(IL) State’s attorney reviews shooting


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Drizzt
August 22, 2005, 05:50 AM
State’s attorney reviews shooting
Police say alleged vandal was shot twice while on a senior citizen’s property

By Mike Jones
City News Editor

WAMAC — A man who allegedly beat on a house, garage and two vehicles and broke a satellite dish at 2:57 a.m. Tuesday in the 300 block of Kent Street was shot twice by the elderly occupant of the house, according to Wamac police.

Jaime Matthew Evilsizer, 19, of Brookside Trailer Court was taken to St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment of wounds to his abdomen and thigh, police said.

A hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon that Evilsizer was admitted. His condition was not listed. One report stated that he was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit, although this was not confirmed by hospital officials.

Wamac police said Evilsizer was shot by Roy J. Miller, 76, who lives on the property where Evilsizer allegedly was causing a disturbance.

Marion County State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach said Tuesday afternoon that he had just received preliminary verbal reports on the incident and was not sure what charges might be filed against Evilsizer.

Wilzbach also said he had not filed charges against Miller and would review the circumstances that led to the shooting to determine if any charges would be filed.

Wamac police said Evilsizer allegedly beat on Miller’s garage door and did some damage to Miller’s van, which was parked in front of the garage, under a carport. They said Evilsizer allegedly damaged Miller’s satellite dish beyond repair and then went to Miller’s front porch and started beating on the door.

They said Miller told the suspect to leave, but Evilsizer started beating on Miller’s truck, at which point Miller allegedly opened his front door and fired seven shots out the door, two of which struck Evilsizer on the abdomen and thigh. They said the weapon used was a .22-caliber pistol.

They said Evilsizer left the property and went to the 600 block of Wabash Avenue, where he allegedly struck an unidentified male with a board. When a Wamac police car arrived, Evilsizer reportedly rushed the police car and started beating on the passenger side window before heading north on Wabash Avenue and then west on Peach Street.

They said the officer caught up with Evilsizer again, and the suspect swung at the squad car, hitting and damaging a spotlight. When the officer opened the door, Evilsizer allegedly grabbed it, damaging the door before he fell to the ground. He then reportedly got up and went down an alley.

At this point, three Centralia police officers arrived as backup help, and they helped take Evilsizer into custody in the 600 block of South James Street, Wamac police said.

They said Evilsizer tried to pull off his belt and screamed, “Come get me,” after which a Centralia police officer pepper-sprayed him, and Evilsizer collapsed.

An ambulance arrived, and Evilsizer continued to resist police and ambulance crews, police said. He was taken to the hospital and administered drugs to calm him down, police reported.

Initial urinalysis at the hospital showed he had traces of methamphetamine and cannabis in his system, as well as a blood alcohol level of .195, which is about three times the limit at which a person is considered to be legally intoxicated, according to police.

“I have no doubt that this elderly gentleman feared for his safety,” the state’s attorney said of the shooting.

Wilzbach said determining if a resident is justified in shooting someone who intrudes on his property is “a pretty complex question,” and “you can fill a book in that area of law.”

But Wilzbach said, “As a general matter, you can use physical force up to deadly force to protect yourself. The exception there is that the amount of force you can use to protect yourself has to be reasonably related to the threat against yourself.

“In other words, if someone slaps you in the face, you can’t fire shots into them. But, basically, the legal language says if you are facing imminent threat of great bodily harm, you can respond with self-defense up to the use of violence force.”

There are additional complications in interpreting the law, however, Wilzbach said.

“There is some dispute in the case laws whether you have an obligation to attempt to flee — ‘flight or fight.’ In some jurisdictions, you are required to flee, and in some jurisdictions, you are not.

“As far as protection of property, generally, you cannot use violent force to project just property. If someone is trying to break into your home, that could be a threat to your personal safety, but if somebody’s just breaking your stuff and there are no indications of personal harm, you cannot respond with violence.”

Wilzbach said he had not yet received information on “where Mr. Evilsizer was or exactly what he was doing” at the time he was shot.

“At one point, he [Evilsizer] was banging on the door of the residence, but I don’t know when the shots were fired. I need more specifics as far as chronology,” he said.

http://www.morningsentinel.com/news/2005/0817/Front_Page/001.html

First Wilzbach says that he has no doubt the homeowner feared for his safety, then goes into all this other crap about how he still may file charges? Ack.... If I was the perp, I would definitely change my last name. Evilsizer is a name that gets noticed.

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Sleeping Dog
August 22, 2005, 06:20 AM
Jaime Matthew Evilsizer, 19

Another "child", victim of "guns gone wild". :rolleyes:

foghornl
August 22, 2005, 09:40 AM
"Evilsizer" ? ? ?

Well, the name kind of fits, eh?

