Archive for February, 2007

February 28, 2007

Kingsport, Tennessee

From the Kingsport Times-News of February 28, 2007

Kingsport man stabbed during home invasion, fires two shots at intruders

A Kingsport man fired two shots at men who invaded his home early today, but he was stabbed twice during the incident.

The incident happened around 5:05 a.m. at 2333 1/2 Ashwood Street, according to a police detective. (CLICK HERE for map.

KPD Det. Greg Lane said Frank Johnson, 25, reported he heard noise outside his home and someone knocking on his door.

“He went to the door with a pistol in his hand. As soon as he opened the door, an unknown black male rushed in and attacked him,” Lane said.

A second unidentified black male entered the residence and stabbed Johnson in the left side and arm, Lane said.

Johnson fired his gun and the two men ran out of the house.

He went to the door and fired another shot and the men continued to run away, Lane said.

Police don’t know what the suspects motive might have been, but at this point the case is being investigated as an aggravated assault.

Lane said Johnson was being treated at Holston Valley Medical Center for his wounds, which were non life threatening.


February 28, 2007

Frisco, Texas

From Lufkin’s of February 28, 2007

Frisco: woman fights off gunman, attacker wounded

Frisco police say a suspected carjacker is hospitalized in critical condition today after a 60-year-old woman fought him off.

Police say the attacker was shot with his own gun during an overnight struggle with the woman in the parking lot of her apartment complex.

The woman refused to give up her car keys, they scuffled and the 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen.

He then took back the gun and ran away, but was later found near the crime scene.

Names of the woman and the suspect weren’t immediately released.

February 28, 2007

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

From Lancaster’s of February 27, 2007

Homeowner Shoots Burglar, Learns Later It Was Grandson, Police Say

A homeowner awakened early Tuesday morning by a burglar confronted the intruder and shot him, according to East Pennsboro Township police in Cumberland County. The homeowner learned later that the intruder was his 18-year-old grandson, a source told News 8.

Investigators said the shooting happened around 2:54 a.m. at a home along the first block of Victoria Way, Camp Hill, East Pennsboro Township. Police said the grandfather approached his grandson with a handgun and told him to leave. The grandson then fled into the attached garage. Police said the grandfather heard rustling and fired a single shot hitting his grandson in the hand or arm.

The grandson ran away and checked himself into Holy Spirit Hospital.

At this point, police said the shooting was justified.

“(The homeowner) feared at that point, the burglar was hunkered down. He didn’t know if he was taking a position to fire at the homeowner,” said Lt. Mark Green.

The grandson has not yet been charged in the incident.

News 8 was told that the grandfather is very upset. He did not wish to comment on the incident.

From Harrisburg’s of February 28, 2007

Man shoots intruder, learns it’s grandson

Suspect was stealing liquor, investigators say

An East Pennsboro Twp. man early yesterday shot an intruder who turned out to be his 18-year-old grandson, township police said.

The intruder, whom police had not charged or named as of press time, broke into the home in the first block of Victoria Way and apparently was stealing liquor, police said.

The homeowner had no idea who it was when he fired his gun, police Lt. Mark Green said. “The house was dark, and he didn’t turn the lights on.”

From Harrisburg’s of March 1, 2007

Shooting grandson ruled as justified

An East Pennsboro Twp. man was justified in shooting his grandson in the hand after he encountered the younger man breaking into his home Tuesday, police said yesterday.

Darin D’Marcus Thompson, 18, of East Pennsboro Twp., was charged yesterday with one count each of burglary, criminal trespass, criminal attempt at theft and criminal mischief, township police Lt. Mark Green said.

Thompson’s grandfather, Herbert Miller of the first block of Victoria Way, was not charged, Green said, adding, “Mr. Miller used a lot of restraint.”

February 27, 2007

Spokane, Washington

From Spokane’s of February 27, 2007

Northside homeowner scares intruder

Police are hoping the public has information on a break-in that led to a shot being fired early Tuesday morning.

It all took place at a house in the 6800 block of North Altamont. Police say the suspect entered the residence, waking the homeowner, who then pulled a gun and told the intruder to freeze. The homeowner then fired a warning shot when the burglar ran.

