Homeowner chases down two would-be robbers, killing one


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MechAg94
June 27, 2005, 03:09 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/062705_local_doubleshoot.html

ABC13 Eyewitness News
(6/27/05 - HOUSTON) — A homeowner protected his home and his family by shooting at would-be burglars Monday morning. One died, another is in the hospital, and two other suspects got away.

The article is not entirely clear on what was going on at the guys house. There are definitely some things left unsaid. It was night and they were trespassing, so who knows. :)

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Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 04:02 PM
It happened at a home on Texarcana and Lathrop in northeast Houston. Sergio Lerma and his family are thankful they're still alive. Around 1am, Lerma returned home with his brother and a friend to find four men in his front yard.

"I guess they panicked," he said. "One of them ran this way. He got stuck right there. We caught him. The other ones ran to the back. I grabbed my gun and shot him."

Three of the suspects ran through his back yard as Lerma retrieved a nine millimeter pistol from inside his home. He emptied his clip of 16 rounds, hitting two of the burglars. One of them died.

"It's either them or me or my family and I don't know if they had guns or not," said Lerma.

Sergio and his friend hopped in their truck and found the suspect several blocks away. He was able to scrawl their license plate number on his hand and police later discovered the dead burglar nearby.

"I feel kind of bad, but then again, it's either him or me," he said.

Lerma says there have been at least a half dozen similar incidents at his home in just over the last year. Police haven't said if there will be any charges, but the investigation is continuing. One suspect remains in the hospital with an injured shoulder. Two others remain on the loose.
(Copyright © 2005, KTRK-TV)


So, people standing in your front yard, no immediate threat, does not even know if the persons are armed, had time to run into his house and grab a gun, exit, chase down and shoot?? :what:

GT
June 27, 2005, 06:26 PM
Well, if he is right and there have been half a dozen incidents I guess they won't be screwing with him any more.
Obviously the police don't give a rat's otherwise they might try some policing in the neighborhood.
From my point of view seems like they had it coming.

The DA and the Po-lice might not see it that way since our plucky homeowner embarrassed them, especially since he caught 3 guys, killing one and wounding another with one mag. The cops seem to be unable to hit anything when they get in a shootout.

G

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 06:51 PM
Yeah, pretty easy isn't it to shoot at two people standing in the back yard who aren't shooting back at you :banghead:

rock jock
June 27, 2005, 07:01 PM
otherwise they might try some policing in the neighborhood Hey, maybe Houston PD should hire another 100,000 officers, right?

Deavis
June 27, 2005, 07:03 PM
So, people standing in your front yard, no immediate threat, does not even know if the persons are armed, had time to run into his house and grab a gun, exit, chase down and shoot

Steve, you don't know what they were doing in his front yard. Could have been causing trouble, could have been planning to break in, you don't know from the article. The laws in Texas are very liberal at night on your own property. Even something as seemingly small as criminal mischief gives you the right to use deadly force against people at night if you feel the need. I'm not saying I advocate emptying a magazine on someone TP-ing your trees but that doesn't mean it isn't legal in Texas.

Trespass at your own risk at night. Also, in case you didn't know, the area that the shooting happened is 5th ward. It is not exactly the nicest area in Houston and is home to Denver Harbor.

Hawkmoon
June 27, 2005, 07:19 PM
Texas is one of the few states (maybe the only state?) that specifically allows, by law, the use of deadly force to protect PROPERTY -- if the incident takes place at night. To the rest of us this automatically sounds like a bad shoot, but under Texas law I think more information is necessary before reaching any conclusions.

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 07:21 PM
Sorry, just because some is on your property is not reason to open fire. What if they were kids running through yards? Oh heck they were on my property so I'm going to shoot them.

They took off......he had time to go get a gun, chase after them and shoot them. By his own admission he didn't even know if they had weapons.

So for all he knew they could have been people lost or broken down looking for help/directions.

Sorry, but the information published in that article comes no where near the criteria for the use of deadly force.

Criminal mischief = deadly force??? :what: :what: Please direct me to the law that says this is justified???

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 07:25 PM
What property was he protecting? Had they broken into the house, no. Had they made any attempt, no. Did they even have any tools or other items used to break into houses, no.

