Amarillo, Texas

From Amarillo’s KVII.com of October 9, 2007

No charges filed in homicide

Does the Castle Doctrine play a role?

A deadly shooting in the 6800 block of Cleon on Sunday afternoon has many of you asking questions.

According to police, Calvin Farmer was shot and killed after confronting a homeowner on that homeowner’s property.

As of right now, no charges have been filed in the case.

Does the new Castle Doctrine have something to do with that?

The Castle Doctrine was passed September 1st, and gives Texans broader powers in defending themselves with deadly force.

“The only change is that then it was written in the law that if you could, you should retreat,” said Lt. Gary Trupe with the Amarillo Special Crime’s Unit. “Now it says there is no obligation for you to retreat.”

Will this case be affected by that law?

Trupe said the homeowner might have had some reason to use self-defense.

“The person may have had some reason in which to use deadly force,” said Trupe. “This was his property. Mr. Farmer came to his property. There was a physical altercation between the two where blows were struck.”

ProNews 7 spoke with a local attorney who tells us the Castle Doctrine may open up a can of worms for Texans.

“By changing around some sentences in the law, they’re going to make this a lot easier for people to kill other people as long as they are defending their home allegedly, or their car allegedly,” said Jeff Blackburn.

He says that because of the new law, these kinds of cases will change drastically in the near future.

“I think this is probably going to foreshadow a lot of what we’ll see in the future in these kinds of cases where you’ve got a homeowner that’s on his property and he plugs somebody,” said Blackburn. “His chances of getting indicted are probably a lot thinner than they used to be.”

So what’s the next step in the case?

“We could file charges against the person who did the shooting, however, if the information remains as it is now we could be presenting this to the Randall County district attorney as an original matter to be looked at by the grand jury to see if they feel that the person was justified in why he did the shooting,” said Trupe.

Dear Mr. Reporter: If the Castle Doctrine is now the law of the land in Texas, it kinda seems like maybe, sorta, it should have something to do with it. Does that answer your question?

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