14 year old boy kills home invader, Texas grand jury says he was justified


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progunner1957
October 14, 2006, 03:31 PM
At least once in a while, common sense and justice do prevail. There may yet be hope...

Ruling: Boy, 14, acted in defense
By barbara ramirez Caller-Times
October 13, 2006

A grand jury Thursday decided a 14-year-old boy who shot and killed an intruder in his home Monday acted in self-defense and no charges were necessary.

"I guess, as far as we're concerned, this was a completely justified shooting," said District Attorney Carlos Valdez.

Valdez said details of the Ocean Drive shooting were presented to the grand jury for consideration in the same manner as any other case, which ensured fairness.

"Any time there's a shooting involving the death of one citizen at the hands of another it is our policy to present it to the grand jury," he said.

Family attorney Jimmy Granberry also has said the shooting was in self-defense and that the boy, Michael Kozlowski, and his mother, Rose Ann Kozlowski, feared for their lives during the ordeal.

Granberry did not return calls for further comment late Thursday.

Police on Monday responded to the Kozlowski home in the 4200 block of Ocean Drive after receiving a call about 12:55 p.m. from Rose Ann saying a man had bound her and her son and held them at knifepoint.

When police arrived, they found 57-year-old James Slaughter dead with a gunshot wound to his head. Police said he had been shot by the teen after the boy and his mother were able to free themselves and grab a revolver from a security box under a bed. Slaughter had ransacked the home and packed the family's SUV with valuables, police said. He was released from prison late last week after violating his parole in June.

Police also are looking for Slaughter's possible accomplices because neighbors reported seeing a suspicious 1970s green, four-door Lincoln Continental or Mercury Marquis slowly drive past homes a short time before the burglary.

Investigators said Slaughter's criminal record included several convictions for burglaries in Texas and Oregon dating back to 1967.

In 1983, he was shot by San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody and by a deputy after he refused to drop a rifle during a confrontation with authorities. Earlier that day, he burglarized a home in Taft, bound the two residents and packed their vehicle with stolen items. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison for those offenses but was paroled in 2001.

Link: http://www.caller.com/ccct/local_news/article/0,1641,CCCT_811_5063627,00.html

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SiG Lady
October 14, 2006, 03:57 PM
Well, he had it comin', DIDN'T he...?...... :fire:
I'm truly surprised it didn't happen sooner!

River Wraith
October 14, 2006, 08:02 PM
they should've given the kid a medal...

pax
October 14, 2006, 08:19 PM
Record going back to since before I was born. Sentenced to 45 years. Served 18 years. Violated parole in June, released 90 days later. :banghead:

Somebody certainly should give the kid a medal. All by his 14-year-old self, he did what the "justice" system in this country refused to do: take a violent, repeat offender off the streets for good.

What a shame that he had to!

pax

wdlsguy
October 14, 2006, 08:25 PM
At least once in a while, common sense and justice do prevail.
I had no doubt at all that a Texas grand jury would "no bill" the 14 year old given the circumstances.

the 22 junkie
October 15, 2006, 02:15 AM
Duplicate. Although kinda funny his name was "Slaughter" though.

spankaveli
October 15, 2006, 02:39 AM
In 1983, he was shot by San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody and by a deputy after he refused to drop a rifle during a confrontation with authorities. Earlier that day, he burglarized a home in Taft, bound the two residents and packed their vehicle with stolen items. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison for those offenses but was paroled in 2001.
This is why, no matter how good their behavior is, criminals shouldn't be allowed to get out early. He'd still be in prison for another 22 years.

RangerHAAF
October 15, 2006, 09:00 AM
Fortunately, they are getting ready to enact the new Castle Doctrine law in Texas that has been so successful in Florida, when that happens they won't have to waste time and money with grand juries to answer obvious questions about criminal intentions.

wdlsguy
October 15, 2006, 09:59 AM
Texas already has a "castle doctrine" law. It doesn't have a "stand your ground" law yet though.

Every shooting of this sort goes through a grand jury process in Texas, although the outcome was a foregone conclusion in this case.

mrtgbnkr
October 15, 2006, 10:38 AM
I believe that the technical, legal term in this case isn't "no bill" but...."he needed shootin'."

Spreadfire Arms
October 15, 2006, 10:43 AM
evidently the bad guy wasn't reformed by the corrections system. in 1983 he did the same thing. after serving time in prison he was released and did the exact same thing. i hope this sends a message to the Texas Pardons & Parole Board, that they shouldn't be releasing these crooks back out into society.

kludge
October 15, 2006, 11:02 AM
Why do we call them "correctional" facilities anyway?. Is it not PC to call them "jails" or "prisons"? Are those terms discriminatory? Do the people in them have disabilities?

orionengnr
October 15, 2006, 11:11 AM
I love a happy ending. :)

1911 guy
October 15, 2006, 12:58 PM
Good that this idiot and carreer criminal is off the streets. Bad that he put a mother and son through this and that the boy will spend the next twenty years of his life second guessing what he did. He knows it had to be done, we know it had to be done and apparently the grand jury also knew it had to be done. That isn't going to stop the 3:00 A.M. thoughts, though.