So, in Texas someone better not walk up to another house at night because the homeowner will unload on your @$$????

Jeeper
June 27, 2005, 07:32 PM
Here is the section that says you can use deadly force to protect property

§ 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.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
1994.

Jeeper
June 27, 2005, 07:35 PM
I dont agree with doing what the guy did in most situations, but unless you have been to the 5th ward or Watts or something equivilant then it is hard to realize the amount of crime and type of criminals there. A bunch of people in your yard late at night there is definately criminal mischief.

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 07:52 PM
What does 9.41 say, since in the section that is posted;

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

the "and" is very important since it means some other criteria must be in place before you can use deadly force for the protection of personal property.

Also find the definition they use for "imminent commission". Standing in a yard isn't imminent commission. Seeing them trying to force a window or door is.

Standing Wolf
June 27, 2005, 08:05 PM
...under Texas law I think more information is necessary before reaching any conclusions.

It's impossible to reach any sort of conclusion based on the sketchy "facts" presented in the purported "article." There's just nothing there.

Deavis
June 27, 2005, 08:07 PM
§ 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY. (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.


All they have to be doing is trespassing and up to no good in Texas. Reading the article, it doesn't really say where he chased the people down. Did he chase them into an adjacent lot? Was it still on his property? You don't really know because the article isn't very clear when the shooting occured and when the chasing occured. For all he knew, they had guns, had robbed his house, and were going to kill him. 5th ward isn't the type of place where people come hang out in your front yard for the hell of it.

Your home really is your castle in Texas, especially at night. Remember Steve, just because he doesn't go to jail for the shooting doesn't mean he can't be taken to the cleaners in a civil court.

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 08:33 PM
So, in Texas (as in most states) you can use force against trespass (9.41) and deadly force (9.42) when it is immediately necessary .......to prevent x, y,and z.

However, in the case given, deadly force was not immediately necessary since the persons had fled. He didn't have to go inside his house, get a gun, come out, go after and shoot them. Where was it necessary to do this?

They weren't fleeing after burglarizing his house. They weren't in the process of breaking into his house. All he knows is that 4 people are standing in his yard and run when he and his friends come home.

Deavis
June 27, 2005, 09:53 PM
In addition to being able to stop the trespassing, remember there were people in his backyard, he can also use deadly force to stop an escape if he believes that they have stolen property and he has no other way to recover it. I can quote you more laws from Texas, but why don't you go read them yourself (Chapter 9).

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/petoc.html

All he knows is that 4 people are standing in his yard and run when he and his friends come home.

Wrong, all he knows is that 4 people were trespassing and fled without warning. They could have robbed his house and were dividing the loot. Maybe it was too dark but there was a lot of hand movement. You don't know exactly what happened from the article and his testimony will be key in determining if what he did was legal or not.

If you are standing around somewhere you aren't supposed to be, say a bank ATM, a cop comes walking up, and you just break out running, do you think he will chase you? Would you be mad if he drew his weapon and forced you to surrender? Maybe you put your hand in your pocket and he thinks you have a gun, now he can shoot you? Maybe our homeowner was persuing them to perform a citizen's arrest, they made a movement that looked like drawing a weapon, and he opened fire.

I'm not saying he was justified in the use deadly force but in Texas under the circumstances and according to his testimony, what he did could be found completely legal. It is hard to believe that for you Yankees ( :neener: ) but that is simply a possibility based on Texas' laws. The article does not give enough information to determine exactly what happened.

davec
June 27, 2005, 09:59 PM
Vigilantism is not the safe as self defense.

What gave that guy the right to become summary judge, jury, and executioner of individuals who didn't pose any threat to his life or the life of his family?

Bad neighborhood or not, 'letter of the law' legal or not, he had no moral authority to gun down fleeing individuals.

This is what antis talk about when they mention "blood in the streets".

This is what makes getting Florida's presumption laws enacted so difficult.

The right to be secure in your person does not give you the right to deprive others of their LIFE failing a reasonable threat to your own physical well being.