The only description of the suspect is that he is in his 20s, and wore a white shirt at the time.

February 27, 2007

Canyon County, Idaho

From Nampa’s Idaho Press-Tribune of February 27, 2007

Man not guilty in road-rage shooting

Public safety: Motorist maintained he acted in self-defense during fatal Caldwell incident

A jury found Aniceto Betancourt not guilty of manslaughter Monday after four days of testimony in the road-rage shooting death of a 19-year-old motorist. Patrick Wayne Ciarmoli died of multiple gunshot wounds March 27, 2006, after Betancourt shot him in the parking lot of a business center on Happy Day Boulevard in Caldwell.

Police said the two men had been involved in a “road rage” exchange along Nampa-Caldwell Boulevard before the shooting.

Betancourt has maintained since the incident that he acted in self-defense, saying he feared for his life as Ciarmoli approached holding an object, possibly the bottom half of a pool cue. Defense attorneys said Betancourt believed the long, black object was a shotgun. Jurors reached the verdict just a few hours after deliberations began Monday.

February 24, 2007

Houston, Texas

From Houston’s of February 24, 2007

Homeowner confronts, shoots suspected burglar in NW Houston

A suspected burglar was shot in northwest Houston last night.

Police say neighbors spotted a man breaking into cars on Ella and W. 12th late Friday night. One homeowner jumped into his truck and started chasing the suspect. Investigators say the homeowner then shot the suspect during a confrontation.

That suspected burglar is in the hospital with a gunshot wound to one of his limbs.

February 24, 2007

National City, California

From of February 23, 2007

Police: Victim Turns Gun On Home-Invasion Robber

A suspected home-invasion robber was shot and wounded by one of his alleged victims according to police in National City.

Officials said three men, wearing masks, forced their way into a home at 2032 E. Seventh Street Thursday night. Four people were inside the home at the time.

The men, armed with shotguns and other weapons, ordered the residents to the floor, according to police.

Officials said one of the residents managed to wrestle the shotgun away from one of the robbers. A struggle followed and the gun fired, hitting a wall.

Police said a second resident picked up the shotgun and fired two rounds at the robbers, striking one of the men, identified as Marc Wideman, 19, of Spring Valley.

All three robbers fled the scene. Wideman was later found by police at a local hospital. He was taken into custody. Police said his wounds are not life-threatening.

Police are still looking for the two other men in this case.

February 24, 2007

Homewood, Pennsylvania

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of February 23, 2007

Homewood garage shootings ruled self-defense

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office today dropped all charges against a Homewood auto shop worker after an investigation concluded the Carrick man shot two assailants, killing one of them, in self-defense Feb. 12.

“This is a classic example of self-defense; it has all the elements. They came into his place of work and attacked him,” said Bruce A. Carsia, defense attorney for Byron Samuels, 37. “He wrestled the gun from them and defended himself.”

Upon arrival at Derek’s Auto Sales, 7900 Bennett St., police found the body of Russell Thomas, 36. His brother Maurice “Reese” Thomas, 33, had suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

Mr. Samuels told police two armed men beat and pistol-whipped him, and falsely accused him of burglarizing their Wilkinsburg home. He was cornered when he disarmed one of them and used the pistol to defend himself. He said one man was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle. Investigators found a shell casing that matched the rifle he described.

“Once we got the ballistics analysis, it [supported] Byron Samuels’ self-defense claim,” said Mark V. Tranquilli, chief homicide attorney for the district attorney’s office.

Mr. Carsia said he expected his client would be released today.

February 23, 2007

Bourbon, Missouri

From Washington’s The Missourian of February 22, 2007

County Man Acquitted on Assault, Armed Criminal Action Charges

A man accused of shooting two men near his Bourbon area farm in 2004 was acquitted Friday by a Franklin County jury. The jury found Bart Brendel, 50, not guilty on two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle. He was indicted in November 2004.

Prosecutors claim Brendel shot at three men, wounding two, as an act of revenge when they were driving a minivan on the road in front of his home in the Bourbon area.

Two of the men were wounded in the legs, authorities said. All three admitted that they had been spotlighting deer in the area. They later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor poaching charges and were ordered to pay fines for the offenses.

