Female student trespasser shot...


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majortoo
May 26, 2012, 10:39 PM
New breaking story: It seems that a young female student in Colorado was trespassing in a millionaire's home, where he shot her. Initial reports indicate that she was intoxicated. It also appears that if and when she recovers, she will be prosecuted for trespass. I am just guessing, but I will bet that the press will have great fun with this one. She was a pretty, blonde Caucasian. I don't know the laws in Colorado, but if that happened here in Virginia, then the homeowner would be well advised to get himself a really good lawyer.

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Prince Yamato
May 26, 2012, 10:45 PM
http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/321435/28/Zoey-Ripple-shot-after-wandering-into-random-home

Here's a notion: don't get drunk and walk into a random stranger's house and then proceed to their bedroom. Also, do not walk towards the sleeping couple in a silent and ominous appearing manner.

armoredman
May 26, 2012, 11:35 PM
She's lucky to be alive.

Deltaboy
May 26, 2012, 11:47 PM
Dumb College Kid ! Good thing she is still alive.

cyclopsshooter
May 27, 2012, 12:14 AM
deleted

EmGeeGeorge
May 27, 2012, 12:25 AM
Who is gonna be the first to print up some drunken college-girl burglar targets?

JohnKSa
May 27, 2012, 12:30 AM
Lessons:

1. Lock your doors at night.

2. Don't get wasted and then wander around after dark.

In TX there would be very little chance of the homeowner being charged given that illegally entering an occupied dwelling creates the presumption that the homeowner's use of deadly force is justified.

Wandering into a stranger's house at 3:30AM is very dangerous.

Tony_the_tiger
May 27, 2012, 12:40 AM
If I was the girl I would take this as a hard life lesson to learn from.

If I was the homeowner I would drop the charges, although it may be the state that needs to do that. Still...

Time to lock the doors.

jmace57
May 27, 2012, 12:53 AM
Happened a few years ago by me, but a drunk male college student. He kicked down the door and owner shot (and killed) him.

JohnKSa
May 27, 2012, 04:50 AM
If I was the homeowner I would drop the charges...I'm not sure that would be a good idea. I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect that having a criminal judgement against her that is related to the case may reduce the chances of her filing or prevailing in a civil suit against the homeowner.

Maybe one of the lawyers here will weigh in.

Rmeju
May 27, 2012, 05:05 AM
^^I would certainly get her to sign a civil release before I offered her any help on the criminal side.

That said, I'm not sure where the common sense is here. It seems pretty clear she was wasted. I have no idea what she thought she was doing, but at .24 BAC, maybe there wasn't a whole lot of thought about it in the first place. Should she have been there? No, certainly not. But felony trespass for a drunk 21 year old college student? Come on.

Nauga
May 27, 2012, 06:14 AM
1. she wasn't a student.
2. Not everybody who lives in Boulder is a millionaire.
<deleted>

Snowdog
May 27, 2012, 07:00 AM
I'm not sure that would be a good idea. I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect that having a criminal judgement against her that is related to the case may reduce the chances of her filing or prevailing in a civil suit against the homeowner.

That was my take on it as well.

PBR Streetgang
May 27, 2012, 08:57 AM
"I'm not sure that would be a good idea. I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect that having a criminal judgement against her that is related to the case may reduce the chances of her filing or prevailing in a civil suit against the homeowner."


Not a lawyer,but retired LEO that spent time working for a high speed transit facility. In all our cases where people that were trespassing in the track area got struck by the train ,we charged them with criminal trespass to limit their ability to sue the transit agency. CYA

beatledog7
May 27, 2012, 08:59 AM
1. she wasn't a student.
2. Not everybody who lives in Boulder is a millionaire.
<deleted>

So, not only do you have the facts the officials and reporters have missed, you also know this husband and are certain he would have responded differently if he had been alone in the house?

You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but honestly, you come across as anything but informed.

