Harold Fish Gets New Trial Finally!


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HarryB
June 30, 2009, 09:44 PM
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/06/30/20090630selfdefense30-ON.html

Retrial ordered in fatal shooting of hiker
by Michael Kiefer - Jun. 30, 2009 03:08 PM
The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday threw out a murder conviction of a hiker who claimed self-defense when he shot a man to death on a hiking trail north of Payson in May 2004.

Harold Fish, 62, was convicted of second-degree murder in June 2006 for shooting Grant Kuenzli, 43, after Kuenzli ran at him waving his arms because Fish had fired a warning shot into the ground to scare away Kuenzli's aggressive dogs. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

But the Court of Appeals sent the case back to Coconino Court Superior Court to be retried because the trial court judge had not given adequate instruction on what constituted self defense. And the panel of appellate judges scolded Coconino County Superior Court Judge Mark Moran for not answering a jury request to define the word "attack." The panel remarked that the jury may not have understood that someone can commit aggravated assault on another person without actually touching him.


Fish's contention was that Kuenzli's three dogs ran at him and put him in fear for his safety. He fired a shot into the ground in front of the dogs and scared them away. But then Kuenzli ran at him shouting and waving his arms and refused to stop.

The panel also noted that the lower court had "sanitized" evidence of prior incidents in which Kuenzli had become enraged and had frightened people during encounters with the dogs. Many times, in criminal trials, such "prior bad acts" are excluded. But in this case, the appellate judges felt it was relevant, especially since there were no witnesses to the event.

The appeals court also felt that Moran could have allowed the defense to classify dogs as potentially "dangerous instruments," furthering Fish's self-defense claims.

Two weeks after Fish's trial began, the Arizona State Legislature rewrote the state's self-defense statutes to force prosecutors to better disprove self-defense claims. And although the Fish case was a catalyst for the law, it could not be applied retroactively. That change in the law, however, coupled with the strong wording of the ruling may factor into whether the Coconino County Attorney decides to retry the case or whether Fish goes free.

----------------------------------------

also seen here:

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=205833&highlight=harold+fish

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Double Naught Spy
June 30, 2009, 10:01 PM
Funny how the conviction is thrown out, but he remains in prison. He gets a new trial, but the results of the first trial appear to stand until which time the new trial produces new results. Maybe the judge will let him out on appeal?

KyJim
June 30, 2009, 10:07 PM
I recall this when it came out. It is of the only cases where, according to published reports, the prosecutor actually used the caliber of gun against the defendant. He used a 10 mm and the prosecutor made a big deal out of using this extra powerful caliber.

I am normally very much on the side of the police/prosecutor but it seemed to me an injustice was done at the trial. I am glad he will get another chance.

TexasRifleman
June 30, 2009, 10:08 PM
Maybe the judge will let him out on appeal?

Hopefully the prosecutor will just let the whole thing go and end it that way rather than spend all that taxpayer money on another trial.

I remember when this all came about and the evidence was so overwhelming for self defense it seemed to me, but the jury got none of it.

I don't think there is a chance they would get a conviction the second time.


But, this is the same idiot DA that argued the 10mm Fish was carrying was "overpowered" and built only to murder someone.

jfh
June 30, 2009, 10:13 PM
Hallelujia! This was one out-of-state travesty I followed closely....

Jim H.

Yo Mama
June 30, 2009, 10:23 PM
Alot has changed in AZ since 2006. I hope he is freed, and I hope after he sues the pants off them.

Double Naught Spy
June 30, 2009, 11:09 PM
I recall this when it came out. It is of the only cases where, according to published reports, the prosecutor actually used the caliber of gun against the defendant. He used a 10 mm and the prosecutor made a big deal out of using this extra powerful caliber.

You want maybe for prosecutors to not use all the tools in their chest in order to get a conviction? Of course he used caliber. It comes up in most every shooting. He also used the fact that Fish used hollowpoints, shot an unarmed man, shot him multiple times, that his testimony didn't jive with other witness information, etc. etc. etc.

Fish's lawyer could have done something about the issues of gun, caliber, ammo, etc., but he didn't. Don't blame the prosecution on using perfectly legit. information that is in evidence in order to make his case. Find fault with Fish's lawyer for not fighting it.

I am normally very much on the side of the police/prosecutor but it seemed to me an injustice was done at the trial. I am glad he will get another chance.
Not because of the caliber issue.

Frank Ettin
July 1, 2009, 01:42 AM
This is a great result. I thought that Harold Fish got a raw deal.

carebear
July 1, 2009, 04:48 AM
You want maybe for prosecutors to not use all the tools in their chest in order to get a conviction?

Double Naught,

I disagree with that and actually agree with AG Holder on something.

When discussing the "get a conviction" priorities of the Federal prosecutors he inherited (which priorities led to cutting corners and got them verbally spanked by Judge Sullivan in the case of Sen. Stevens) he reiterated that their job is to first ensure justice is done, not improve their win rates.

I do in fact expect, even in our adversarial system, prosecutors to seek to do justice first; not pull an extraneous screwdriver out of their tool chest to influence the jury when the facts of the case only involve nails.

"Better 100 guilty men go free..." and all that.

Double Naught Spy
July 1, 2009, 08:58 AM
carebear,
Ah! See, it is a matter of perspective. The prosecution, it can be argued, is trying to get justice done. What you refer to as extraneous would be what another would refer to as being thorough. It all depends on which side of the courtroom you are on.

Caliber was not an extraneous issue. 10mm was what was used to commit the homicide. You just don't seem to like the fact that the prosecution was able to use what was in evidence against Fish. Like I said, don't blame the prosecution. Fish's lawyer didn't do a thing about it. Extraneous would be discussing what firearms and ammo Fish had back a home, not what caliber or ammo that was used for the homicide. Like I said, don't blame the prosecution. Fish's lawyer didn't do a thing about it.

Blakenzy
July 1, 2009, 09:12 AM
The panel remarked that the jury may not have understood that someone can commit aggravated assault on another person without actually touching him.

How does that work?

Deanimator
July 1, 2009, 09:34 AM
How does that work?
Assault is the imminent, credible threat of violence.

Battery is its physical consummation.

If I swing a bat at your head, it's assault.

If I connect, it's battery.

TexasRifleman
July 1, 2009, 09:35 AM
How does that work?

The argument in this case was that failure to control the dogs was the trigger for aggravated assault if I remember right.




But, regardless of how it plays out, this is one more of the thousands of reasons to not talk to the police without an attorney.

BTR
July 1, 2009, 10:02 AM
I'm glad he's getting a new trial. The conviction seemed extremely wrong to me.

v65magnafan
July 1, 2009, 10:33 AM
I'm new to this case, so this question might be totally off.

But, I'm wondering. One of the things a CCW under attack must consider is the gravity of the threat. Apparently, the vicious dogs left the scene. Waving hands might not constitute an immediate threat to life.

Did Mr. Fish use verbal commands before shooting? I know that I might sound like a snarky guy with hindsight, but I'm just wondering. It helps me to learn about scenarios I might find myself in one day.

rbernie
July 1, 2009, 10:39 AM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15199221

Fish: I looked out and I could see the top of a car.

