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Old November 29, 2001, 08:54 AM   #1
David Park
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Why not to run after a defensive shooting

From Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Jury: Shooting self-defense
Two related counts bring convictions


A teasing and profane comment outside a downtown nightclub led to gunfire and bloodshed about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 6.

A Richmond Circuit Court jury deliberated for almost six hours over two days before concluding yesterday that Landon Joseph Faulkner acted in self-defense when he shot two men near Fourth and Franklin streets.

However, the panel convicted Faulkner, 23, of attempting to elude a police officer in his car immediately after the shooting and of misdemeanor hit-and-run when he kept going after a collision with the officer's vehicle.

The jury recommended that he serve a year in prison on the attempt-to-elude charge and nine months in jail on the hit-and-run count. Sentencing was set for Jan. 24.

According to two days of testimony, the altercation began when Tony Layne Jr. was kicked out of Cafine's at Fourth and Grace streets for arguing with another patron at about the same time a group of six or eight friends left.

Layne kicked at a chain-link fence around a construction site as he cursed and threatened to beat up the man with whom he had quarreled. He lost his balance and twisted his ankle.

Robert Whitney Elliott, 27, who was in the group behind Layne, asked him how he was going to fight with a messed-up ankle.

Matthew L. Faulkner, Layne's cousin and the brother of Landon Faulkner, told Elliott to shut up.

Testimony differed as to how aggressive Matthew Faulkner and Elliott were, but it was consistent that Elliott grabbed or hit Faulkner.

Landon Faulkner had been waiting for his brother in the parking lot and saw part of the altercation. He took his .38-caliber revolver to the corner of Fourth and Franklin streets.

Layne had headed for the car, and his brother appeared to be outnumbered, so he fired a warning shot into the ground, Landon Faulkner testified.

Elliott kept coming toward him and he saw Vincent Talbott, 25, move in his direction out of the corner of his eye.

Faulkner said he shot Talbott and ran toward his car. He looked over his shoulder and saw Elliott chasing him, so he shot him as well, Faulkner said.

Faulkner said he fled west on Main Street into the Fan District and acknowledged running stop signs at speeds of 50 mph or greater. A Virginia Commonwealth University policeman pursued him and collided with his vehicle, he said.

He finally stopped the car and bolted from it, but police pursued and apprehended him. They found his revolver in the car with three spent cartridge casings.

Elliott, Talbott and other members of their group testified that they did not see a warning shot. Talbott testified that he was trying to be a peacemaker when he was shot. Both men were seriously injured but have recovered from their wounds.

David P. Baugh, Faulkner's attorney, argued that state law required the jury to view any threat to Faulkner from his standpoint.

Faulkner was especially concerned about his safety because he suffered a serious leg injury in September 1997 when Roy Echols opened fire at his estranged wife and stepson outside a Hanover County home. Kathy Evangeline Echols, 37, and George Lee Morris, 19, were killed and Echols was sentenced to two life terms plus 23 years in prison as a result of shooting.

Faulkner, a friend of Morris, was one of several young men on a porch when the shooting occurred.


Contact Alan Cooper at (804) 649-6649 or [email protected]

It looks like the jury made the right call. There were no gun charges mentioned, so he must have had a carry permit. He's lucky he wasn't convicted of the shooting, but I don't know how much that will comfort him while he's sitting in jail.

Another comment: I hope this guy has been out on bail while awaiting trial. If not, he'll have served more than a year by the time he's sentenced.
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Old November 29, 2001, 01:34 PM   #2
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My prediction:
He will receive the 1 year and the 9 month sentence. they will be ordered to run concurrent. All will be suspended and he will receive 5 years probation. Whether or not he can still own and possess firearms will depend on whether or not the eluding police conviction is a felony.

Scott A. Vaughn
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A firearm is only an instrument. It contains no evil, no conscience, and no ability. It is strictly the intent, competence, and character of its user that decide the outcome of any and all actions taken with it.

(I don't know who to credit but I like the quote.)
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Old November 30, 2001, 02:58 AM   #3
David Park
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Hmm, looking at the Code of Virginia, hit and run is a felony but from the article they seem to have reduced it to a Class 1 misdemeanor. Eluding police (ยง 46.2-817) can be either, but since he got jail time it's apparently a felony, probably because he was speeding and running stop signs.