Poor kid. Forced into adulthood a few years too early and very harshly.

MechAg94
October 15, 2006, 01:09 PM
The main piece of the castle doctrine stuff I want is the protection against civil prosecution.

I am glad the kid had the resolve to do what was necessary. I am sorry that scumbag forced him to do it.

Double Naught Spy
October 15, 2006, 01:54 PM
Texas already has a "castle doctrine" law. It doesn't have a "stand your ground" law yet though.

But do Texans need a stand your ground law for defense within the home? In other words, what Texas law stipulates you must retreat that needs to be repealed?

wdlsguy
October 15, 2006, 04:05 PM
The main piece of the castle doctrine stuff I want is the protection against civil prosecution.
TEXAS CIVIL PRACTICE & REMEDIES CODE

83.001. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE.
It is an affirmative defense to a civil action for damages for personal injury or death that the defendant, at the time the cause of action arose, was justified in using deadly force under Section 9.32, Penal Code, against a person who at the time of the use of force was committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the defendant.
http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/CP/content/pdf/cp.004.00.000083.00.pdf

wdlsguy
October 15, 2006, 04:10 PM
But do Texans need a stand your ground law for defense within the home? In other words, what Texas law stipulates you must retreat that needs to be repealed?
TEXAS PENAL CODE

9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.
(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31;
(2) if a reasonable person in the actor's situation would not have retreated; and
(3) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or
(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.
(b) The requirement imposed by Subsection (a)(2) does not apply to an actor who uses force against a person who is at the time of the use of force committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the actor.
http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/pdf/pe.002.00.000009.00.pdf

MechAg94
October 15, 2006, 11:04 PM
Thanks for the quotations. As said by others, we already have a lot of what other states lack. My first thought when I saw the TSRA was pushing this was that we need to be very careful how we do it and make sure we don't damage favorable laws or precedent.

Judging by what they did with the traveling law, I think they will just seek to modify existing statute. I hope so. We may not know for sure until the bill is introduced.

TexasRifleman
October 15, 2006, 11:28 PM
Judging by what they did with the traveling law

Yeah, and it still remains to be seen if that change actually helped or not.

vmfrantz
October 15, 2006, 11:39 PM
Why is this hero not on the news every evening? No; but people who misuse firearms stay there until the next idiot comes along. Just goes to show how biased and libral the media is. And people cant understand why a revolution will happen someday.

Double Naught Spy
October 16, 2006, 10:09 AM
My duty to retreat comments were in reference to home invasion.
But do Texans need a stand your ground law for defense within the home? In other words, what Texas law stipulates you must retreat that needs to be repealed?

In this regard, 9.32 is not directly applicable. Why, it because defense of a person isn't the only issue at hand. 9.41 allows for the use of lethal force to prevent or terminate trespass in regard to dispossession and 9.42 follows suit.


Plus, 9.32 does NOT stipulate that there is a duty to retreat. Florida used to actually have a stipulated duty to retreat. 9.32 (2) most definitely says standing your ground is fine if it is what a reasonable person would do. That is not the same as a duty to retreat.

TEXAS PENAL CODE

9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.

(2) if a reasonable person in the actor's situation would not have retreated; and

Do you know of any Texas case law where it was found that it was considered unreasonable that a person did not retreat within their own home during the commission of a home invasion and/or kidnapping before using lethal force?

TX1911fan
October 16, 2006, 12:05 PM
The shameful part in all of this is that the family probably had to spend hundreds or thousands on lawyer fees to make sure this hero's rights were protected in the grand jury process. Instead, the prosecutor should have just made the decision to not press charges in the first place, saving the taxpayers and this family a pile of money.

progunner1957
October 16, 2006, 01:53 PM
In a case like this, the county that has jurisdiction over the prosecutor's "activities" should be forced to reimburse every dollar the family had to spend in defense of this young man. Prosecutors have unlimited resources at their disposal; citizens do not.

IMHO, it is high time We The People hold prosecutors responsible for their actions, which can financially destroy individuals and families who have done no wrong in the first place.

The law allows a person to defend their life and their family with deadly force, yet people are prosecuted for doing just that. If that is not wrongful prosecution, I don't know what is.

pax
October 16, 2006, 02:01 PM
In a case like this, the county that has jurisdiction over the prosecutor's "activities" should be forced to reimburse every dollar the family had to spend in defense of this young man. Prosecutors have unlimited resources at their disposal; citizens do not.

That's the law here in Washington state.

It's not perfect because the case has to actually go to trial, and the defendant has to be found "not guilty" by reason of self-defense in a court of law, before the law will kick in & force the state to pay the money out. There are plenty of justified self-defense shootings which cost a fortune in legal fees before charges are dropped, and never go to trial.

Still ... half a loaf is better than none! :cool:

pax

rritter
October 16, 2006, 08:04 PM
I'm not a lawyer, but I believe a grand jury doesn't even allow for defense. It's just the prosecutor presenting his evidence to the jury for them to decide whether he has enough evidence to justify starting a trial. The person accused isn't part of the process, so I doubt there's much in the way of lawyer fees at this point.

Of course, everything I said above (except for the part about not being a lawyer) could be wrong!:D

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