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Castle Doctrine Case - MT

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by RicInOR, May 9, 2014.

  1. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    http://www.nysun.com/editorials/the-shotgun-trial/88699/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/us/missoula-montana-homeowner-shoots-teenager-in-garage.html?hp


    http://missoulian.com/news/local/mi...cle_59096ee8-ce3d-11e3-961a-001a4bcf887a.html

    http://missoulian.com/news/local/de...cle_6ef8809c-d566-11e3-9252-001a4bcf887a.html

    http://missoulian.com/news/national...cle_bf475cd3-b4cc-5d3e-b089-3c2d818ab833.html

    http://missoulian.com/news/local/mi...cle_68641320-d0cc-11e3-a1be-001a4bcf887a.html




    Montana has a Castle Doctrine law.

    Of course now that someone is dead, their are people from around the world calling for the repeal of the law. Just because he was in your garage, doesn't mean he was a threat.


    “Whatever happened to turning the lights on and yelling, ‘Hey kids, go home’?” Mr. Smith said.
    Ms. Walker added, “Or closing the garage door?”


    What ever happened to obeying the law - and not entering other peoples homes without permission?

    The exact address wasn't given, but Google's maps show all the homes as a typical subdivision with attached garages.



    Would this case, in the same area, also be Castle Doctrine?
    http://missoulian.com/news/local/co...cle_305bd1d8-b3a4-11e3-b7cd-0019bb2963f4.html
     
  2. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    That's the way liberals are, when someone acts according to a law they don't like they start flapping their gums and repeating "the sky is falling"!!!!!
     
    salmonriverjohn likes this.
  3. FortRock

    FortRock Bend/Salem, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just back from Bozeman. German exchange student knew what he was doing was a law violation and knew he was in a place in the USA where guns are still legal....and can be used in self defense. He wasn't in NYC or DC. Shooter left himself wide open though. Too bad we don't have a government that upholds our laws and sticks up for our own citizens. My wrinkled little brain keeps going back to the question of why the exchange student thought it was ok to break into someone's garage.
     
  4. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
    Know what it is, what is in line with it, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not positively identified. Be aware of your surroundings, whether on the range or in a fight. Do not assume anything. Know what you are doing.
     
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  5. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I read about this the other day.

    From the "facts" I read (you can never be sure of anything the news media states, the "Castle Doctrine" law is irrelevant. I would need to know more about the facts regarding exactly what happened at the time of the shooting, but it sounds like it comes down to whether the person who shot the intruder had good reason to feel threatened at the time or not.

    Without knowing those facts, it *sounds* like the shooter was just tired of being ripped off and shot the intruder, not actually being in any imminent danger.

    "Castle Doctrine" basically says you don't have to retreat from a threat, but it doesn't mean that you can shoot someone who isn't a threat to you just because they are trespassing on your property either. In short, it is only part of the equation.

    IMO, the prosecutor is right in charging the person.
     
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  6. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Skulking into someone's house (or garage for that matter) isn't the same as walking across someone's yard. Case in point, perhaps your dog gets loose and you have to chase it down through the neighborhood through people's yards.

    There may be a legitimate reason someone is "trespassing" in your yard/pasture/driveway, but the odds are pretty danged low that a stranger inside your house (or garage where oftentimes expensive things are kept) has a good reason to be there.

    Let's say your dog ran through the open door of someone's garage; any REASONABLE person would contact that property owner, or at least announce their presence and intentions in a conspicuous manner so as to reduce the chances having your intentions mistaken for something else.

    But then again, in this day and age being a REASONABLE person seems to give way to the "process of natural selection"... and political punditry to further agendas.
     
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  7. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If the intruder is in a detached garage or outbuilding, you had better be threatened, Castle Doctrine or not. An attached garage? I /think/ that in most cases that counts as part of your home. But I don't know what the specific law is in this case.
     
  8. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    Going by the press report of the incident, the basic facts are that motion sensors were tripped and the shooter let go 4 shotgun rounds into the dark garage without identifying the target.

    The reaction to this incident seems to fall into two general groups: both of whose response to those circumstances are based on 20-20 hindsight in judging the outcome:

    1.) that it turned out to be a burglar so the shooting is justified.

    2.) the "burglar's" intent was said to be a relatively harmless prank, and those who see it that way think that it's horrible.

    The real problem is that the home owner did not determine what the situation really was. He was trying to navigate in Detroit with a map for Salt Lake City. To him, the reality was dangerous burglar. That's what his map said. The reality was that the terrain was different.

    Try this for a perspective-shifter: what if the person in the garage was your 7-year old child who was out wandering lost and the home owner blasted her with a shotgun without properly challenging, or identifying the target?

    How wise would this decision to shoot without identifying the target have appeared to us then? It's a teachable incident if nothing else.

    My takeaway from this fall into two categories:

    Challenge apparent intruders, and in no uncertain terms, advise them to get on the ground and show you their hands.

    Have a weapon light mounted on your HD guns. Some less experienced people poo-poo weapon lights as being "tacticool". Maybe to the untrained 'net commandos, it is "tacticool". Massad Ayoob will disagree.

    In the final analysis, how "cool" is it to shoot someone and take everything they have -or might be someday, to say nothing of wrecking your own life, because we can't see who they are?

    It's common on some gun forums to see the position that the best possible outcome to every confrontation is to shoot somebody if you can get away with it.

    IMO, if everyone gets out of there unharmed, that's the measure of a job well done where cooler heads prevail.
     
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  9. GrpCapMandrake

    GrpCapMandrake Vancouver Active Member

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    That is a really good point. We are all armchair quaterbacking this event and as pointed out very early on, by Heretic, without knowing all the facts and the details of the pertinent laws.

    This homeowner did leave himself ripe for prosecution. The purse at the back of the garage (I know its his house but it just looks hinky given the prior burglaries and the "fear" they felt because of them), the pot use just prior to the shooting, shooting blindly into the dark, etc.

    Now I am all for self defense and protecting ones home. However I have some questions why this played out like it did. If your installed security system allows you to see your intruder is approaching the kitchen door, why go out the front and around to the garage? Why not set up by the kitchen door, the natural choke point. You have light to work with, and the tactical advantage of knowing terrain the perpetrator does not already know, and better ability to find cover.

    Just boggles the mind sometimes why some folks react the way they do. Not how I would have gone about this at all.
     
  10. whiskeybill

    whiskeybill Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have said this before elsewhere on the forum, but I have spoken with some gun owners who are
    "Tacti-cool" but are completely "Tacti-clueless" about confronting situations and evaluating them. One young man in Vancouver had stated to me that it's alright to confront intruders in his yard and fire warning shots with his AR. I quickly set him straight on that. This same young man is now planning a trip to California and asked me what pistol he should take. He has no CPL and has not researched the laws of Oregon, Washington or California. I flatly stated to him that he had best leave any firearms at home. His chances of getting into some legal trouble are far greater than having to defend himself. I am sure there are others like him, and that is tragic. If these people are going to acquire firearms for self protection, it would behoove them to get proper training and become very familiar with the laws pertaining to self defense. I'm afraid there are going to be more stories out there that give us a chance to "arm chair quarterback".
     
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  11. GrpCapMandrake

    GrpCapMandrake Vancouver Active Member

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    Well said. That very point was on my mind since I left for the office this morning. If only good judgment and sense came in the box with the gun.