Even if his sentence is suspended, it looks like he'll lose his right to own firearms (as well as his driver's license).
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Old November 30, 2001, 04:31 AM   #4
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I think our in-house Deputy hit the nail on the head. All the sentence will probably be suspended for a long probation and, perhaps, some nifty new ankle jewelry for the first year.

Too bad he lost his head. No guns anymore for him, not for the shooting itself, but for not stopping to talk to the police. If he was that scared, he shoulda drove a few blocks to flee from his potential assailants and called the police.
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Old December 12, 2011, 02:12 PM   #5
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Well despite this thread being extremely old, just in case anyone ever wondered, I was convicted of Felony eluding and Misdemeanor hit/run.

I received the full year for the felony and 6 months was suspended on the hit/run sentence. I served 3 months in the city jail, got put on work release for about 6 months, then served the remaining time on Home Electronic Incarceration. Things worked out very well for me, as they should have, and I learned many lessons from the incident. My only complaint would be that the felony should have been reduced to misdemeanor and still given the same sentence. Virginia uses Felony charges too loosely. The affect a felony conviction has on a person's life should be handled very carefully.

Otherwise, I believe I did the right thing and it turned out well for me considering. All is well

thanks for reading.
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Old December 12, 2011, 02:54 PM   #6
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Welcome to TFL and - thank you for the update.
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Old December 12, 2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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Virginia uses Felony charges too loosely.
What juridiction does not?

Lawdog pointed out that the State of Texas has 11 felonies relating to the sale and handling of oysters.....
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Old December 12, 2011, 03:30 PM   #8
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Out of curiosity (if the article is true) - why did you try to evade the cops?
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Old December 12, 2011, 03:33 PM   #9
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The rules are stacked.

I am equally upset about what I perceive to be the widespread misapplication of the plethora of relatively new "terroristic" laws. For example, I'm a senior citizen and for as long as I can remember it has been illegal to threaten another person. But now that we have a new charge called "terroristic threatening," it seems the police and prosecutors have forgotten all about the older charge. IMHO "terroristic" threatening should apply if someone is threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction to wipe out a significant segment of the population. Where you have ONE person threatening ONE (or even two or three) specific other person, I just don't see how "terroristic" enters the picture at all.
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Old December 12, 2011, 06:34 PM   #10
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misdemeanor hit-and-run when he kept going after a collision with the officer's vehicle.
So the officer tagged him, tried to disable or spin out his car, and failed, so they charge him for that, I'm guessing?
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Old December 12, 2011, 08:20 PM   #11
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Yep, in a country where its a federal felony to possess wild bird feathers lots of stuff has become felony offenses.

A friend of mine had a bar scrape with a guy who hit him first. My friend hit the guy once and left the guy bleeding from a two inch cut over his eye. My friend was charged with "malicious wounding". He was saved when the grand no billed.
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Old December 13, 2011, 11:12 AM   #12
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"west on Main Street into the Fan District and acknowledged running stop signs at speeds of 50 mph or greater."

I remember that incident.

50 mph or greater up Main St. through VCU and into an urban residential area? I've lived in that general area for 40 years. They should have given you a lot more time for general stupidity. Sheesh.

Between the 35,000 students and the 50 restaurants you're lucky you didn't kill a couple dozen people.
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Old December 13, 2011, 04:29 PM   #13
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Well and the premise of the OP is completely wrong. This is not an example of why not to run after a defensive shooting. We can probably go through the various incidents on TFL and find numerous examples of where living the immeidate area was the most prudent action given the hostile circumstances.

The issue wasn't ever about running from a defensive shooting as much as it was running from the cops and committing various traffic transgressions along the way, which is what he was prosecuted for. That he had been involved in the shooting wasn't the issue at all. It was just the reason why the cops became involved.
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Old December 13, 2011, 04:44 PM   #14
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DNS is correct. The OP is not correctly stated.

Thanks for the update but I don't see much use in continuing. All points and critiques have been made.

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