EchoSixMike
June 27, 2005, 10:17 PM
What I can't understand is why so many people are so vigourously defending criminal acts? Were they tresspassing? Yes, obviously, that fact is not in doubt. Texans seem to think that this justifies deadly force if the homeowner feels neccesary. Good on them. Don't like it, don't move to Texas. I don't live there, and I'm not going to tell them how they should do business. Wish others would do the same with me and my business. S/F...Ken M

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 10:20 PM
Ok, I'll continue to play along.

So your saying it was ok for him to shoot someone because he thinks they may have stolen something? He has no knowledge or proof to this, only that he thinks they may have done something.

They weren't carrying his tv set, he doesn't even know if they were inside the house, all he knows is that 4 people were in his yard and ran. You have not shown any law that says it was ok to shoot just because the people ran. Remember, according to Texas law the use of deadly force, must be immediately necessary to protect property. How can he say it was immediately necessary when they ran? And instead of holding them at gun point, he just shot them??

In your little scenario, sure the LEO will probably run after the guy. But, I can promise you that he won't be shooting at him just because he's running. He won't be shooting at him even if he just saw him break into the ATM and is running. Read up on Tenn v Garner if you doubt me.

Hands in the pocket, refuse to show hands, furitive movements?? Thats a different story. If those people in the yard did that then there would be some type of justification. However, going on the article (which we all should agree to doesn't provide enough info) he ran after them and shot them. What right did he have to shoot them, because he "thought" they "may" have done something?

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 10:27 PM
Its not that anyone is defending criminal acts, its human life, especially when there is no threat to anyone, other than them being on your property.

And Texas does not permit you to use deadly force just because someone is trespassing. Read the law. It says use of force can be used against trespass. Use of force does not immediately equate to deadly force.

Byron Quick
June 27, 2005, 10:32 PM
Vigilantism is not the safe as self defense.

What gave that guy the right to become summary judge, jury, and executioner of individuals who didn't pose any threat to his life or the life of his family?

Bad neighborhood or not, 'letter of the law' legal or not, he had no moral authority to gun down fleeing individuals.

This is what antis talk about when they mention "blood in the streets".

This is what makes getting Florida's presumption laws enacted so difficult.

The right to be secure in your person does not give you the right to deprive others of their LIFE failing a reasonable threat to your own physical well being.

Bull. A friend of mine was robbed at his gas station by three guys. He's little so they thought that they could manhandle him. One grabbed him in a bear hug and his response was to say to his wife,"Baby, hand me my revolveer." She did so. The guy that had him in a bear hug decided that it was time to haul posterior. So did his two buddies. They all went in separate directions. My friend ran up behind one and, while firing a round into the ground, told the fleeing robber,"Stop or I'll shoot you in the back." Robber stopped, turned, and lunged for the gun while yelling,"I'll make you eat this gun" My friend replied,"Eat this." and fired. The bullet went through the guy's chest and penetrated his heart, liver, and both lungs. My friend was not arrested, was not indicted and was not tried. Dead robber's family went around to all the local attorneys to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The attorneys said sure, we'll do it for you. That'll be X thousand dollars for the fee...up front and in cash. I've got a clue for your kids...stay off of my property.

Werewolf
June 27, 2005, 10:39 PM
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it's probably a duck.

Meaning if you're 4 guys hanging around in the wee hours of the night in a guy's yard in a very bad neighborhood you probably aren't considerin' throwin the guy a party. GET IT?

Texas - being enlightened gives the home owner the benefit of the doubt.

Moral of the story: If yur in Texas and ya don't wanna get shot don't hang around in peoples yards in the wee hours of the night because Texas does allow property owners to be judge, jury and executioner in that case - AND - rightly so.

Personaly I applaud the guy who did the shooting. We need more like him and more states with laws like Texas.

We sure as heck don't need more laws like in NJ, CA, NY or MA where the BG's are coddled.

Steve in PA
June 27, 2005, 10:50 PM
What does being robbed/mugged at a gas station have to do with being on private property?

So your friend was going to shoot the guy in the back....while he was running away?????? :what: I would have loved to seen him try and explain that one!

Because the guy lunged for the gun your friend was justified.....right then. Not because he was amost robbed, not because the guy was running away, but because the guy lunged at him. Whole different ball game there my friend.

You may think Texas allows a person to be judge, jury and executioner, but it does not. I'll say it again, I have yet to see where in Texas law, the shooter was justified in what he did.