At the head of the trail, he says he saw a man camped by his car with two dogs.

Fish: His head picks up, the dogs alert. And I just raised my hand, you know, just to let him know that I’m just a hiker going through here.

Larson: So you wave at him?

Fish: Yeah. I raised my hand. I just you know, like, “I’m here. I’m a guy—I’m friendly.” So I get to about right in here, and when I look up, here come these dogs running very quickly, fangs showing, barking, running right at me.

Larson: Just these 30 yards, right here?

Fish: Yeah, just coming right here and at that point I’m yelling at him, “Hey control your dogs!”

But, Fish says, the man didn’t try to stop the dogs. Fish always carries a pistol with him when he hikes, he says to protect him from wild animals. He says he pulled out a 10 mm gun he had with him that day—and fired a warning shot into the ground.

Fish: One dog went off to the left and stopped right over there by the tree there. The other one went off into the brush there.

The dogs were out of the way, but Fish says the man began charging down the hill at full speed.

Fish: I yell at him, “I didn’t shoot your dogs” or “I didn’t hurt your dogs.” And he’s yelling back at me as he’s coming, he says, in a kind of strange voice “I’m going to hurt you. I’m going to kill you,” and he’s swinging, kind of punching at me. I’m yelling at him. “I didn’t shoot your dogs. No. Don’t. Get back. Leave me alone. No!”

Fish says he feared for his life.

Fish: One minute I’m just walking through the woods, oblivious to him or anything else. And the next minute I’ve got two dogs barking and snarling, trying to bite me, and an angry man following right after them, yelling that he’s going to get me, going to kill me, swinging his fists.

Larson: And you’re convinced this guy actually was going to kill you?

Fish: Yeah.

Fish fired three shots. The man fell to the ground.

Larson: When he falls, does he say anything?

Fish: No. Never did.

Larson: Do you say anything?

Fish: Yes. I—I—for the first five seconds or so, I was angry. But obviously, he was hurt. So after about five seconds of losing my cool and then getting angry at him, you know, then I tried to do what I could to help him.

Fish says he put his backpack under the man’s head, and covered him with a blanket, as seen in the sheriff’s department video.

ezypikns
July 1, 2009, 10:40 AM
I read some of the original posts here (on "The High Road") from 2006. Many posters from that time seemed to feel that the shooter was in the wrong and got pretty much what he deserved.

Faced with the same situation, we all hope we would make the wisest choice. I did notice that the shooter's original act was to fire a "warning" shot at the dog(s).

Maybe one lesson we should take from this (by no means the most important) is that when we make the choice to use deadly force, we follow through completely.

Firing a "warning" shot of any kind just demonstrates that you're not sure that your life is in fact in danger or even that the danger could be avoided.

And maybe the evidence of a dead dog at the scene of this shooting might have given more credence that the shooter was in fear of injury or of his life.

highorder
July 1, 2009, 10:47 AM
He also used the fact that Fish used hollowpoints, shot an unarmed man, shot him multiple times,

My memory is fuzzy; didn't the deceased have a foot long screwdriver in his back pocket?

Blakenzy
July 1, 2009, 10:51 AM
Well, Fish's position doesn't look very convincing until you read of Kuenzli's past deeds (kidnapping, rape, assault and a general attitude that legitimately frightens everyone around him), add the fact that he had a screwdriver in his pocket.

Read this: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/pdf/Archive/Alt/alt.true-crime/2007-03/msg00800.pdf

Basically it says that it's true that Fish did not "know" of the above facts at the time of the shooting, but it is not unreasonable to believe that he could have "perceived" it through Kuenzli's demeanor, body language and actions. A man who constantly misbehaves will create a more credible threat than a man who normally behaves.

Also, because no impartial witnesses were present, knowing of Kuenzli's past behavior creates a baseline from which jurors can begin to construct a better picture of just how threatening Kuenzli might have appeared to Fish at that moment. If a judge may have fear instilled in him by Kuenzli in his own court room, imagine how scary would it have been for someone all alone in the middle of nowhere to have this man come at him threatening death.

TexasRifleman
July 1, 2009, 10:53 AM
My memory is fuzzy; didn't the deceased have a foot long screwdriver in his back pocket?

That is how I remember it but the jury didn't see that since it was argued that the screwdriver, being hidden, could not have been a factor in Fish deciding to use deadly force since Fish didn't know the guy was armed.

The piece of this that I remember really bothered me when it happened, and the reason I think this whole deal was a big mistake, was the argument that dogs could not be considered to be "dangerous instruments".

The argument as I remember it, but the jury never heard, was basically:

"If you fail to control dogs that attack someone, and that person shoots or uses force against your dogs, you do not get to claim that you attacked the shooter in defense of your dogs since your dogs can clearly be dangerous instruments and were the initiators of the incident. You may simply have to let your dogs get shot since failing to control them is not the fault of the guy they attacked"

Or something similar.

Double Naught Spy
July 1, 2009, 11:11 AM
My memory is fuzzy; didn't the deceased have a foot long screwdriver in his back pocket?

That is how I remember it but the jury didn't see that since it was argued that the screwdriver, being hidden, could not have been a factor in Fish deciding to use deadly force since Fish didn't know the guy was armed.

Right. Fish never reported seeing a weapon of any sort or that the shootee threatened to stab him with said unseen screwdriver.

GregGry
July 1, 2009, 11:13 AM
Well, Fish's position doesn't look very convincing until you read of Kuenzli's past deeds (kidnapping, rape, assault and a general attitude that legitimately frightens everyone around him), add the fact that he had a screwdriver in his pocket.

All of which can't be admitted to evidence since its not relevant to what happened. Fish didn't know of the screw driver, therefore it couldn't have been part of his threat assessment. The guy he shot could have had 3 knives and 2 guns on him, and none of it could have come into evidence unless fish had reason to believe (based on evidence such as seeing the weapons) the man was armed. This is why I constantly tell people on THR that you have to base your decision on pulling the trigger only on evidence up until you pull the trigger, and by evidence I mean hard concrete evidence (such as seeing a gun) and not on possibilities (such as all criminals are likely armed).

Like it or not there are many things in that case that are problems when it comes to most states use of deadly force. He shot "a warning shot" to scare the dogs, which apparently worked since the dogs ran off. The man comes after Fish supposedly yelling I am going to kill you. Well was this man actually capable of causing Fish death or great bodily harm? (again the screw driver has no role since fish didn't base his THREAT ASSESSMENT and decision to shoot on it) To combat a person with their fists with a gun, means that you better have disparity of force on your side, AKA the other guy is much bigger, stronger, etc.

The biggest mistake he made was firing a "warning shot". Its not unreasonable to think that the man he later shot and killed could have thought fish shot at him, or that fish killed one of his dogs. Regardless of the threats the person made to fish, if he wasn't capable of making good on the threats (AKA was larger, stronger then fish and/or had a weapon) then fish (in most states) would have likely been found guilty.

