(OR) BBC finds Salem case similar to shooting in UK


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Drizzt
July 10, 2003, 07:52 PM
BBC finds Salem case similar to shooting in UK



SALEM - The British Broadcasting Corp. is picking up on the story of a Salem man who shot and killed a 16-year-old intruder who broke into his garage.

A BBC television crew will be filming in Salem for a few days, and say they plan to draw parallels between the case and a similar incident in England where a 16-year-old was shot and killed in a robbery.

The homeowner in England was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, while a grand jury cleared Linn Stordahl of Salem of any charges.


Four years ago, British farmer Tony Martin shot and killed the 16-year-old and wounded an older accomplice in a case nationally known in Britain. The wounded intruder, a career criminal with 34 convictions, served 18 months for the burglary.

Martin managed to reduce his sentence, and will soon be freed. He will be released nearly two years after the release of the man who tried to break into his home.

The story has captivated British tabloid readers - it's "a case that shook the nation," according to the Daily Mail.

In the Salem incident, a grand jury decided Stordahl was justified in shooting Anthony Choate on April 19. The teenager had broken into Stordahl's garage and started a fire, then advanced on the homeowner even after being warned to stop.

An autopsy revealed that Choate had a blood alcohol content of 0.31 percent, almost four times the legal limit to drive. Family and friends say he might have been confused and thought he was in his own garage.

Stordahl has since been the target of vandalism, harassment and protests outside his home.

The Martin case prompted widespread outrage among British residents, said Carl Johnston, a producer for the BBC One program "Real Story." The show will compare Britain's standards for armed self-defense with America's, Johnston said.

"There is a lobby in this country that says the average man has the right to protect himself, and damn the cost," Johnston said. "The Choate case provides a cautionary note to say this is not always the way to go. This kind of thing can happen."

The BBC crew plans to interview Choate's mother while they are in Salem. Stordahl has not agreed to an interview.

Prosecutors accused Martin of staging an ambush, waiting for the intruders to come into his house before opening fire. He had been burglarized several other times and was tired of being a victim, according to accounts of the shooting.

"The jury clearly believed he fired in anger, and convicted him," The Guardian wrote in a recent profile of Martin. "In one television poll soon after the verdict, 85 percent of those who voted said they believed the jury had got it wrong."

Martin's conviction was reduced to manslaughter on appeal, and he is scheduled for release in late July.

The burglar who survived, Brendon Fearon, 33, plans to sue Martin for the leg wound he suffered. Even as he pursues his lawsuit, Fearon is serving an 18-month sentence for supplying heroin.

http://www.democratherald.com/articles/2003/07/05/news/oregon/state02.txt

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Standing Wolf
July 10, 2003, 08:56 PM
The homeowner in England was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, while a grand jury cleared Linn Stordahl of Salem of any charges.

He may have thought he was a home owner, but in reality, he was just a serf.

Rarely does a day pass when I fail to feel grateful to our forefathers for having rebelled against the English and founded a republic.

Cosmoline
July 10, 2003, 09:05 PM
"There is a lobby in this country that says the average man has the right to protect himself, and damn the cost," Johnston said. "The Choate case provides a cautionary note to say this is not always the way to go. This kind of thing can happen."

There is NO bias at the BBC. And when I say none I mean of course that there is a certain amount.

Peter Gun
July 10, 2003, 10:50 PM
Yeah, How does the Choate case show this is not the way to go?
Extremely drunk teenager breaks into your garage, starts a fire, and then advances on you. I dont see a problem w/ shooting him. And the claim "he thought he was in his own garage"? Then why was he starting a fire?
Unfortunate some people have to learn things the hard way, but I dont see any blame on the Salem homeowner.

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