Hawkmoon
June 27, 2005, 11:18 PM
Also find the definition they use for "imminent commission". Standing in a yard isn't imminent commission. Seeing them trying to force a window or door is.
Steve --

I don't have a copy of the entire Texas statutes available so I don't know if this section of their laws defines the word "imminent." I am going to guess that, since it's a word that has fairly consistent meaning, it probably isn't defined in statute. And the usual rule of law for words not defined in statute is to define them according to prevailing usage ... in other words, look in the dictionary.

My Websters defines "imminent" as "adj.ready to take place; esp.:hanging threateningly over one's head."

Under that definition, seeing them trying to force a window or door is not "imminent." Imminent is when they are getting ready to break in, not when they are in the act of breaking in. In that neighborhood, a bunch of strange males hanging around someone's yard in the middle of the night likely would be deemed "imminent commission."

Deavis
June 27, 2005, 11:23 PM
It says use of force can be used against trespass.

Read the penal code, you will indeed discover that deadly force is justified. I sent you a link, use it. Also, look up in the thread, 9.42 specifically states that that deadly force is justified under certain circumstances.

You may think Texas allows a person to be judge, jury and executioner, but it does not. I'll say it again, I have yet to see where in Texas law, the shooter was justified in what he did.

Once again, you don't know enough about the situation to say for sure why he shot them so just give it a break until more facts come out. He could easily be justified under 2B and 3A. We will not know if her was justified until the facts come out.

Just accept that Texas law does indeed allow a person to defend their property with deadly force if they believe it necessary and it falls under what is justified in the texas PC. You don't have to like it but it is the way it goes in Texas. It isn't that hard to grasp and it is pretty easy to understand from the laws cited here.

Edit: Hell if that bothers you, check out 9.43! You can use deadly force to protect someone else's property under certain circumstances! I love Texas.


§ 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON'S PROPERTY. A person
is justified in using force or deadly force against another to
protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if,
under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the
actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force
or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:
(1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful
interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or
criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or
(2) the actor reasonably believes that:
(A) the third person has requested his protection
of the land or property;
(B) he has a legal duty to protect the third
person's land or property; or
(C) the third person whose land or property he
uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor's spouse, parent,
or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor's care.

Vernal45
June 28, 2005, 12:24 AM
deleted

beerslurpy
June 28, 2005, 01:15 AM
Oooh I am suddenly filled with ideas to improve florida's castle doctrine.

I have always been an admirer of Texas' burglar shooting and nighttime trespasser shooting laws. I like how you can shoot the burglar if he is absconding with your property but already off your property.

Ryder
June 28, 2005, 07:19 AM
This sounds pretty hard core even to me (I know, hard to believe) but I have little doubt the 4 figured they had the strength in numbers to do anything they wanted and caused him fear with their stated intentions. Criminals will do that more often than not. I've seen it time and again.

The article said he was protecting his family. IF that is true then all I can say is good job!

Volponi
June 28, 2005, 08:14 AM
Yeah, pretty easy isn't it to shoot at two people standing in the back yard who aren't shooting back at you

You'd think so, wouldn't you? Of course, by that logic, it should be pretty easy to shoot at one unarmed guy who's trapped in an SUV and completely surrounded. How many times was Winston Hayes hit again? Out of 120 rounds fired?

Same logic applies to Diallo. One guy standing in a doorway retrieving his wallet to show his "papers". Another unarmed guy standing still and "not shooting back".

But those shoots were justified, right?

So your saying it was ok for him to shoot someone because he thinks they may have stolen something? He has no knowledge or proof to this, only that he thinks they may have done something.

See my reference to Diallo above. Wasn't that shooting ruled OK because the police thought he may have done something? (With no knowledge or proof of this). Or was it OK because they thought his wallet might've been a gun?

Double-standard much?

Personally, I think that the homeowner in question should be given a medal and a parade should be held in his honor. The entire event should be celebrated and locally televised with as much positive press coverage as possible.

Consider the 'deterrent' effect on crime.

Steve in PA
June 28, 2005, 12:27 PM
§ 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY. (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.

*Note this is use of force not deadly force*


§ 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.