Like it or not there are two standards when it comes to deadly force, objective and subjective. You can't believe anything you want (In Fish's case he believed he was in danger of death or great bodily harm) but the evidence convinced the jury otherwise. Thats why nobody on this site should base their decision to pull the trigger soley on a fear for their own life or the life of others, without actual evidence (such as a gun or disparity of force factors) that you base your fear on. If the only thing you have on your side is the fact you "were afraid for your life", and you don't really have any evidence that others are going to believe when it comes to if you actually were at risk of death or great bodily harm, you will be found guilty.

TexasRifleman
July 1, 2009, 11:16 AM
All of which can't be admitted to evidence since its not relevant to what happened.

Except the appeals court disagrees with you, which is why there is a new trial.

The argument is that normally you would be correct but the Prosecution opened the door to this in the original trial so the defense should have been allowed to use that door once it was opened. They just could not be the ones to bring it up first.

v65magnafan
July 1, 2009, 11:34 AM
Thanks, rbernie, for the factual update.

The main problem is that the legal system (note that I'm not calling it the "justice" system) has years and years and unlimited funds to minutely analyze five seconds of time that changes lives.

The issue is, I think, did Mr. Fish act as a reasonable person with CCW training?

Also, his actions after the event were likely as critical to his defense as the the event itself.

What my CCW instructor emphasized is "Do not talk to the police without your lawyer present." Period. It is your right. Be polite, but exercise your constitutional right.

Also, I am pretty sure that I would be in enough shock to probably be physically ill after a shooting. If Mr. Fish was totally coherent and reasonable to witnesses, this might present a problem. I'm referring to the jury's perception of this.

I carry the business card of an expert firearms lawyer in my wallet. I wonder if a prosecutor could twist this fact.

GregGry
July 1, 2009, 11:35 AM
Except the appeals court disagrees with you, which is why there is a new trial.

The argument is that normally you would be correct but the Prosecution opened the door to this in the original trial so the defense should have been allowed to do the same.

If the prosecution brought up something to do with the dead persons character being stellar, and fish's lawyer didn't counter that with evidence then thats one thing. Hardly worth a retrial on its own due to the fact he was convicted based on what he did (and claimed the dead person did). Even if the persons past history was let in, what does it prove? Nothing when it comes to what happened that day.





The panel also noted that the lower court had "sanitized" evidence of prior incidents in which Kuenzli had become enraged and had frightened people during encounters with the dogs. Many times, in criminal trials, such "prior bad acts" are excluded. But in this case, the appellate judges felt it was relevant, especially since there were no witnesses to the event.


Again as stated here the evidence that could be let in is that the man had done similar things (that Fish delt with) before. This isn't very good evidence for many reasons. For one fish didn't know of any past events with that man, so it had no relevance to his decision to using deadly force. If Fish had known man X has dogs that has killed people, and he saw man X release his dogs, thats one thing, however thats not the case here. Second, how does it prove that fish was justified in using deadly force? He shot a unarmed man, he already stated the dogs ran off. All laws regarding the use of deadly force against a unarmed person (disparity of force) apply. The dogs were the threat at the start, both of which were no longer a threat after firing a shot, they are out of the picture. Then he shot the owner of the dogs because he was "afraid for his life". The dogs have little to nothing to do with the case since he did not state the man yelled for the dogs to kill him (fish), and again they were out of the picture right away. The case is down to if he could have used deadly force on the man he killed. Given the facts of the case I find it questionable that he could have. You can't kill someone based on statements alone, and you can't kill a unarmed man without justifying disparity of force.


The screw driver shouldn't be in evidence, and if it does it might as well be considered a precident that if the police find any potential weapon on someone another person killed (regardless of if they knew about it or not) they aren't guilty. The fact is you have to base your choice to use deadly force on the facts leading up to you pulling the trigger. Shooting someone on unkown posibilities should put you in prison.



Considering the cold hard facts I have read from the case, he is absolutely on a slippery slope and he case could have gone either way to begin with.

TexasRifleman
July 1, 2009, 11:53 AM
For information here is the appeals court ruling itself.

http://www.cofad1.state.az.us/opinionfiles/CR/CR060675OP.pdf


Among the reasons for the new trial:

the
court may have erred in precluding evidence of prior specific acts
of violence related to the Victim’s relationship to dogs under Rule
404(b)(2). Because we reverse and remand for a new trial on other
grounds, the superior court should reconsider this evidentiary
ruling if such evidence is offered at a new trial.


And again it seems to be in a big way about the dogs being "dangerous instruments".

Apparently the judge initially instructed the first jury that they could not consider the dogs as dangerous instruments in Fish's decision not to flee.

55
Defendant may have initially thought that the situation
with the dogs was diffused, but when he saw the Victim charging at
him “breathing out threats and swinging,” and realized the Victim
was not coming to restrain the dogs, the presence of the dogs again
may have become a threat. Accordingly, an instruction that the
Victim’s dogs could be considered dangerous instruments and that
they may have presented a threat of death or serious physical
injury would have been proper in light of the need for an
instruction dealing with unlawful force by the Victim.


The Fish police statement, apparently not heard by the jury:

I can’t go this way. There’s a dog right
there. I can’t go over here because there’s
too much brush and there’s a dog in there
somewhere. I can’t run uphill. [The
Victim’s] there. I can’t run downhill. It’s
steep. There’s a loose rock . . . . This
guy’s going -- if I turn and run, the dogs
will get me, he’ll get me. I’ll be dead.
I’ll be, you know, bitten by the dogs.

This was not allowed, the judge said the jury couldn't consider the dogs a threat, which to me is just ridiculous.

GregGry
July 1, 2009, 12:08 PM
Dogs being a threat to his life is one thing. However they ran off after he fired a shot. They were no longer present when he chose to kill the person he did. Even if a jury is instructed to accept the dogs as a insturment of deadly force in fishes case, they are out of the picture after the "warning shot" so I fail to see how this will affect his case. I don't recall him saying something that amounted to him seeing the dogs were going to come back, they were off somewhere.

Just like if there is a armed robber that comes out of a place that your standing outside of. They drop their gun and say don't shoot me as they see you go for yours. You shoot and kill the person when they have their hands up and are obviously unarmed. Your green light for deadly force just went away, thus you are no longer justified in using deadly force.

Could Fish have shot the dogs? I believe so. Could he have shot the man he did? Based on the evidence I see the man he shot was running towards him shouting things, possibly even tried to punch him. It takes a lot more then that to justify killing someone, otherwise bouncers at bars could justify killing 10+ people every night when drunks try to take a swing at them and shout things like I am going to kill you.

Frank Ettin
July 1, 2009, 12:18 PM
But Fish's assailant was younger and larger, and he was running downhill full tilt at Fish. Also, Fish didn't fire until his assailant was almost on top of him.

waterhouse
July 1, 2009, 12:20 PM
However they ran off after he fired a shot. They were no longer present when he chose to kill the person he did. Even if a jury is instructed to accept the dogs as a insturment of deadly force in fishes case, they are out of the picture after the "warning shot" so I fail to see how this will affect his case. I don't recall him saying something that amounted to him seeing the dogs were going to come back, they were off somewhere.

