Surry County, North Carolina

From Winston-Salem’s WXII12.com of September 17, 2007

Authorities: Surry County Intruder Shot, Killed

Deputies are investigating a breaking-and-entering case in which they said the intruder was shot and killed.

The incident occurred just after 8 a.m. Monday in Surry County.

Authorities said a man woke up and found another man climbing through a ladder and going through his window.

The homeowner confronted 55-year-old Howard Jones as he came off the ladder, investigators said.

Jones was shot twice with a rifle and later died at a local hospital, according to the Surry County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said it wasn’t the first time Jones had broken into the home.

No charges have been filed.

The case is still under investigation.

From the Mount Airy News of September 27, 2007

No charges filed in shooting

No charges will be filed against a homeowner stemming from his fatal shooting of a suspected intruder last week, Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson said Wednesday.

This determination in the case involving the shooting of Ky Howard Jones, 55, was reached after officials with the sheriff’s office met this week with District Attorney Ricky Bowman and members of his staff.

Jones, for whom no official address has been given, was shot on the morning of Sept. 17 while trying to burglarize a home he once owned at 484 Surry Gadsberry Road in the Pilot Mountain area, according to earlier accounts.

Authorities have said that Jones had propped a ladder against the house and was attempting to gain entry through a window when he was confronted by Jayme Gullatt, the homeowner, who was awakened by a loud noise and grabbed a .223-caliber rifle.

The intruder then began to advance on the homeowner, who fired two warning shots into the ground, based on Gullatt’s statements to investigators. Despite the homeowner’s actions, Jones continued to approach Gullatt and got to within a few feet of him before being shot once in the upper body. Jones was transported to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where he died later that day.

Atkinson said Tuesday that after reviewing the evidence with the District Attorney’s Office, it was determined that the homeowner had acted reasonably and within his rights.

As a result, no charges will be filed against Gullatt, whom authorities ruled was trying to protect himself.

North Carolina law states that a lawful occupant within a residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary to prevent a forcible entry or terminate an intruder’s unlawful entry. Deadly force is allowed if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder might kill or inflict serious injury to someone in the home or commit a felony there.

A lawful occupant does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in such cases, under state law.

Jones earlier had been convicted of breaking into the house on Surry Gadsberry Road and was a suspect in another illegal entry there which occurred in the days before he was fatally shot.

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