Back to the topic. First, I'm glad the young girl will apparently be alright. She's lucky the homeowner either didn't get a clear shot or just isn't a very good shot. If she had stumbled into the home of someone whose aim was better, she'd likely be dead.

Second, the charges should not be dropped; the trespasser should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I'm not familiar with how the self-defense aspect plays for a typical Colorado jury, but it surely can't be a good idea to be the shooter of someone against whom there are no criminal charges. He needs a lawyer, no doubt.

Finally, the story says the girl had been partying. Where were her friends? Why did she get the opportunity to go stumbling off drunk? Seems to me there is some culpability among the rest of the partiers.

dusty14u
May 27, 2012, 08:59 AM
I don't know the laws in Colorado, but if that happened here in Virginia, then the homeowner would be well advised to get himself a really good lawyer.

Really? I just moved from Virginia after living there for 35 yrs and I can't think of one time where a homeowner was charged after shooting an intruder. In fact the opposite. I can think of at least 5 shootings in the Hampton Roads area in the last few years where no charges were pressed and some were pretty shakey. In one circumstance a man recovering from surgury in Suffolk of Portsmouth fired out of a window at a man who was stealing a dog box from his yard and he hit his target and was never charged.

I feel sorry for the young lady but it looks like she will live to see another day and hopefully this will alert her to the dangers of being drunk and the bad decisions that are made.

PBR Streetgang
May 27, 2012, 09:05 AM
I'm trying to remember which states have elevated charges for this,but I know some states spell out and have higher charges for criminal trespass in a occupied dwelling at night............

HankB
May 27, 2012, 09:23 AM
Does Colorado have a "Castle Doctrine" type law as many other states do?

Note to self: Continue habit of keeping doors locked.

highlander 5
May 27, 2012, 09:34 AM
BAC level of .24,I'm amazed she was able to breath let alone walk.

BoilerUP
May 27, 2012, 09:39 AM
Finally, the story says the girl had been partying. Where were her friends? Why did she get the opportunity to go stumbling off drunk? Seems to me there is some culpability among the rest of the partiers.

So this young woman trespassing and getting herself shot is somehow the fault of her friends???

That'd be a great way to further the concept of personal responsibility...

PBR Streetgang
May 27, 2012, 09:40 AM
BAC level of .24,I'm amazed she was able to breath let alone walk.



I've seen functional alcoholics driving(and not hitting things) at a bit over .40 BAC

X-Rap
May 27, 2012, 09:41 AM
Colorado has the famous "Make My Day Law" and if the shooting is justified which it should be, the home owners are protected from civil judgements.

25cschaefer
May 27, 2012, 09:49 AM
Colorado has the Castle Doctrine (which extends to businesses, owners and employees)but no Stand Your Ground.

The owner can not be charged for shooting her in the state of Colorado, no matter how pretty, white, or stupid she was.

Serenity
May 27, 2012, 11:47 AM
This is a request for opinions. I read this story to hubby and his response to my musing out loud "why would someone use a gun as their first line of home defense?" was that they wanted to shoot someone. I really couldn't refute that. Other possibilities are laziness or absentmindedness, neither of which serve as good advertisement for gun owners.

Am I missing something? The response on here has been a sort of off-hand "this is why I lock my door" but this really bothers me. Now this homeowner will have to deal with a huge expensive legal and social hassle that could have been avoided if he had locked his door. Does having No duty to retreat extend to having no duty to exercise a little judgement to avoid shootings?

[bangs head on keyboard for reading story to non-gun-enthusiast husband]

DammitBoy
May 27, 2012, 12:05 PM
If the girl had been exercising any kind of judgement, she wouldn't have ended up shot. The homeowner did nothing wrong. Laying blame at the homeowners feet is just plain stupidity.

Next, you'll be telling us girls shouldn't wear short dresses because that behavior invites rapes. Locking or not locking my front door is not an invitation to trespass.