How far did they run? Where did they stop running? Is it possible that they were returning to their owner?

It seems that a jury should be allowed to place themselves in Fish's shoes. The dogs broke from an initial attack, at which point it seems very unclear as to where they went. The jury should have been allowed to consider the dogs as a threat.

TexasRifleman
July 1, 2009, 12:20 PM
Could Fish have shot the dogs? I believe so. Could he have shot the man he did? Based on the evidence I see the man he shot was running towards him shouting things, possibly even tried to punch him. It takes a lot more then that to justify killing someone, otherwise bouncers at bars could justify killing 10+ people every night when drunks try to take a swing at them and shout things like I am going to kill you.

You are missing the point that the appeals court did not.

The dogs did not run away very far, as Fish testifies. The thing is that the guy didn't attempt to restrain his dogs. If the dogs are considered deadly, and the owner does nothing to restrain them, is that not using a weapon?

It appears that's what the appeals court believes.

Think of it in a more aggressive way. If someone trains pit bulls to attack and they order those dogs to attack someone, are the dogs weapons?

Is failure to try to stop attacking dogs that you own the same as attacking with a weapon?

It appears to me that's what the appellate court is saying, that failure to try to stop the dogs was unlawful force and Fish should at least get the chance to argue that he was responding to deadly force rather than initiating it.

Whether a jury buys that next time or not we'll see, but he's going to get the chance to make that argument and he was not allowed to do that before.

Rodeo4joe
July 1, 2009, 12:49 PM
*warning my post contains MY OPINON" and I have not intended for any of these to reflet on here as facts* (Sorry about the grammer)


Well I have been fighting my urge to add my 2 cents but lost the fight. Let me start by saying that I believe that we all agree that there are alot of variables that most of us will never no the real answers to. First and formost are the dogs still considered weapons after the warning shot and they disperse? I will use my self for an example in this one. Yes, any dog willing to attack should always be considered a weapon no matter what. In my younger and dumber days I would fist fight with the neighbor hood kids on occasion and we had a dog that was the kindest gentlest dog any of you can imagine. but once that dog precieved a threat to myself or brothers it was going to attack and stop at nothing less. in this instance I truly believe that even after th warning shot should he have holstered and attempted to stop the man with out the weapon that the dogs would have attacked again. and that dosent even bring into account that the man was supposedly bigger and younger. I am bigger younger stronger and meaner than my dad and lets just say I would never step into that ring again.
The second point that I would like to make is that whether or not he made verbal warnings while the man was charging down the hill is important but in my OPINON irrelevant... the warning shot should suffice. Dont know about you but I am not dumb enough to charge at someone if they just fired off a gun. for a few reasons. He is either too dumb to controll it too madd to control it or justified. any one of these reason leads me to the conclusion that that no matter how mad I might be I will not go running in there. Which in my opinion Makes me believe that the state of mind of the deceased was either crazy and undeterable or or pissed off and undeterable. either way he was bringing a "screwdriver" to a gun fight and knew about it ahead of time. There was in my OPINION no way to reason with a person like this. And a reasonable person in Mr fish's possition would then be forced to depfend himself. Once you pull you weapon to use it you do not put it back in its holster until the threat is no longer present. It is a basic firearms concept and the reason is that 1 you pulled it for a reason. and 2 your attacker knows that you have it so now you use it or risk them taking it. Personally I am not taking that risk because with that risk the most likley outcome will be the other person on trial for the same thing. Not an option for me.
We can also take a look at the bad side of these same subjects,
This man was a rapist and a murderer. he was not a steller guy by any means and and whether or not you know that before hand should make no difference in a SD case. Can I tell that someone is a bad person when I precieve that I need to defend myself? Yes otherwise I wouldnt be defending myself. that is just the way that it works.

If I offended any of you I am sorry and Mr moderator if this is inappropriate please feel free to remove.
Thanks for reading

Route2
July 1, 2009, 01:44 PM
I pretty much agree with Rodeo4joe. I have had dogs attack and have beaten them back only to have them circle and attack again. It wasn't until their master called them off that they stopped. The warning shot demonstrated a lack of malice on Mr. Fish’s part. The screwdriver verified malice intent on Mr. Kuenzli’s part.

Harold Fish seems like a pretty decent guy. From the reports I read, Kuenzli was a Psycho. Many of Mr. Fish’s loved ones are happy that he defended himself and is still alive. Many others will sleep easier because Mr. Kuenzli isn’t.

My 2˘.

carebear
July 1, 2009, 02:38 PM
Doublenaught,

I disagree.

Making mention of the specific caliber and ammunition type in the manner the prosecutor did can only serve to inflame the jury (probably ignorant of firearms) by making them regard the defendant as "looking for a fight" or some other nonsense.

The caliber is in fact not unusual for defense, especially for carry in the field in areas with large predators, and hollowpoints are, and have been for decades, de rigeur for self-defense. If the prosecution mentions either, they should be presented in that dispassionate manner.

However, the only relevant information necessary to be stated by the prosecutor is that the defendent (lawfully) had a loaded firearm on his person but may not have used it in a lawful manner in this particular situation. I'm not saying caliber shouldn't be mentioned but it should not be used in an attempt to skew the jury's perception as the statute as written doesn't mention caliber or projectile type as an element of the crime charged.

As a prosecutor, if you can't win on the facts, without introducing emotionally-laden dreck extraneous to the particular crime at issue, you aren't doing your job properly.

Win on the relevent facts.

feedthehogs
July 1, 2009, 03:19 PM
Not good on the trial judges record. Seems to show bias.

Even if not tried again Fish has lost. Can't get his prison time back can't get the financial loss back.
Never should have gone to court.

Prosecutors have influence and bias like everyone else.
Anyone who thinks they are legal "neutral" is just silly.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 1, 2009, 03:39 PM
it's bad that Fish shot and killed the guy pyscho evidently that he was. hard to second guess Fish but maybe a disabling shot and slow retreat would have sufficed. a lower abdomen shot with the 10 would be very painful I think.
a poster on the first thread concerning this says that he has never seen or heard of a dog continuing attack with a slug between it's legs. it has happened to me 3X, one a large daschund-mix, another a mixture medium-sized of underterminable breed another a large chow mix all with packs, the others ran.
I used a .22LR pistol twice (my trail gun in NF), a Ruger semi-auto and a 10/22 other time. the big chow absorbed 4 SuperX's from the pistol before going down and another couple before expireing. the mongrel took 3 from the rifle before going down and another to finish it. the big dachsund (only one I've ever seen) was snarling and snapping running towards me about 35 lbs and I drilled him between the eyes first shot. I think I was lucky the other dogs took off in all three instances.
Fish may be lucky to be alive himself if the attacker had got to him though. or maybe even the dogs. If I was on the jury almost certainly I would have voted against conviction.

HK G3
July 1, 2009, 03:50 PM
The one thing that seemed very Fishy to me (pardon the bad pun) about this trial was, IIRC, there was a very big discrepency between the phone call and the gunshots.

