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Homeowner fatally shoots robbery suspect; one still at large • Littleton, CO

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posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

The moment the thieves fled the immediate danger to the homeowner was finished. Under Colorado law their version of the castle doctrine only applies inside the home and not outside.


Jury nullification is not an option, contrary to the wishful thinking of some.

Should he be prosecuted? No.
Should the law be rewritten? yup.

The question one must ask -

If this scenario played out and instead of hitting the thief his shot missed and killed a 6 year old in a neighbors yard what would be the impact? Its one of the reasons people should not pursue / continue to engage if the threat is no longer a threat.
edit on 27-1-2016 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 09:38 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Yes, reckless endangerment is what we want to avoid.

I am approaching this rather clinically so I am curious as to what the actual upper and lower limits are to legal self defense.

As I was asking a little earlier, hypothetically, if the two intruders were leaving but still inside the house, would he be considered a murderer?

In response to such a charge I would say that he fired at his assailants not knowing whether they were going to come back.

If that defense withstands scrutiny, why wouldn't it extend to his front lawn or even the street?
edit on 27-1-2016 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

Castle doctrine takes the gloves off inside a residence. The thought process is a mans home is his castle (or her) and violating that forfeits any legal protections afforded to a person violating it. As long as they are still inside the residence, regardless of their actions, the homeowner is covered (as I understand Colorado law).

18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.


(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.

(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.

(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.


Wikipedia -

"...any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant."


The way the law reads the homeowner must believe the intruder is going to use force - any force.

The perception of using force is up to the homeowner. The homeowner would also be immune to criminal and or civil actions against them. The law says nothing about outside the residence. The other thing to note is the use of the phrase "reasonable belief" which is the civilian standard for justification.

IE - If a person were in the exact same position as this homeowner would they reasonably believe the fleeing suspects presented an immediate threat to the homeowner.

Instead of relying on a specific definition it uses the "what the homeowner perceived" when force was used.
edit on 27-1-2016 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 10:14 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

So, you are saying that shooting the two intruders in the back as they left would be legal inside the house but illegal as their feet landed on the front stairs.

I do understand the statutes so I am drilling down to the details to establish that the definition of these boundaries are unclear at best.

Unless you are willing to say that one may not fire at a fleeing attacker under any circumstances, the underlying self defense argument, being much stronger, does not appear to require them.

It's a pickle for sure but, my aim is to clarify if and when people may legally defend themselves and if and when they may not.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 10:32 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

The way the statute reads the moment they unlawfully enter a residence the castle doctrine applies. If they are killed inside the residence the homeowner must have reason to believe force would be used on the legal occupants of the residence. The wording - any force - is key.

It does not require the intruder to use a certain level of force before the homeowner can act. The homeowner must reasonably believe any force will be used - which I would say includes verbal threats. Illegally entering a residence can be viewed as a threat and by extension a continued use of force as they encounter people.

The law is purposely "vague" by placing the justification on the person using force inside the residence and then judging the use of force by what the person perceived and not 20/20 hindsight.

Just because 2 intruders are running towards the front door does not automatically mean they are fleeing. They could be going for another weapon they brought in and left near the door, they could be trying to let more people into the residence, they could be trying to block an exit to force people to capitulate...

The actions / intent of the criminals is defined by the person using force.


The moment intruders exit the residence the castle doctrine no longer applies and the states self defense laws kick in. Even then we need to consider Colorado as being a duty to retreat state or no duty to retreat. Based on him being charged while they fled I would say they must be presenting any imminent danger to him or the public at large to justify his actions.

The goal is to allow people to defend themselves and third parties while preventing a situation where mob mentality / vigilante overtakes the law.
edit on 27-1-2016 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 10:35 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp

So, two men enter his house and tie him up. He frees himself and pursues firing at the fleeing gentlemen.


Gentlemen?

You mean Criminals.

There, now I feel better knowing there's one less criminal on the streets.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 10:39 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

That's my understanding as well.

So, pardon the sarcasm but, that means that they could have been going to Walmart to buy better guns to return later so pursuing them outdoors could be justified under the right circumstances.

That means that the castle doctrine and self defense are distinctly separate modes of action according to the law.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 10:40 PM
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originally posted by: SLAYER69

originally posted by: greencmp

So, two men enter his house and tie him up. He frees himself and pursues firing at the fleeing gentlemen.


Gentlemen?

You mean Criminals.

There, now I feel better knowing there's one less criminal on the streets.





posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 10:58 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

Its been my experience that castle doctrine and self defense laws are separate. Castle doctrine applies to your residence (and in my state your automobile as well). Outside your residence the self defense laws will apply.

The use of force requirement for castle doctrine is less than the use of force requirements for self defense outside the home. The castle doctrine views an intruder as, essentially, meeting all requirements for a homeowner to use deadly force. It views the action as violating a last defense, the home, and that violation is egregious enough to put the cards in favor of the lawful resident.

Outside you come into the situation of people taking action in a public space, where people have a right to be. Hence the stricter requirements when justifying self defense, and the reason those laws are more defined and spell out use of force. Usually a person must be presented with a situation where serious physical injury or death can occur to justify a person taking action. Even then once the force / threat has diminished the person must reduce their level of force in comparison.

If someone punches you they committed assault. If you fight back you are defending yourself. If you knock the attacker out and continue beating him you would most likely not be covered under self defense and could be charged with assault yourself.

Self defense laws allow a person to defend themselves / others but prohibits the person from also being judge and jury. The law allows defense to the point the threat is passed.

As for your walmart comment the way the law reads the homeowner must justify his action based on a fear of force. If the homeowner felt that way then there ya go. The PA reviews all use of force cases and they may feel differently but there are very few situations im aware of where a person has been charged for defending themselves in their own homes against intruders.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 11:08 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Suffice it to say that the defendant in question here ought to express his sincere fear that the two bruisers would return. That should do it for his case.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 11:11 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

Except he engaged them outside his residence, where castle doctrine does not apply. He would have to articulate how the suspects presented an imminent danger to himself or others while running away from him.

Sent you a pm.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Yes, he would need to have overheard them say they were "getting the working gun from the car" or some such comment.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 11:24 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: Xcathdra

Yes, he would need to have overheard them say they were "getting the working gun from the car" or some such comment.


Even then I don't think that would meet the requirements... Ya never know with PA's though.



posted on Jan, 28 2016 @ 02:26 AM
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My guess is he will be charged. My opinion is he should get a medal.



posted on Jan, 28 2016 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: OccamsRazor04

He certainly should get a medal though, I am hoping for a little bigger reward.

If this case can crack the statutory limitations on self defense and set a precedent either through winning a defense case or by forcing a jury nullification, we may then proceed to make the broader case for the use of deadly force outside of the home. We want to be able to shoot "the giggler".

It isn't that I have a bloodlust but, I do know that the one thing that discourages criminals is death. Laws that protect criminals from law abiding citizens are not constructive.



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