Please show me where in the law that is says it is ok (legal) to use deadly force to prevent trespassing? Don't pick and choose little bits of sections to support your claim. READ THE SECTIONS IN THEIR ENTIRETY.

He is entitled to use force against trespass.

He is entitled to use deadly force if it is immediately necessary to prevent "imminent commission" (even though there seems to be no definition of this anywhere) of arson, burglary.

So, for all we know these persons could have been cutting through his property. They did no act which showed their intentions other than trespassing. So your saying under your definition of "imminent commission" you can use deadly force just because someone is on your property? I don't think so. You still need to prove that there was some sort of attempt by them to do the act (arson, burglary, etc). Because if you can't then they are nothing more than trespassers and you can not use deadly force against someone for just trespassing.

Also, make sure you read this;

§ 9.22. NECESSITY. Conduct is justified if:
(1) the actor reasonably believes the conduct is
immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm;

Steve in PA
June 28, 2005, 12:41 PM
"You'd think so, wouldn't you? Of course, by that logic, it should be pretty easy to shoot at one unarmed guy who's trapped in an SUV and completely surrounded. How many times was Winston Hayes hit again? Out of 120 rounds fired?"

Have you seen pics of the vehicle? There were bullet holes in and around each of the tires, there were bullet holes in the hood of the vehicle. So its pretty safe to say that more than one of those officers were attempting to disable the vehicle, not shoot the driver.

And in the Dialo case, you can read about it here Dissecting the Diallo Shooting: Four Seconds to Hell (http://www.modernwarrior.com/nypd4/the_diallo_shooting.htm)

As McMellon approached with his shield hanging in front of him from a neck chain, he said to Mr. Diallo "Police Department, City of New York. We’d like to have a word with you." (It is important to note at this time that this author has spoken with several officers who have worked with McMellon and all say that these words were a custom with him and he used the same phrases each time he made a stop.) Carroll then added something to the effect of "This will only take a minute sir." At this point Mr. Diallo started to back into the vestibule and the two officers then added the commands "Stay where you are," and "Keep your hands where we can see them." (These are likely not exact quotes.) Instead Mr. Diallo ran into the vestibule while reaching his right hand into his right front pocket causing the officers to repeat "Keep your hands where we can see them!" As Mr. Diallo reached the door he shook on the doorknob and then started to turn toward the officers while pulling a black object out of his pocket and going into what appeared to be shooting stance, bringing his hands toward each other. As McMellon, who was now in the vestibule within a few feet of Diallo yelled, "What are you doing?" Carroll yelled, "Gun!" McMellon and Carroll fired first. As McMellon tried to retreat past Carroll, who was now at the top step, he fell backward clearing all five steps and landing on his coccyx at the bottom. At this point Carroll, Murphy and Boss all thought McMellon had been shot. As Carroll also stumbled off the steps, eventually winding up kneeling at the bottom, Murphy quickly fired four rounds and dodged to his right. Boss, who was the last out of the car, headed straight for McMellon and seeing Diallo still standing in what appeared to him to be a "crouched" position, fired five quick rounds and dodged to his left trying to find out where McMellon was hit.

And if you read my prior posts, I said if the men in the yard made those types of movements then he would have been justified in defending himself. However, the article does not say this, and for all we know it may be true. However, the fact that he had time to run into the house, arm himself and run back out does not weigh in his favor.

ravinraven
June 28, 2005, 01:16 PM
City council wrecking crew, with the support of the US Supreme Court, removed said house and replaced it with a Mini-Mart.

Did anyone shoot at these particular invaders?

rr

peacefuljeffrey
June 29, 2005, 12:10 AM
Texas is one of the few states (maybe the only state?) that specifically allows, by law, the use of deadly force to protect PROPERTY -- if the incident takes place at night. To the rest of us this automatically sounds like a bad shoot, but under Texas law I think more information is necessary before reaching any conclusions.

To some of us, it sounds like a few miscreants are out of the picture and won't be screwing with the safety and security of law-abiding people on their own property.

*** were these guys doing on this guy's property? It's not fair to judge the guy's actions without knowing what it appeared, to him, the trespassers were up to. Were they saying anything, shouting about how they were gonna "get him"? Maybe they were holding objects he could not make out? Maybe they were throwing things, or appeared to be headed for entrances to the house?