I remember a hiker saying they heard the gunshots 3 hours prior to the 911 call. If this were true, it is a very perplexing thing to say the least.

I'd probably vote for acquittal, but obviously we don't have all the facts.

Gryffydd
July 1, 2009, 04:06 PM
Fish's lawyer could have done something about the issues of gun, caliber, ammo, etc., but he didn't.
Bingo. I read an interview with one of the jurors and she said that the fact that he used hollow points really concerned her and was a major factor in her making her decision. If Fish's lawyer had done a better job squashing those ridiculous claims things might have turned out differently.

jfh
July 1, 2009, 04:09 PM
You know, there are two-three discussions here, and we really don't seem to have a bigger picture of the issues here (save one or two posters).

1. The immediate topic is the granting of a new trial for a man who did not get 'justice' in this first trial. That is the POV of many forum members who have followed this case--and for posters on a topic like this, who focus on intersection of the politics of firearms and the law, this is a favorable result.

2. There is a secondary discussion about the appropriate use of firearms in self defense, and a third / subset topic du jour is the use of firearms and dogs guarding, attacking, or whatever. Of the primary issue here, our armchair opinions and forum court is less sympathetic. For various reasons, we don't think much of Fish's self-defense actions--we don't approve of 'warning shots,' which opens up a whole new set of our personal reactions. A fair number of gunnies, well-experienced with dogs, certainly know shooting an 'attacking' dog is unnecessary. And, of course, many of us don't think highly of shooting an apparently-unarmed scumbag.

Since this is a gunny-type topic, all of us gunny enthusiasts can offer up our particular expertise (or that thereof) because we all have our orifices on this kind of subject.

I was probably one of those posters in the original thread a few years ago that expressed 'concern' about Fish's self-defense actions. I certainly became more sympathetic about them as the judicial actions ground out, particularly in light of the PA's 'anti-gunny' rhetoric.

Today, I also see Harold Fish not only as not having gotten 'justice'--but I am a bit more empathetic about the trying circumstances he was in. In sum, I have walked a bit more in his shoes, to quote a cliche, and I understand a bit better what he was dealing with.

All of us might consider my admonition here--put yourself in his shoes, and without your own particular expertise.

Jim H.

KyJim
July 1, 2009, 06:58 PM
Double Naught Spy said:
Don't blame the prosecution on using perfectly legit. information in evidence
I wasn't blaming the prosecution, just commenting that it was one of the few verified cases I knew where the actual gun caliber was used against the accused. The prosecutor is an advocate for the state, so long as he or she does so ethically.

Let me also add that, unless there was expert testimony on the subject, the defense attorney should have objected to the prosecutor's comments about a 10mm being a "killer" type caliber.

TexasRifleman
July 1, 2009, 07:00 PM
Bingo. I read an interview with one of the jurors and she said that the fact that he used hollow points really concerned her and was a major factor in her making her decision. If Fish's lawyer had done a better job squashing those ridiculous claims things might have turned out differently.

Fish hired an expert witness to testify about the gun type and the ammo used, as well as the training Fish would have received in getting his concealed permit.

The jury didn't care. As they say, sometimes you can't unring a bell and once that idea was planted facts no longer mattered.

Dr. Fresh
July 1, 2009, 07:19 PM
I can't fathom why some of you are saying he should not have fired. What was he supposed to do, holster his weapon and square off against the guy?

What happens when the crazed psychopath overpowers him and takes his weapon?

I will NEVER engage in a fistfight when I am armed. The consequences of losing are death.

Gryffydd
July 1, 2009, 07:21 PM
As they say, sometimes you can't unring a bell and once that idea was planted facts no longer mattered.
While this is no doubt true, I have to wonder about if a better job couldn't have been done. Maybe someone a bit more credible, maybe hitting the point hard enough to make it clear the prosecution is being dishonest by even making an issue out of it etc. What's sad is that it could have been (theoretically speaking) anything from an "expert" who stuttered a little or wasn't very attractive that caused the jurors to ignore his testimony.

Yo Mama
July 1, 2009, 07:22 PM
I will NEVER engage in a fistfight when I am armed.

Then you will have to prove disparity of force in your defense.

TexasRifleman
July 1, 2009, 07:25 PM
Then you will have to prove disparity of force in your defense.

That's not even remotely true.

Disparity of force is only one reason deadly force might be allowed, it is not the only one.

RobNDenver
July 1, 2009, 07:46 PM
http://www.shop.haroldfishdefensefund.org/main.sc

I am delighted that the Court of Appeals acted in equity and fairness in this case. I found the site for Harold Fish's Legal Defense Fund and kicked in a few dollars this afternoon. I hope that he is released on bail, and acquitted if the prosecution chooses to retry him.

.38 Special
July 1, 2009, 07:49 PM
I'm not going to guess about whether the verdict and/or retrial are appropriate, as I wasn't on the jury and don't have all the facts.

It does seem to me that the lesson of value here is that the gun really needs to be the last resort, because there's a very good chance that firing your gun in public is going to result in litigation, jail time, and financial ruin. We pay lip service to all that, but then turn right around and put up stuff like the recent "Dog chased my kid" thread where the OP seemed to be almost looking forward to the prospect of using his gun for self defense.

Grey54956
July 1, 2009, 10:30 PM
Okay, I'm no legal expert but I figured I might as well chime in with a few observations:

Assuming Fish's story is accurate, Kuenzli charged him, even though he was armed and had his weapon in play. Kuenzli threatened to attack, harm, and kill Fish. Who does this, other than an irrationally angry and dangerous individual.

Seriously. Would any reasonable, right-thinking person go on a rampage and throw themselves into harms way like this? I don't think so.

I've had a few pets, but if someone shot at them, I don't think I would be so moved as to immediately attack the shooter. I would be inclined to take cover first and evaluate the situation from a safe distance.

Either Fish's story diverges from the truth, or Kuenzli was a psychopathic monster and Fish was truly in extreme danger. If there is significant documented violent behavior in Kuenzli's past, then Fish was in all probability right in pulling the trigger.

Chester32141
July 2, 2009, 12:33 AM
If there is significant documented violent behavior in Kuenzli's past, then Fish was in all probability right in pulling the trigger.

From what I've read about the case there was significant documentation of violent behavior in Kuenzli's past that the jury was not allowed to see ... :uhoh:

Of course all his friends say he was simply a troubled angel ... :barf:

I'm pretty cheap but like RobNDenver I kicked in a couple bucks to his defense fund ... thanks for the link ... :cool:

Chester

george29
July 2, 2009, 12:53 AM
Now that Janet has moved to DC she has bigger Fish to fry. Get it?

cpaspr
July 2, 2009, 01:40 AM
There's one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet.

But first - Comments have been made saying he shouldn't have taken the warning shot. Why not? He wasn't warning Kuenzli, he was trying to scare the dogs off. Stop the threat with the least amount of force. And it worked - they both ran off. That shot should have been credited to him as a good thing. He used restraint to end a threat with the least amount of force. A stereotypical nutjob gun nut (as some like to think we all are) wouldn't have fired a warning shot to scare the dogs. He would have hosed them both.