Rodentman
May 27, 2012, 12:15 PM
My adult sons no longer live with me. They are welcome to come here at any time under any condition. We have code words they are instructed to use if there is some need to come into my house when I am not expecting them.

Deanimator
May 27, 2012, 12:18 PM
Happened a few years ago by me, but a drunk male college student. He kicked down the door and owner shot (and killed) him.
Was that the Scottish guy in Houston who bailed from a cab, jumped a fence and kicked in some guy's back door?

I remember that case from the '90s. It was heavily discussed in usenet talk.politics.guns, where several Brits were utterly outraged at the idea that in Texas you couldn't just go around kicking in people's doors in the middle of the night without fear of getting shot.

My response was:

If that's how alcohol affects you, you should stop drinking.
If you can't stop drinking on your own, get help.
If you can't stop drinking on your own, and won't get help, get shot.


The "ban sharp kitchen knives" crowd didn't care for that AT ALL. I didn't much care.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Serenity
May 27, 2012, 01:05 PM
I'm not talking about a duty to the intruder: I'm talking about a duty to myself and my family to avoid being in a shooting scenario at all. I'm not talking legal/illegal or right/wrong. I'm talking sensible/foolish.

Wouldn't it be much more simple to lock a door (sensible) than spend a lot of time and money dealing with the justice/civil/media aftermath (foolish)? I feel that as a gun owner I have a duty to myself AND my family not to be involved in a shooting if it is avoidable.

I'm not disputing whether it is right or wrong, or legal or illegal. I'm not placing blame on the home-owner: he was the victim of a home invasion. I'm not excusing the girl: people should drink responsibly. But don't we have a duty to ourselves and our families to avoid situations that end in shootings, if it is possible? Leaving a door unlocked is not avoidance.

floorit76
May 27, 2012, 01:14 PM
I live in the middle of nowhere, crime is virtually non-existant. Noone around here locks a door when they are gone, let alone home in bed. Am I insuficiently "avoiding a threat"? Last year somone broke into a bunch of cars in the town up the road. None of them had doors locked. Somebody called in to the local paper and said that anyone dumb enough to not lock their stuff "Deserved" to be robbed. Lets just say that sentiment was not well recieved.

Serenity
May 27, 2012, 01:15 PM
Oh for pete's sake I'm not saying anyone deserved it. I give up.

Wanderling
May 27, 2012, 01:25 PM
It's not always cut and dry. I think people tend to jump to conclusions. Just because something is legal it's not always morally right. The devil is in details which we don't always know.

E.g.: the owner is sound asleep in the middle of the night. He feels / hears a stranger's presence in the bedroom. In panic, he pulls a gun and shoots. That's one thing, and something that, while unfortunate, is definitely not his fault.

The other way it could go down is this: the owner wakes up to the stranger walking in the bedroom. He pulls a gun, turns the light on and yells "Hey *** you want !" He sees that girl standing there completely wasted. He could've easily overpowered her & called the police, instead he shoots her because, hey, it's his right under the law, and when would he get such an opportunity again ?

Nauga
May 27, 2012, 01:29 PM
Colorado certainly does have a Stand Your Ground law. Case law from 1897 has affirmed a Coloradan's right to stand his or her ground, and in some instances chase the offender down. In fact, even if you are the initial aggressor, if you disengage, but the other party continues the fight, you have the right to stand your ground.

M2
May 27, 2012, 01:34 PM
There is no legal requirement to lock your doors.

Take a look at bait cars as a comparison, just because a car is parked with the keys in the ignition is no justification to steal it.

But it is against the law to enter a domicile uninvited. She did so, was told to leave and failed to comply, and presented a threat to the occupants by approaching them after several warnings.

Considering the time of night, not being able to fully determine what the intruder's intentions were, and the clear threat I don't see how the homeowner was in the wrong for defending himself and his wife.

