(CO) No charges in death of intruder


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Drizzt
October 11, 2005, 11:20 PM
No charges in death of intruder

A Boulder County couple used a bat and a masked assailant's own knife to kill him when he broke into their home. The DA's office says the pair acted in self-defense.

By George Merritt and Felisa Cardona
Denver Post Staff Writers

As a masked intruder lay bleeding in front of her house, Becci Starr called 911 and described a violent and emotional struggle to protect her home at the expense of a man's life.

"I have never felt so violated," she told an operator. "I was hitting him over the head. Like, I must have hit him 20 times. I have a baseball bat at my front door, and the guy kept coming at me. And then my husband came, and he tried to cut him up."

Authorities released recordings of the 911 call Monday, the same day the district attorney's office announced the couple will not face criminal charges. The intruder was carrying a plastic water gun, a hunting knife, pepper spray and a flashlight when he broke into the home in the 100 block of Poorman Road in Boulder County on Oct. 3, authorities said. Starr and her husband, Scott Mattes, fought back, beating the man with a metal bat and stabbing him with his own knife.

The commotion was first reported by a neighbor across the street who said she thought she could hear someone being hit with a bat.

Starr pleaded for operators to send help fast so she would not have a man's life on her conscience. The intruder had "multiple stab wounds, I'm sure of it," Starr said. "Because I'll tell you something, my husband was in a rage. I hope it's not like a bad thing. I mean this guy came into our house, and I'm freaking out now because he's (expletive) dying in my front yard."

When the intruder stopped fighting, Mattes administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation in an attempt to revive him.

"The circumstances of this incident reveal a clear case of self-defense and defense of others," First Assistant District Attorney Pete Maguire wrote in a report. "Mr. Mattes and Ms. Starr were each acting to protect the other from the actual use of force from the knife- wielding assailant. ... The ferocity of the attack left no doubt that if they had not defended themselves effectively, they would likely have been killed."

The intruder is still unidentified. Authorities have issued a sketch of the man in an attempt find out who he is. He probably came to the house on a bicycle and was carrying a satchel that contained small sections of rope, duct tape and plastic restraints called zip-ties, authorities said.

The district attorney found two legal reasons for clearing the couple: a Colorado law that allows people to defend themselves, and the Make My Day law, which allows homeowners to use deadly force if someone enters their home illegally with the intention of committing a crime.

When Starr answered the door, the masked man identified himself as "Boulder County police" and pinned her against the back of the front door, according to officials. Starr grabbed a metal baseball bat - it stood near the front door for 26 years - and beat the man back.

The intruder dropped his plastic gun and flashlight and reached for the knife in his satchel. Starr screamed for help, and her husband charged the intruder.

The couple fought the man with the bat and the intruder's knife until he stopped struggling.

"Ms. Starr recalled saying to her husband, 'Don't kill him,' to which her husband replied, 'He's killing me,"' the report says.

Emotional and out of breath at times, Starr told the 911 operator that she had felt empowered to defend her home.

"He says he's having difficulty breathing, but you know, do I care? " she said. "I mean this (expletive) guy came into my house."

Starr reported that it was hard to believe what had just happened.

"I don't know how much time has passed, but let me tell you, I feel like I was just in an action movie," she said. "You know. And I watch a lot of films."

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_3104973

well, that's a house you don't want to break in to....

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Joejojoba111
October 11, 2005, 11:24 PM
Sounds like he wanted to emulate that BTK killer, and there ought be no tears shed, except for the difficult to remove stains he was so inconsiderate as to leave.

Kudos to the defendants, especially the woman, she wasn't stupid enough to fall for his tricks, and she improvised in a crisis.

Frandy
October 11, 2005, 11:30 PM
I read this and I thought to myself, "I'm so glad these people fought to defend themselves. I'm so glad that bat has been there for 26 years. I'm so glad those laws are on the books and that they worked."

Make my Day, huh? Oh, that's good. I like that!

Zundfolge
October 11, 2005, 11:38 PM
Authorities have issued a sketch of the man in an attempt find out who he is.
Yet the Denver Post doesn't post the sketch with the article :rolleyes:


Well at least not everyone in Boulder County are sheep :D

"...I'm freaking out now because he's (expletive) dying in my front yard."
I'm sorry, but that line gave me a little chuckle

joab
October 11, 2005, 11:53 PM
"Because I'll tell you something, my husband was in a rage. I hope it's not like a bad thing..
"He says he's having difficulty breathing, but you know, do I care?