Now. To the thing I haven't seen mentioned yet.

What kind of logical, rational person, charges toward a person holding a gun. A gun that is known to be loaded (remember-it just went bang), and not for show only.

From Mr. Fish's point of view, Kuenzli gave him no other choice. Kuenzli was bigger, younger, charging aggresively from an uphill position, and his aggresive dogs were still around somewhere close. He couldn't go left, right, up or down. That Kuenzli had the screwdriver, or his past history, are irrelevant to Fish. All he knows is that he's got a big, apparently crazy man flying down the hill at him threatening to kill him.

How many of us, in the same position with the same facts, would do otherwise?

Dr. Fresh
July 2, 2009, 04:26 AM
I certainly would.

I also agree with you on the warning shot. Dogs are about the only threat that can warrant one.

GregGry
July 2, 2009, 11:20 AM
If the dogs are considered deadly, and the owner does nothing to restrain them, is that not using a weapon? This answers the question of shooting the animals as being justified. The dogs are the threat, therefore you dispatch the dogs. Fish never made a statement along the lines of the man trying to use the dogs (as in giving them orders to attack) to hurt him. The dogs were loose, and they let after fish fired a shot. Again I have yet to see evidence that really proves the intent of the man he shot on using the dogs as weapons. There is a huge difference between intent and negligence.

So the man he shot was larger then fish and running at him saying he was going to kill him. Again the man could have thought fish killed his dogs or that he was shooting at him (thus he was enraged). A warning shot doesn't scream "Warning" to everyone around, a gunshot is a gun shot. Could the man that fish shot caused fish great bodily harm or death? The man was unarmed, the dogs weren't present, its questionable.

You can't shoot someone for not following directions, or just because they are getting close. You also can't shoot someone over something that might happen. Fish thought the dogs were going to come back to hurt him, and the man was going to hurt him as well. Those combined seem to try to paint a picture of a deadly force scenario. However there are many holes in the picture.

Why was he justified in shooting the man given his statements? Because the man was bigger, running towards him, shouting "I am going to kill you", and so on? Your going to need a lot more then that to justify the use of deadly force. Things like that happen every night at bar close. What makes his situation different?

Frank Ettin
July 2, 2009, 11:46 AM
....Why was he justified in shooting the man given his statements? Because the man was bigger, running towards him, shouting "I am going to kill you", and so on? Your going to need a lot more then that to justify the use of deadly force. Things like that happen every night at bar close. What makes his situation different?It's not up to you to decide, nor up to us. The court of appeals concluded that Mr. Fish was not properly able to present his case as to why he was justified in using lethal force because of errors made by the trial judge. So Mr. Fish gets another shot at it. Now whether or not he was justified will be up to a new jury and not you.

blackguns
July 2, 2009, 02:47 PM
You also can't shoot someone over something that might happen.

Many legitimate SD shootings are based on things that might happen. If a man is kicking in your door at 3 am screaming "I'm gonna kill you" do you have to wait until he is actually killing you to employ deadly force? Or is the notion that he "might" actually do it enough of a justification? Granted it needs to be a credible threat, but as several have stated, running towards an obviously armed man, who already has drawn and fired his firearm, screaming "I'm going to kill you" is sufficiently aggressive/unusual to meet the standards of a credible threat in my opinion. The unintended(not meant for Kuenzli) but obvious threat of deadly force (warning shot on the dogs) wasn't enough to deter the aggressive charge of Kuenzli. Kuenzli might not have known it was a warning shot but it was obvious that is was a SHOT. It was obvious that Fish, justifiably or not, was able to employ deadly force. Yet Kuenzli kept coming. What actions are left on the menu? You have escalated the situation to the brink of deadly force and still not deterred an apparent threat. Fish came to a moment where he had no good choices left. That argument is predicated on Fish's statements being true and being in fear of great bodily harm. Which we will never know for sure.

That might be the lesson here, actions taken to avoid the escalation are at least as important as actions taken to stop the threat.

Techniques for de-escalation should be as heavily debated and studied here as types of ammo.

I can see where this could be a murky case, but in cases of murk....the benefit of the doubt goes to the defendant. That is how the system is supposed to work.

Grey54956
July 2, 2009, 03:02 PM
I can see where this could be a murky case, but in cases of murk....the benefit of the doubt goes to the defendant. That is how the system is supposed to work.

Correct. There is significant evidence to show that Kuenzli was a potentially violent and dangerous person.

Since there were no witnesses to the event, the court should have attempted to determine whether Fish's description of the encounter makes sense. Documented evidence of the decedent's behavior suggests that Fish's story is plausible, given Kuenzli's tendency towards sudden anger, clenched fists, and uncontrolable outbursts. If the story is plausible, then any reasonable doubt should run in favor of the defendant.

Is it any different from a bouncer at night? I don't know. If someone threatens to kill and then attacks a bouncer, would he be justified in using extreme and potentially fatal force to stop the attack? I believe he would, but most bouncers are prohibited from carrying deadly weapons by their employer for reasons of liability. Additionally, bouncers work in locations where alcohol is served, which means in many states that concealed carry is not legal.

And regarding the type of ammunition used, Fish could have had a .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, or a 9 mm. All of these cartridges have been engineered to be lethal against man sized, if not larger, creatures. Seriously, 9 mm has been a staple military cartridge for a 100 years. If it wan't capable of stopping a human being, I don't think it would last so long. Lethal is lethal. I guess Fish could have carried a 870 with rifled slugs. Those aren't nearly as dangerous as a 10 mm.

riverdog
July 2, 2009, 03:22 PM
. . .Seriously, 9 mm has been a staple military cartridge for a 100 years. If it wasn't capable of stopping a human being, I don't think it would last so long. Lethal is lethal. I guess Fish could have carried a 870 with rifled slugs. Those aren't nearly as dangerous as a 10 mm.While I carry 9mm JHP as a woods walking gun, I do so with the understanding that my primary threat is people w/ felonious intent, not animals looking for lunch. That said, both the .44 Magnum and 870 w/ rifles slugs would be more dangerous than a 10mm. Am I reading that last line incorrectly?

george29
July 2, 2009, 04:55 PM
Fish made the one mistake one should never make, it should be a cardinal rule (carnal rule too), never talk to the po-lice without your attorney present. Except for, "Officer, my life was in immediate danger, I feel very ill right now, I request immediate medical assistance and I have nothing further to say without my attorney present, thank you." Sit down and wait for the ambulance. The way my metabolic system now works, I would probably be in deep shock, both physically and emotionally.

Gaiudo
July 2, 2009, 05:54 PM
I guess Fish could have carried a 870 with rifled slugs. Those aren't nearly as dangerous as a 10 mm.

Spoken tongue in cheek, apparently.

Deltaboy
July 2, 2009, 06:08 PM
Glad he got a new trail. The Key for me is that Fish should have shot the Dogs.

I would have!

krs
July 2, 2009, 08:28 PM
I am glad to hear that he'll have another trial.