I'm not as quick as you all are to say it wasn't a "good shoot." For starters, one way to avoid getting shot is to not be trespassing on someone's property at night.

-Jeffrey

peacefuljeffrey
June 29, 2005, 01:35 AM
This is what antis talk about when they mention "blood in the streets".

This is what makes getting Florida's presumption laws enacted so difficult.

The right to be secure in your person does not give you the right to deprive others of their LIFE failing a reasonable threat to your own physical well being.


I am wondering what keeps a person who sees things so easily the way the antis see them from actually just being an anti... If it quacks like a duck... :rolleyes:

You decry this as being what makes getting Florida's presumption laws enacted difficult, indicating that you support them, but this kind of ad hoc, heat-of-the-moment decisionmaking is exactly what those laws are for. Why complain about the difficulty in passing the laws if you are opposed to what they empower us to do?

Like it or not, Texas law supports shooting someone over an issue of theft of property. I personally agree with it. I don't value the life of a criminal thief scumbag, and I don't care if you think I'm inhuman for it. I know, quietly and calmly to myself, that it is the criminal thief scumbag who is the inhuman one. He can easily keep from getting shot by a defender, by not being the kind of person that defenders need to defend against!

You overqualified your statement: It is true that the right to be secure in one's PERSON does not entitle you to shoot someone "failing a reasonable threat to your own physical well being," but the right to be secure in one's PROPERTY, according to Texas law, does.

-Jeffrey

beerslurpy
June 29, 2005, 02:00 AM
This is what makes getting Florida's presumption laws enacted so difficult.

Difficult in your dreams. Both Florida deadly force bills passed both houses unanimously and were immediately signed into law.

Even the dumb hag from Miami-Dade who keeps proposing assault weapon bans voted in favor of these bills.

poe_9999
June 29, 2005, 02:53 AM
i love texas...

In this situation i would have not shot at the people. But i really do like the idea that if something more severe had happed that resulted in a shooting I probably wouldn’t be going to jail. I currently live in VA, and I think that if I was involved in a shooting I would be going to jail for at least three days, i would also probably be forced to loan all of my firearms to the local police for a couple months...

I love Texas.

When i was 12 and lived in MN i knew about Texas' shoot first ask questions later policy. I was told that it was legal to shoot people that were sneaking around on your property or what not at night. I think its pretty much common knowledge to everyone over 10 that lives in Texas that you don't screw around with others people's stuff/property at night because you might get shot. Im willing to guess that at least one out of those 4 people knew that there actions put them at risk. The people knew the risks, they got shot, thier fault, they should have never put them selves into that situation. Would i have shot them, no. But keep in mind i was raised in very liberal areas compared to texas. Texas is a long ways away from anywhere i have ever lived, the shoot first mind set may be extremely prevalent in that area of the country. And when in Roman...

Deavis
June 29, 2005, 12:53 PM
haha, hey steve, quit picking and choosing parts of the law (as you suggest we are doing). Here I pick this part now...

to prevent the other's imminent commission of
arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime

There are a number of reasons that he could have been justified in using deadly force. Quit focusing only on the burglary aspect. Criminal mischief is a very broad thing. You don't know what they were doing in his lawn and neither do we. So quit making assumptions about what they could have been doing. I keep pointing out that depending on the circumstances he could be justified in shooting them based on Texas law.

However, the fact that he had time to run into the house, arm himself and run back out does not weigh in his favor.

Doesn't matter. If he was justified, then he was justified. The law makes no mention of arming yourself to respond. At the civil trial, I'm sure they'll take that into account. We all get it, you don't like the fact that a man can use deadly force to remove trespassers from his land if they meet certain criteria. That is great. In Texas, we don't feel that way, especially at night. Besides the fact, we haven't even discussed his ability to try and justify using deadly force under the other Texas Statutes. A 4 on 1 fight can be reason to use deadly force based on the laws.

Once again, I'll say it again since you just aren't getting it.

You don't know enough about the situation to know if he was justified or not, yet!