I'm glad everything worked out as it should have, but STFU.

In Colorado the Make My Day law is pretty clear cut, but I doubt this woman was thinking of that while she was aiding the prosecution.

beerslurpy
October 11, 2005, 11:57 PM
3 cheers for the mortality of evil men.

Standing Wolf
October 11, 2005, 11:57 PM
When the intruder stopped fighting, Mattes administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation in an attempt to revive him.

One advantage of keeping a couple .44 magnums for home defense: you're not too likely to feel compelled to resuscitate the criminal.

Gunpacker
October 12, 2005, 01:26 AM
Hmmm, she hit him 20 times with the baseball bat. Bet that sketch is a hoot. :what: I also bet that he had time to reflect on the path that he had chosen. I expect that he might have even regretted the error of his ways.
Way to go Becci!! I am with you. Who cares if he has trouble breathing. Or not.
You are my heroine. :D

mr_dove
October 12, 2005, 04:02 AM
My wife told me about this but I couldn't help thinking that it stopped being self defense at some point. Probably when he became unconscious or maybe even when he was on the ground helpless. I guess the DA thought differently.

I sympathy for the deceased. I was just afraid that the homeowners had gotten themselves in trouble by going too far. I guess not.

Joejojoba111
October 12, 2005, 06:10 AM
"I sympathy for the deceased. I was just afraid that the homeowners had gotten themselves in trouble by going too far. I guess not."

I think you mis-typed, probably. This guy is copying the same moves of that BTK killer. Read the first page or two of that transcript, it's posted somewhere here, he tricks ppl and ties them up. Ok, maybe he has different method by page 20, but who's going to read all that to find out.

mr_dove
October 12, 2005, 06:11 AM
ahh, yes. I meant "NO sympathy for the deceased".

kage genin
October 12, 2005, 10:08 AM
...the Make My Day law, which allows homeowners to use deadly force if someone enters their home illegally with the intention of committing a crime.
LOL I wonder if that's the official name of that law :D Ah... that was refreshing to read

AgaveHound
October 12, 2005, 11:48 AM
AFAIK, that's all it's ever been called. Feels good to know we can defend our property against these assailants. I was more suprised it happened in Boulder, I originally thought the location cited was a mistake...lol

HighVelocity
October 12, 2005, 11:53 AM
Geeezz.. Some people don't know when to shut up. I'd be in a rage too if my wife ran her mouth like that.

Anyway, the whole neighborhood must be a little odd:

The commotion was first reported by a neighbor across the street who said she thought she could hear someone being hit with a bat.

From across the street the neighbor knows what being hit with a bat sounds like? :uhoh:

El Tejon
October 12, 2005, 12:15 PM
Important lesson for us: teach your SOs to keep communications brief and to the point. Running your trap will put you in one.

TallPine
October 12, 2005, 01:44 PM
I was hitting him over the head. Like, I must have hit him 20 times.
One of those high-capacity assault bats...? ;)

Mr_Moore
October 12, 2005, 03:11 PM
"When Starr answered the door, the masked man identified himself as "Boulder County police" and pinned her against the back of the front door"

A good reason to always answer the door with your gun in your hand. :)

Sindawe
October 12, 2005, 04:45 PM
some of us are DANGEROUS. :neener: Anyway, the whole neighborhood must be a little odd: Hey, its Boulder. The WHOLE city is a little "odd".

I don't know if the "Make My Day" is the Offical name of the legislation, but thats how we've refereed to it since it was signed into law in the early 1980s. Glad their are not being charged. Sometimes common sense does prevail.

thorn726
October 12, 2005, 04:51 PM
darn it- not sure how well this plays out in an anti gunner's head.

remember, the number one LAME argument i hear is
"bad guy will take your weapon from you and use it on you"

heheh. so how does this equate with that?

at any rate, amazing. regrettable they didnt stop before they killed the guy, but being rushed like that, i'd imagine they were SO freaked out. it's not suprising they killed the guy.

Larry Ashcraft
October 12, 2005, 04:53 PM
18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
Statute text
(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.

(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.

(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.

44Special
October 19, 2005, 04:01 AM
Hmmm, she hit him 20 times with the baseball bat. Bet that sketch is a hoot. :what: I also bet that he had time to reflect on the path that he had chosen. I expect that he might have even regretted the error of his ways.
Way to go Becci!! I am with you. Who cares if he has trouble breathing. Or not.
You are my heroine. :D

Had time to leave, too, but time management apparently wasn't one of his skills.

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