Oconee County, Georgia

From the The Athens Banner-Herald of August 1, 2007

No charges for Bishop man who shot intruder

Oconee County Sheriff’s deputies don’t plan to charge a 30-year-old Bishop man who says he shot an armed burglar Sunday afternoon.

The Railroad Street man told deputies that he was acting in self-defense when he shot an intruder in the left forearm.

Deputies said the man was awakened shortly before noon by the sound of someone prying open a side door, which had been screwed shut because of a previous break-in.

The man told deputies the burglar walked into the living room and pointed a semi-automatic pistol at him, but he grabbed a .38-caliber handgun from a nearby coffee table and fired.

The burglar, identified as Joseph Lee Austin, 29, of 4140 Bowers Pointe Drive, Lilburn, ran from the house and left the area in a pickup truck driven by another man, deputies said.

Austin called deputies minutes later from Jack’s Food Mart on Greensboro Highway, four miles away in Watkinsville, to report the shooting. Deputies who responded to the convenience store said they found an empty pistol holster on the floor truck.

Austin, who was unarmed when deputies arrived, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment.



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