I probably missed it, but was the actual distance between the dead guy and Fish when Fish fired his fatal shot established?

My first question when I first heard of this was "If he could fire one warning shot, why not two? Or if he had to kill the guy why didn't he also have to kill the dogs? Being attacked by dogs has been more stressful to me than any of the attacks by humans I've dealt with over the years - I KNEW that the dogs wanted to kill me but never believed that the people did.

I know the theorum that a warning shot is not a wise choice but I also know that dogs cover ground faster than humans do, generally. So if Fish had time and the presence of mind to fire his [successful] warning shot to dissuade two enraged dogs, did he not have time to do the same thing when approached by an enraged human?

If Fish did have sufficient remaining ammunition, had already demonstrated his calm in turning away the dogs, didn't he have even more time to decide what to do when the dog owner approached, given that the owner was coming from where the dogs had come?

Also, I think that a person given to rages could forget or not register the fact that a gun had been fired by the person he means to attack, people like that often need constant reminders (until they desist). Another warning shot might well have woke the guy from his blind rage, IMO.

The poor guy will be retried and might end up right where he is tonight.

SHOOT1SAM
July 2, 2009, 10:10 PM
krs: I probably missed it, but was the actual distance between the dead guy and Fish when Fish fired his fatal shot established?

It is my understanding that the guy was almost on top of him, or at least within spittin' distance.

My first question when I first heard of this was "If he could fire one warning shot, why not two? Or if he had to kill the guy why didn't he also have to kill the dogs?

Because the dogs it seems, had enough sense to understand the danger they were in, from the gunshot that was fired.


Being attacked by dogs has been more stressful to me than any of the attacks by humans I've dealt with over the years -I KNEW that the dogs wanted to kill me but never believed that the people did. (italics, mine)

I'm sure the vast majority of those murdered, never thought their killer was actually going to kill them either, until it was too late.


I know the theorum that a warning shot is not a wise choice but I also know that dogs cover ground faster than humans do, generally. So if Fish had time and the presence of mind to fire his [successful] warning shot to dissuade two enraged dogs, did he not have time to do the same thing when approached by an enraged human?.............Also, I think that a person given to rages could forget or not register the fact that a gun had been fired by the person he means to attack, people like that often need constant reminders (until they desist). Another warning shot might well have woke the guy from his blind rage, IMO.

Not to belabor the point that has been stressed in several posts, but, if one warning shot did not dissuade the attacker, regardless that it was fired to stop the threat of the dogs, would any reasonable person think that two warning shots would be more effective? How about three? How about firing warning shots until Fish was out of ammunition and Kuenzli was finally on top of him, with a full head of steam, running downhill, and swinging his fists, pummelling Fish to death?

Sam

Frank Ettin
July 2, 2009, 10:33 PM
I probably missed it, but was the actual distance between the dead guy and Fish when Fish fired his fatal shot established?...According to Fish's appeal brief (http://www.haroldfishdefense.org/hfappeal.htm ) Fish testified that he "...waited until the last possible instant before firing and shot Kuenzli just a few feet short of a physical encounter..." and that he estimated the distance as 5 to 8 feet when he shot. The brief also states that, "The state’s firearms expert, ... was unable to refute Fish’s account of the shooting, including the fact that Kuenzli was 5-8 feet away. [R.T. 5/02/06 , 202-203]. Haag also testified that the number of bullets in the gun, the bullet found at the scene, the placement of the ejected casings, the angle of the entry wounds were all consistent with Fish’s account. [R.T. 5/02/06 , 219; 222-223; 235] ..."

So it appears from the evidence that Fish's assailant was 5 to 8 feet away from Fish when Fish shot.

cassandrasdaddy
July 2, 2009, 10:57 PM
the guy fish shot was a nut with violent tendencies. trying to apply logical thought processes to his actions is a mistake. had the jury known what we know about him fish would not have been convicted. though i did hear one of the jurors try to rattionalize it with "fish didn't know about the guys violent past either" both he and the reporter missed the reality that in mr fish's case it wasn't his violent past it was a violent present. most folks have zero experience dealing with nuts

RDak
July 3, 2009, 06:15 AM
So what would you have done GregGry?

Fight the wacko and maybe have him get your gun?

Also, what makes it different than in a bar is he wasn't in a bar. He was outside, alone, with agressive attacking dogs and a man who was clearly threatening him with bodily harm.

This appears to be quite different than an altercation in a bar IMHO.

Grey54956
July 3, 2009, 11:55 AM
Also, I think that a person given to rages could forget or not register the fact that a gun had been fired by the person he means to attack, people like that often need constant reminders (until they desist). Another warning shot might well have woke the guy from his blind rage, IMO.

Why should irrational, crazy man be given special treatment? Irrational, crazy man is the reason that some folks carry guns in the first place.

It makes no difference that Fish did not know about Kuenzli's violent past. At the time of the shooting, Fish was in immediate danger from an apparently irrational lunatic. Kuenzli's past behavior should only matter in that it shows that Fish's story is plausible, and that there is reasonable doubt that Fish had merely shot Kuenzli out of murderous intent.

The probability of Fish randomly having an altercation with Kuenzli is small. Given that the two had no prior knowledge of each other, the probability of Fish fabricating a story where Kuenzli's behavior matches his actual, documented history is even more remote. Strange things do happen from time to time, but in my mind, probability seems to favor that Fish's account could be fairly accurate.

Now, if Fish had run into someone with no prior history of violence, psychiatric care or medication, with a couple of teacup poodles, I think I would see things differently.

"Honest, Mother Theresa's dogs were crazy, then she comes running down the trail with arms flailin' screamin' that she's gonna kill me! What choice did I have?" I just don't see it... :scrutiny:

Dodger02WS6
July 4, 2009, 10:05 PM
Dogs being a threat to his life is one thing. However they ran off after he fired a shot. They were no longer present when he chose to kill the person he did. Even if a jury is instructed to accept the dogs as a insturment of deadly force in fishes case, they are out of the picture after the "warning shot" so I fail to see how this will affect his case. I don't recall him saying something that amounted to him seeing the dogs were going to come back, they were off somewhere.

Just like if there is a armed robber that comes out of a place that your standing outside of. They drop their gun and say don't shoot me as they see you go for yours. You shoot and kill the person when they have their hands up and are obviously unarmed. Your green light for deadly force just went away, thus you are no longer justified in using deadly force.

Could Fish have shot the dogs? I believe so. Could he have shot the man he did? Based on the evidence I see the man he shot was running towards him shouting things, possibly even tried to punch him. It takes a lot more then that to justify killing someone, otherwise bouncers at bars could justify killing 10+ people every night when drunks try to take a swing at them and shout things like I am going to kill you.
I almost feel sorry for you, in Ohio it is perfectly legal to use deadly force to defend your life or another life even if the aggressor is unarmed. I think what you fail to realize is that even an unarmed person can be dangerous, thankfully this State does realize that fact.