Jim K
August 22, 2005, 02:04 PM
I certainly hope that DA doesn't try to press charges against the home owner; I think he would not only look foolish but do substantial harm to his career.

One aspect here is that there is no doubt that Evilsizer (does a name affect the way a person behaves?) was violent and dangerous; he proved that in attacks on the police.

But I think this is something of a cautionary tale to some folks who seem to think they can just shoot anyone who bothers them and walk away whistling. Any shooting will be investigated, the shooter may well be arrested, and the DA or SA will determine whether to press charges. Even if no criminal charges are filed, a civil suit may be pursued by the victim's relatives ("innocent young man shot by evil gun-crazy maniac") and, win or lose, cost the shooter big bucks in bail bonds, attorney's fees, etc. In other words, an armed citizen needs to be darned sure there is no reasonable alternative before using deadly force.

Jim

71Commander
August 22, 2005, 02:37 PM
“As a general matter, you can use physical force up to deadly force to protect yourself. The exception there is that the amount of force you can use to protect yourself has to be reasonably related to the threat against yourself.

“In other words, if someone slaps you in the face, you can’t fire shots into them.

Wanna bet? There have been several high profile cases here in Michigan this year where a person has died from a single punch to the head. I would never let it come to that. Turn the other cheek. Not likely. :cuss:

enfield303
August 22, 2005, 03:09 PM
"Use enough gun"

Andrew Rothman
August 22, 2005, 05:13 PM
All things considered, I imagine the shooter is wishing about now that he lived in Texas.

Kingcreek
August 22, 2005, 05:38 PM
(does a name affect the way a person behaves?)
maybe was sposed to be
ELVIS izer

middy
August 22, 2005, 06:22 PM
Evilsizer? What a coincidence!

That's nickname I gave to my Bowflex gym.

Standing Wolf
August 22, 2005, 06:29 PM
I have no doubt that this elderly gentleman feared for his safety...

I nominate that for the Understatement of the Week Award.

Jeff White
August 22, 2005, 07:09 PM
Also under discusssion here:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=152143

Here is the Illinois statute on Justifiable Use of Force:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+7&ActID=1876&ChapAct=720%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B5%2F&ChapterID=53&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+OFFENSES&SectionID=60595&SeqStart=8000&SeqEnd=9500&ActName=Criminal+Code+of+1961%2E
(720 ILCS 5/Art. 7 heading) ARTICLE 7. JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE; EXONERATION

(720 ILCS 5/7‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑1)
Sec. 7‑1. Use of force in defense of person.

(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.
(b) In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of "aggressor" set forth in Section 7‑4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.
(Source: P.A. 93‑832, eff. 7‑28‑04.)

(720 ILCS 5/7‑2) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑2)
Sec. 7‑2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.
(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent,

riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling, or
(2) He reasonably believes that such force is

necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.
(b) In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of "aggressor" set forth in Section 7‑4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.
(Source: P.A. 93‑832, eff. 7‑28‑04.)

(720 ILCS 5/7‑3) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑3)
Sec. 7‑3. Use of force in defense of other property.
(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with either real property (other than a dwelling) or personal property, lawfully in his possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his immediate family or household or of a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(b) In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of "aggressor" set forth in Section 7‑4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.
(Source: P.A. 93‑832, eff. 7‑28‑04.)

(720 ILCS 5/7‑4) (from Ch. 38, par. 7‑4)
Sec. 7‑4. Use of force by aggressor.
The justification described in the preceding Sections of this Article is not available to a person who:
(a) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(b) Initially provokes the use of force against himself, with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; or
(c) Otherwise initially provokes the use of force against himself, unless:
(1) Such force is so great that he reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, and that he has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(2) In good faith, he withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.
(Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)

I'm pretty sure that I personally know everyone involved in this case. Mr Miller has the nicest home in the neighborhood. He's in the bad situation of having the rest of his neighborhood get blighted around him and now he can't get anything approching what he would need to move from his property. He's pretty much surrounded by run down houses and mobile homes occupied by meth users.

The young Evilsizer has been in trouble before and is not unknown to the police.

Matt Wilzbach has only been states attorney since last December and is still learning the job. As far as I know this is his first self defense shooting. I rather doubt that any charges will be filed against Mr Miller.

Jeff

71Commander
August 22, 2005, 07:46 PM
great bodily harm

This phrase is so ambiguous. Not arguing a point of law, just an observation. Who gets to defines "great"? The Assembly. The Prosecutor. The jury. :confused:

GoRon
August 22, 2005, 08:07 PM
Jeff, keep us posted on what happens.

If for some reason things go wrong and Mr Miller needs legal help, I would be willing to donate some money to a legal defense fund for him. I am sure others here would help out also.

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