize.
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