TCB in TN
July 6, 2009, 12:54 AM
People who keep harping on the un-armed part have obviously never been in a real fight! Un-armed folks can seriously hurt or kill you, believe it or not. Have personally seen some serious damage done and I think it show a real lack of understanding of what one human can do to another with just the bare hands.

ants
July 6, 2009, 01:23 AM
Unfortunately, many state laws (like my own state) specifically do not recognize battery with the hands as eminent jeopardy. Like it or not, state law is the standard by which you will be judged afterward.

On a state by state basis, you have to know your laws well in order to make fast judgements regarding the use of deadly force in self defense. One generally has no time to think, so you must be prepared to make immediate judgements. Education on the law is an extremely important part of your training.

Do your best to keep out of trouble whenever possible. Fish didn't look for trouble, he was just walking along a trail. Then trouble happened, and he made a judgement. It got him into hot water. Thank goodness he's getting another chance. It should be a valuable lesson to us all.

BHP FAN
July 6, 2009, 10:25 AM
Woot hoot! Maybe,just...maybe there is still justice in the ''Colonies'' ,after all?I was afraid we'd gone the way of our ally across the waves,where a fellow defending himself almost automatically goes to jail?

mljdeckard
July 6, 2009, 04:46 PM
There is no guarantee of any kind that one shot from a 10mm, or any other gun will stop him. My advice to Fish, as well as anyone else who carries a gun for self-defense, is to fire until the threat is stopped, the target disappears from view, or you run out of ammunition, whichever comes first.

This is exactly why this case is so important. When courts allow juries to focus on HOW self-defense is used, rather than WHY it is used, it is a threat to all people who take their safety seriously.

Gryffydd
July 6, 2009, 05:14 PM
Good grief, a single 10mm is going to stop him.
How do you know?
fire until the threat is stopped, the target disappears from view, or you run out of ammunition, whichever comes first.
This is taught by just about everyone for a reason.

ArfinGreebly
July 6, 2009, 05:48 PM
Glockweiler, dude, you're trolling. I would suggest shifting to a fact-finding mode rather than an assertion-based mode.

Adrenaline is a wonderful and powerful thing.

It overrides the body's shock responses. An enraged (or even drugged out) assailant can absorb an amazing amount of damage and still kill you.

The assailant, in the Harold Fish case, was enraged, at contact distance, and flailing violently.

Yes, a single 10mm round might have killed his assailant, but quite possibly not in time to have prevented Fish from being killed himself.

Do a little research. I believe you'll find examples of men shot multiple times and living through the experience. And shot with things like .45 ACP.

To assume that a single hole through a body amped up on adrenaline will cause an immediate stop is folly.

TexasRifleman
July 6, 2009, 05:48 PM
Oh brother. It's a PERSON not a pit bull. Yes there is a guarantee that a 10mm will stop an unarmed angry person. Give me a break.

Uhhh.... Still no.

There is no small arm ammo made that has a 100% guaranteed one shot stop.

If there was, every LE agency in the world would be carrying it.

Robert
July 6, 2009, 07:59 PM
Yes there is a guarantee that a 10mm will stop an unarmed angry person.
I have seen video of a deputy sheriff being killed by an assailant that he shot multiple times in the stomach, chest, thighs and arms, all because the young man did not relay on his training and fire until the threat was gone. It was heart wrenching to watch this young man loose his life on the dash board cam tape. Granted the man that killed him was armed as well but if your premise was anywhere near the truth than the first round that the deputy put in his chest should have brought him down. I would love to see your ability to put a round center mass while jacked up on adrenaline, fear for you life and the other mix of emotion one feels in a life or death situation. It is not nearly as easy as one thinks.

carebear
July 6, 2009, 08:18 PM
Not to appeal to authority, but if every top trainer in the US and every agency in the US that actually uses their weapons (that I'm aware of) has discarded "shoot once and assess" as the recommended and/or approved method based on experience and study, it seems a bit arrogant to contest that without providing some bonafides and statistical evidence in support.

Gryffydd
July 6, 2009, 08:19 PM
Wow...now you see the troll...now you don't! :D This thread just got a whole lot less crazy.

It'll be interesting to see how many of the ridiculous technical arguments they'll bring up a second time (JHPs, 10mm being "Hi-Powered") etc. Obviously there will be more material regarding Kuenzli, but I wonder if the prosecution will change its mode of attack at all.

Norinco982lover
July 8, 2009, 10:42 AM
Is there a date for the new trial yet?

Personal opinion: Fish acted properly.

Question: Did Fish say he fired a warning shot? Or did he just miss his shot on a moving target and it turned into a warning shot?

It tears me up inside to think of this man rotting away in prison...when I put myself in his shoes I can only come to the conclusion that I would have taken the same course of action in defending my life against someone bigger than me running straight at me yelling "I am going to kill you." This is not a normal reaction for someone to have when somebody scares their dogs away.

~Norinco

Chester32141
July 8, 2009, 11:11 AM
Web Site for Harold Fish's Defense Fund ...

http://www.shop.haroldfishdefensefund.org/main.sc

I generally only contribute to veteran groups, but I kicked in a few bucks for Fish's Defense Fund and found it easy to do and felt like it was a reputable site for a good cause ... :)

Chester

cassandrasdaddy
July 8, 2009, 03:00 PM
when I put myself in his shoes I can only come to the conclusion that I would have taken the same course of action in defending my life against someone bigger than me running straight at me yelling "I am going to kill you.


qft

Dave Workman
July 9, 2009, 08:38 AM
You may all want to check out this associated thread:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=461085

Lou McGopher
July 9, 2009, 01:29 PM
People who keep harping on the un-armed part have obviously never been in a real fight! Un-armed folks can seriously hurt or kill you, believe it or not. Have personally seen some serious damage done and I think it show a real lack of understanding of what one human can do to another with just the bare hands.

Agreed.

If an agitated/angry adult is charging you while screaming that he/she is going to kill you, and you're not Bruce Lee, or wearing full body armor, it's probably best to assume that person has both the intent and capability to kill you. They may be able to kill or seriously injure you with just their fists, feet, knees, elbows, etc., or they may be carrying a weapon they intend to pull out and use on you.

People ought to expect to be taken seriously when they threaten to kill someone.

Gryffydd
July 9, 2009, 02:14 PM
it's probably best to assume that person has both the intent and capability to kill you.
There have been plenty of people killed by one punch to the head. It's not even like you have to endure a protracted whooping session in order to be concerned for your safety.

ArfinGreebly
December 3, 2009, 09:03 PM
Story here:

http://www.azdailysun.com/articles/2009/12/02/news/local/20091202_local_208564.txt

The Arizona Supreme Court Tuesday declined a request by Attorney General Terry Goddard to review the state appellate court's overturning of Fish's conviction. "He's now a free man," said Fish's Flagstaff-based attorney Lee Phillips. "He's no longer convicted of an offense, and justice has prevailed."


Oh, yes, and Arizona has fixed their burden-of-proof requirement for self defense.

Harold will have a much better Christmas this year than last.

Ryder
December 6, 2009, 08:00 PM
I am glad to hear this news. Thanks for the info Mr. Greebly.

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