The young lady is lucky, but should have charges filed as she did criminally trespass. Perhaps it will be a wake-up call for her to get some help for her obvious alcohol problem...

beatledog7
May 27, 2012, 01:42 PM
Serenity:

We all have a duty to avoid using a firearm if there is any other possible way to head off possibly lethal danger to ourselves or those in our company. But once an intruder is in a private home without invitation--regardless of how that intruder gained entry--and fails to respond to calls to stop, the onus is now on that intruder.

I agree that we live in a time when, especially if we have guns in the house, we need to keep our homes secure. We don't know if this homeowner habitually leaves that door unlocked or if it was an oversight on the evening in question. However, to say that the homeowner bears partial responsibility for an intrusion because a door was left unlocked is the same as saying a lady in a short skirt has it coming or a man in an expensive suit is asking for a mugging.

Intrusion into an unlocked house is still intrusion, and it's the intruder who's wrong.

Serenity
May 27, 2012, 01:56 PM
It might not be wrong, but it isn't smart, and we're all about smart gun ownership here, yes?

I need to get off the interwebz. I'm crabby because I didn't get to go to the steel match I had planned today, and too thin skinned.

Loosedhorse
May 27, 2012, 02:26 PM
From the story:"She walked into our bedroom, and we told her, we were looking at her, she kept coming in the bedroom and we shot her," said the caller.

JohnKSa
May 27, 2012, 02:32 PM
Locking or not locking my front door is not an invitation to trespass.No argument there.

On the other hand, if locking my front door keeps me from having to deal with a drunk trespasser walking into my bedroom at 3:30AM, it's a "sacrifice" I'm willing to make. Especially since it costs me exactly nothing...

I'm not saying that the homeowner is in any way responsible for what happened. The responsibility lies on the trespasser. What I am saying is that locks are a convenient and generally pretty effective way to prevent drunken strangers from wandering into your bedroom in the middle of the night.

Fotno
May 27, 2012, 02:57 PM
No argument there.

On the other hand, if locking my front door keeps me from having to deal with a drunk trespasser walking into my bedroom at 3:30AM, it's a "sacrifice" I'm willing to make. Especially since it costs me exactly nothing...


Very true. Not to mention that a busted lock or broken window helps establish intent on the intruder's part, and is additional evidence in the homeowner's favor should criminal or civil action be taken.

I always lock my doors.

Tony_the_tiger
May 27, 2012, 03:13 PM
Locking a door is a sound violence prevention technique and much more convenient and preferred than having to use a firearm in self defense.

Sam1911
May 27, 2012, 04:42 PM
Wow...this one went over the edge in a hurry! (Multiple deletions made.)

Spend much time here and you'll notice that we devote a whole lot of time to preaching layered security, situational awareness, and avoidance at ALMOST all costs of any bloodshed. We'll tell you that killing someone is the absolute second WORST outcome of any violent encounter -- with only the result of you and/or yours being shot, assaulted, and/or killed yourself being a more negative end.

This was a gross failure on the part of a person who let herself get out of her mind in public and won the "stupid prize" that such "stupid games" often reward.

This was also a gross failure on the part of the homeowner(s) who now have to live with all the various repercussions of having shot another person (blood, screams, terror, police, EMTs, investigators, press, in their own home no less -- as well as potential legal and relational and psychological unpleasantness that can result). And as unpleasant as that all will be, it could have been FAR, FAR worse. If a blitzed young woman could mistakenly get to them, how about a determined violent robber or even process predator?

Rights ... responsibilities ... repercussions. All different concepts and all interrelated.

The laws which define when the guilt for assault with a deadly weapon may be set aside because the standard of proof for a self-defense claim has been met, vary from state to state. So far, it appears the local police and District Attorney are accepting that this situation put the couple in realistic and reasonable fear for their lives -- as informed by Colorado's "castle doctrine"-type laws.

As none of us were there, and none of us saw what exactly happened, we're going to have to take the local authorities' word that the standards were appropriately met.

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