Brendel’s attorney Frank Carlson said his client acted in self-defense and acted reasonably to defend his home.

“We have to be able to defend ourselves and our homes and the jury said that loud and clear,” he said.

Carlson said a key to the acquittal was that Brendel was not the “first to use force.”

“The law of self-defense is different if you are the aggressor,” said Carlson. “It was agreed that Bart Brendel was not the initial aggressor, therefore the right to use self-defense is not restricted.”

Brendel is accused of firing almost 30 rounds from an assault rifle Oct. 28, 2004, at the van carrying the three men as they drove past his home on Parshall Road in far southwestern Franklin County.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said Brendel was charged because he continued to shoot at the van after it passed him.

“We were looking at more of the actions of Mr. Brendel after the car had passed — when he shot into the van and hit the two men,” said Parks “He was out of danger and that is why we charged him.”

Parks said the jury deliberated for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

“We were disappointed that the jury acquitted him for whatever reason, but that is the way it is,” he said.

Carlson told the jury that Brendel heard voices and believed that the men were tampering with his cattle. He said that Brendel shot an assault rifle in the air to protect his cattle. He added that Brendel shot at the van that sped toward him and continued to shoot at the van because he “feared for his life.”

“Just a classic self-defense cse. In my mind charges shouldn’t have been filed in the first place and the jury saw it for what it was,” he said.

Carlson added that there was “really good police work” and “a good jury.”

The victims, Bobby R. Mercer, Sullivan, James H. Moss, Sullivan, and Edward E. Heads, Bourbon, have filed a civil lawsuit against Brendel. Trial is scheduled for April.

February 23, 2007

Elkins, West Virginia

From Clarksburg’s of February 19, 2007

Randolph County Man Charged With Murder Has Bond Hearing

Police say Steven Dan Snider fatally shot Leslie Woodford Friday night.

A Randolph County judge has set bond for a man accused of killing another man during a domestic dispute.

Steven Snider, 49, is in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail his bond has been set at 250 thousand dollars, cash only. Sheriff’s deputies say Snider shot Leslie Woodford after a domestic dispute Friday night.

According to sheriff’s deputies, Woodford was finalizing a messy divorce with his ex-wife.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. Friday, deputies Mark T. Brady and Richard T. Swisher responded to a 911 call at a home on Sully Road near Alpina.

Woodford went to his ex-wife’s father’s home, kicked in the front door and pointed a handgun at the 76-year-old man.

Woodford was threatening to kill the family, authorities said.

The father attempted to defend himself with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Woodford confronted his ex-wife, but left the scene before authorities arrived.

Brady said Woodford then went to the South Henry Avenue home of Steven Dan Snider, who had been dating Woodford’s ex-wife.

Deputies said Woodford busted down his door and shot at Snider.

Snider fired back and fatally wounded Woodford. Woodford was airlifted to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, where he was pronounced dead.

Snider is now charged with second degree murder.

Both incidents are under investigation by the Elkins Police Department, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police.

From Clarksburg’s of February 22, 2007

Case Dismissed Against Randolph County Man Charged in Fatal Shooting

Evidence indicated the shooting was self defense.

A Randolph County magistrate has closed the case against Steven Snider in the shooting death of Leslie Woodford.

Authorities arrested Snider after police said Woodford burst into his home, tried to shoot him and Snider fired back.

At that hearing, Randolph County Prosecutor Frank Bush moved to dismiss the case against Snider, saying the evidence indicates the shooting was done in self defense.

That case has raised questions about what is self defense.

State law doesn’t specifically address the issue so how do you know when you can defend yourself with deadly force?

Bush said its a difficult claim since each and every case is different.

The magistrate granted the state’s request to dismiss the case without prejudice. Snider’s attorneys says the prosecutor made the right choice based on the evidence.

An amendment to the West Virginia state code covering home protections is making its way through the state Legislature.

The amendment outlines reasons to allow the use of deadly force.

1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle.

2. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

From a police perspective, investigating a shooting, self defense or not, still must be treated as a crime.

Right now that bill is making its way through the House Judiciary Committee. Snider has been released from jail and is back home.