Steve in PA
June 29, 2005, 01:56 PM
There still has to be a defintion for "imminent commission"

Where was he justified in using deadly force to stop the "imminent commission" of the crimes listed........if they left???? There is no longer any imminent commision!! DUH!!

You can't be charged or shot for imminent commision of arson, if you don't have a can of gas, a pack of matches, or even two sticks to rub together, etc!!! DUH!!!!!

You can't be charged with imminent commision of burglary, robbery, etc....if you there is no act thereof or even proof that was there intent!!! DUH!!!

So what if he didn't shoot them, and held them for police, what charge, other than trespassing would they be charged with? Imminent commission of arson?? On what basis? Burglary, robbery, criminal mischief, theft??? Why not charge them with trying to kill the President while your at it.

Get off your high horse and read the laws you profess to know. Read the entire law. I spent 10 minutes reading it and I already know more than you do about it. References to other sections and "and" are very important in understanding laws. I'm sorry you can't seem to fathom this concept.

And you don't know enough about the situation to say I was wrong! This whole thread is based on what was published in the article, so that what I am basing everything I say on.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

Steve in PA
June 29, 2005, 02:05 PM
There is no law in Texas that says you can use deadly force against a trespasser. :banghead:

Jeeper
June 29, 2005, 06:24 PM
Unless the guy had good insurance there wont be a civil case. If he lived in that area then he had no money. No lawyer will take the case. The arguments here amuse me. It is always funny when people base arguments off of facts that arent complete and that neither know anything about the missing ones. There could be so much missing info here that is critical. Based ONLY on the article the guy didnt have provocation. Of course the article is about as much a reflection on reality as a cartoon is. The race, size, clothing, actions and such of everyone involved are key issues that are unknown.

What are the facts: Texas gives more reasons to use deadly force to protect property at night than most places. That is about it.

Buford
June 30, 2005, 01:53 PM
I'm a Houston police officer. I worked the 5th Ward area for the better part of 10 years and I can tell you that its a really bad area. I have no doubts that the four were up to no good.


To Steve in Pa:

You can shoot someone in Texas for tresspass. I have made scenes where it has happened and the shoot was found to be justified.

Several years ago a fellow from Scotland was visiting Houston and was killed.
Seems he got drunk and went into a man's backyard and started walking toward the owner's door. The owner thought that the guy was going to break into his home and he killed him. D.A. Holmes said that it was a good shoot. He said thats what we call a "crying shame" in Texas.

That being said, I do not advocate shooting everyone that steps onto your property. Killing a man is a hard thing to live with sometimes.

Buford

TheEgg
June 30, 2005, 02:55 PM
Steve, I live in Texas, and you are spitting in the wind here. I have seen how the law is interpreted by D.A.'s and judges, and what people are telling you here is the truth.

Another example -- a gentleman was looking out a second floor window of his house. He saw someone on his property, rummaging around his parked car. The homeowner shot and killed him. Turns out the man was a homeless bum looking through the garbage cans, but the homeowner was not prosecuted -- because the bum was trespassing, it was night, etc.

So, as strange as it may sound to you, this is what can happen here.

But if it will make you feel better, the VAST majority of Texans would NOT, and do NOT, shoot in these situations, because like me, they really, really, don't want to shoot anyone under almost any circustances if they can avoid it. Thus these situations are fairly rare -- that is why they make it into the newpapers.

LawDog
June 30, 2005, 06:54 PM
A Grand Jury in Texas will seldom indict for shooting a criminal trespasser at night.

However, if people keep getting shot under these circumstances, the Texas Legislature will remove our ability to do so.

The guy from Scotland, the Hallowe'ener on the front porch and one or two other incidents of people getting killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time are causing the Texas Legislature to look at re-doing the Deadly Force laws of Texas.

Knowing the Texas Legislature, when they re-visit these laws, we're liable to wind up with something that looks like it came directly out of Sacremento.

Use some common-sense here, folks!

Check the Criminal Trespass laws here:
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/pe.toc.htm

They're under 30.05.

Since the critters were running when Lerma shot them, I doubt that the Criminal Trespass laws apply, but I don't have all the information yet, so I'll with-hold judgement until I do.

LawDog

Steve in PA
June 30, 2005, 09:01 PM
Where in Texas law does it state you can use deadly force to stop trespassing??

