Guy defends himself against "threat"


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PinnedAndRecessed
March 4, 2006, 12:17 PM
First off, I'll say I don't agree with the accused's actions. He violated the law.

But the following brings up an interesting point, viz., when do we have the right to draw and shoot?

Kan. man convicted in Rolls-Royce shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A jury convicted a 77-year-old man of attempted second-degree murder for shooting a private detective in the back as he attempted to repossess the aging car dealer's beloved 1951 Rolls-Royce.
John Harper faces more than five years in prison for the May 2005 shooting of Emery Goad, which he said was in self defense. The bullet narrowly missed Goad's heart, hospitalizing him in critical condition.

"I don't think I should have been charged in the first place," Harper said after jurors convicted him Friday.

Goad, who has since recovered, and two other men went to Harper's duplex with court papers giving them authorization to take the green Rolls.

Steve Mank, Harper's lawyer, insisted that Harper acted in self-defense. Harper claimed he fired two shots only after he saw Bud Redburn, one of Goad's associates, reach inside his coat and someone say, "Take him down."

Redburn testified that he wore a pistol under his coat but never drew it.

Sentencing has been set for April 28.

http://www.modbee.com/24hour/nation/story/3217458p-11935510c.html

I believe Harper's account that Redburn reached inside his coat. I believe this because it was later determined that Redburn had a pistol inside his coat.

As far as someone saying, "take him down", that also could have been the case. "Someone" might have been trying to make Harper back off.

But it raises an interesting question. How much of a threat is necessary to justify self-defense.

Someone posted an earlier article about a man defending himself against people throwing rocks. The man simply displayed his handgun. He got into serious trouble.

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M2 Carbine
March 4, 2006, 12:31 PM
A big thing in the law is "what a reasonable person" would feel, think or do.

If you perceive "as a reasonable person would", that you are in imminent serious danger, than (in most states) you can protect yourself.

You reach in your coat and say "take him down ", I'm afraid and I would surely shoot you.

IMO this man was wrongly convicted. If I was faced with this I would have shot to. And I'd bet, if it got to trial, in Texas, the man would have been found not guilty.

Jim K
March 4, 2006, 12:31 PM
One problem here, if I understand correctly, is that he didn't shoot the man who was armed and who may have been drawing a gun, but another man who had his back turned.

This is aside from his resisting a lawful repossession under a court order. There is a general rule of law that a person has no right of self defense against lawful authority, and that would likely apply in this case, as it would to a criminal shooting a cop trying to arrest him.

That being said, the car dealer will likely get off with a light sentence or even probation, due to his age, if he does the "remorse act" convincingly.

He could still face a civil suit, though, and if he loses would have to pay the medical costs and maybe punitive damages as well.

Jim

XavierBreath
March 4, 2006, 12:36 PM
My opinion...........Whether it is legal or not, justifiable or not........ I would not put a bullet in a man's back for attempting to repossess my automobile. In this situation, there are other ways of regaining your property.

If such a case goes to court, being able to prove the threat to one's life was indeed present is imperative. In this case, Harper could have removed any threat, whether it was present or not, by simply leaving the scene. He was free to leave. Goad was not there to harm Harper, he was there to repossess a vehicle. IMHO this was a bad shoot and the conviction was just. Harper was shot in the back.

If you shoot someone, you may kill them. You may be killed by their friends. My best advice is to not go shooting people unless you truly believe your life is in danger and there is no way out. Harper is lucky Goad's associates did not kill HIM in self defense.

The jury did not buy Harper's CYA story, and frankly neither do I. Not all shootings are justified.

ebd10
March 4, 2006, 12:41 PM
There's this story. Same town, different case.

http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/state/14009499.htm

Jurors order wounded mechanic to pay $250,000 to gunman


Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. - A small-engine repairman who was shot has been ordered to pay $250,000 to the man who fired the gun.

The Sedgwick County jury's decision in the civil case also leaves open the possibility that Keith McGinley could be forced to pay punitive damages to Dan Herpolsheimer, of Mulvane.

The verdict was returned 18 months after a jury in a criminal trial found that Herpolsheimer acted in self-defense in the October 2003 shooting.

McGinley, who also goes by the name Keith DeBlasio, initially sued Herpolsheimer. But Herpolsheimer, 53, responded with a countersuit, alleging battery and trespassing.

McGinley's lawyer, Russell Mills, said he will seek a new trial.

"We recognized this was an unusual verdict, finding against a man who was shot," said presiding juror Pamela Clancy. "But we really felt like Dan was the victim here."

Clancy, herself a lawyer, said McGinley became argumentative and changed details of his story under cross-examination.

However, Herpolsheimer continued to insist McGinley attacked him. After telling McGinley to leave, Herpolsheimer said the drunken man pulled a knife. In response, Herpolsheimer said he shot McGinley with a .357 Magnum.

"Dan's story rang true," Clancy said.

The $250,000 that was sought for pain, suffering and mental anguish is the maximum allowed by law.

"I asked for justice," said Kurt Kerns, who represented Herpolsheimer. "My client has suffered damages in his heart, his spirit and his mind."

Herpolsheimer owns Warming Trends, a dealer of wood stoves and fireplaces.


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Information from: The Wichita Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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