Denison, Texas

From the Denison Herald Democrat of September 9, 2007

Man dies in shooting near Denison; …

A Denison man died from a gunshot wound Friday night after he allegedly broke through a residential door. The incident happened about 11 p.m. at a home on Nash Street just east of the Denison city limits. Whether it will be considered a justifiable shooting under the ‘Castle Law’ will be determined by the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office after Grayson County Sheriff’s Office investigators complete their investigation.

According to Grayson County S.O. 1st Lt. David Hawley, Jimmy Lynn Suter, 19, lay inside the home upon deputies’ arrival. The resident, not yet identified by name, was standing outside with a woman later determined to be Mr. Suter’s former girlfriend. Deputies found the front door broken with falling splinters.

Denison EMS transported Mr. Suter to Texoma Medical Center, where Justice of the Peace James Harris pronounced him dead. He had the body sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, with the results being made available to aid detectives in their investigation.

Other details are not yet available.

On March 27, 2007, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law Senate Bill 378, which permits Texans to use deadly force in self defense. A press release from the governor’s office said the law, dubbed the ‘Castle Law,’ went into effect Sept. 1. “The right to defend oneself from an imminent act of harm should not only be clearly defined in Texas law,” Perry said in the press release, “but is intuitive to human nature… the Castle Law allows Texas to not only protect themselves from criminals, but to receive the protection of state law when circumstances dictate that they use deadly force.”

In effect, the Castle Law is updated from a 1995 law which introduced the person’s right to use force without retreat “when an intruder unlawfully entered their home,” the press release continues. SB 378 extends that right to stand their ground beyond the home to vehicles and workplaces, with qualifications.

Hawley said no arrests have been made. When the investigation is completed, he said, it will be up to the Grayson County D.A.’s office to determine if it should be taken before a grand jury.

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