Buford
June 30, 2005, 10:31 PM
§ 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:


What the above says is that you can shoot someone to protect your land(that would be tresspassing) if you are also justified in using force other than deadly force when the property owner feels that it is necessary right then and there.

I don't know how it could be any more plain.

LawDog
June 30, 2005, 11:49 PM
Incorrect, Buford.

You must include everything after the colon in order to able to use Deadly Force.

In simpler language all three sections of 9.42 must be met before you can use Deadly Force. (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.

You've got to have Section (1), plus either Section (2)(A) or (2)(B), plus either Section (3)(A) or (3)(B).

You've got to be justified in using Force under 9.41, plus the critter has to have done some other things, before you can go from Force to Deadly Force.

LawDog

Buford
July 1, 2005, 12:19 AM
You are right. I stand corrected.

I suppose that in the Scotland drunk case the homeowner was acting under threat to life rather than defense of property.

I do, however, distinctly remember D.A. Holmes invoking the "theft during the nighttime" statute.

While you may not use deadly force on a trespasser, the reality of the matter here in Texas is this:

Homeowner hears noise in yard, sees intruder poking around where he has no business being and homeowner challenges intruder. Intruder says F you or maybe nothing at all. Homeowner smokechecks intruder. There is not a grand jury in Texas that would indict the homeowner.

God bless Texas!

Double Naught Spy
July 1, 2005, 01:02 AM
Vigilantism is not the safe as self defense.

Just what do you think vigilantism is? If protecting one's self, property, or whatever within the confines of the law, against a crime, is not vigilantism. Self defense is not vigilantism.

Vigilantism is when a person is illegally precluded from due-process. The classic example is where lynch mobs killed people they perceived as being criminals without the supposed criminals getting a chance to go through the whole legal process and the people were lynched at some point in time AFTER said crime had been committed.

If the property owner shot the suspect during the commission of a crime, it isn't vigilantism.

The problem in Texas is that we have a lot of moron criminals who don't realize they can be shot for doing what they do and the property owner be fully justified in doing so. Stupidity is expensive.

Joey101
July 1, 2005, 01:24 AM
I will put it to you guys this way. I live in Texas, I used to live in Maryland. Things are definitely different here in Texas as far as crime goes. I guess it depends where you live. But I used to be a repo man and did alot of work in some of the worst parts of Dallas. It ain't so bad. Baltimore City is soo much worse.

However, it still stands that if you come into my house in the middle of the night or in the daytime. Trying to rob me or whatever. I will shoot to kill. Plain and simple. I don't play around, I am far to protective over my family. It is either you or me. And it ain't going to be me!

Steve in PA
July 1, 2005, 02:25 AM
"However, it still stands that if you come into my house in the middle of the night or in the daytime. Trying to rob me or whatever. I will shoot to kill. Plain and simple. I don't play around, I am far to protective over my family. It is either you or me. And it ain't going to be me!"

Someone coming into your home is a whole lot different than someone outside your home, as in the case which this thread is based on. If someone is inside your home, is a significant act towards the commission of burglary, robbery.

Steve in PA
July 1, 2005, 02:33 AM
Gee LawDog, I've argued this fact on what, two pages now and got no where. :(

Must be that "moderator" status :D

Joey101
July 1, 2005, 03:19 AM
Your right, And I think in the case of this guy shooting people for being on his front lawn. He was wrong. Legally wrong, maybe not morally, but legally. You know if it was me I might act the same way if this wasn't the first time my property was screwed with. But I can see where he would act this way if people kept messing around with him his family and his property.

And to boot, if I came to people snooping around my house late at night. And my family was home in the house alone. I would probably get hostile too.

Hard to tell you guys in type. Without being redundant. Sorry for the confusion. I hope yuo guys understand what I'm saying.

LawDog
July 1, 2005, 02:07 PM
In this case we must remember that we don't have all the facts. The newspaper has said that the incident went down in this fashion, but I'm here to tell you that newspapers lie.

Steve and I don't see justification for Deadly Force based on what was presented by the newspaper -- but that doesn't mean that Deadly Force wasn't justified, because there are probably a whole bunch of mitigating factors that the newspaper forgot to mention.

LawDog

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