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Thread: Houston trial focusing on Stand Your Ground law

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    Exclamation Houston trial focusing on Stand Your Ground law

    HOUSTON (AP) -- "When music at a neighbor's evening party got too loud for his liking, Raul Rodriguez showed up to complain, carrying a gun and a video camera."

    ;http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT

    "As a verbal confrontation unfolded, the retired Houston-area firefighter told a police dispatcher by phone that he feared for his life and was "standing his ground," a reference that calls to mind the law at the center of the Trayvon Martin slaying in Florida in February."

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    Mr. Rodriguez will be the next winner of "Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes".

    I think he got it backwards, you can't go armed over to someone's driveway and "stand your ground".

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogsandhogs View Post
    I think he got it backwards, you can't go armed over to someone's driveway and "stand your ground".
    I was wondering if this had been discussed before on OCDO, it happened a couple of years ago.

    Yes, I agree, trespassing & SYG don't seem to jive.
    Last edited by scott58dh; 06-09-2012 at 08:22 PM.

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Without seeing the video or hearing the police recording, knowing only what was stated in the article, it's hard to make a judgment either way. While I'm inclined to point out a number of issues, I'm also reminded of the Trayvon coverage that hid, twisted and invented 'facts.'

    So can't really say anything other than at first glance, it appears he was wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    Without seeing the video or hearing the police recording, knowing only what was stated in the article, it's hard to make a judgment either way. While I'm inclined to point out a number of issues, I'm also reminded of the Trayvon coverage that hid, twisted and invented 'facts.'

    So can't really say anything other than at first glance, it appears he was wrong.
    I looked back through the Texas forum Thread of OCDo but wasn't able to find any info concerning this story.

    I was hoping you'd know more about this issue jack, what with you being from Texas and all.

    This event did occur way before Zimmerman/Martin.
    Last edited by scott58dh; 06-10-2012 at 06:50 PM.

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    There is nothing wrong with asking your loud neighbor to keep the noise down. If your polite and they pick a fight, that's on them. Granted, he should have left and called the police that way the fight can happen is his yard but my point still remains valid.

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott58dh View Post
    I looked back through the Texas forum Thread of OCDo but wasn't able any info concerning this story.

    I was hoping you'd know more about this issue jack, what with you being from Texas and all.

    This event did occur way before Zimmerman/Martin.
    Never heard of it before this thread. The Texas section is mostly dead and I haven't visited Texas specific forums in a long time(stuff happened in RL that greatly reduced my online presence).

    Actually, I think I may have joined Texas specific forums after this event and while I was there, it was mostly in the political section, looking for information about the last legislative session. Mostly.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Prosecutors call Rodriguez an aggressor who could have safely left his neighbor's driveway anytime. His defense attorneys insist Texas law still gave him the right to defend himself, even if it meant taking a life.
    I'm really interested in seeing how the defense play SYG in a criminal trespass situation (and no, you do not need to be told to leave and refuse before you can be said to commit criminal trespass). The other interesting play will be trying to connect this case to Texas law on using deadly force to prevent [s]robbery[/s] burglary in the night-time (the attempt to connect to the Joe Horn case).

    I will not officially call him toast yet, but I'm really struggling to see how he can wiggle out of this.

    stay safe.
    Last edited by skidmark; 06-10-2012 at 02:54 PM. Reason: oops - wrong crime
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Not enough info, but imo it looks bad for both sides with what limited information was released. To me, them simply seeing his gun isn't reason enough to escalate the situation and say "I'm going to go get my weapon now." But then comes the question on what exactly is Texas law on a visible weapon, even if it is an "accidental" display of a CCed weapon, and just how was his weapon displayed (such as in hand vs in a holster)? There's also the question about the defendent and if he had done something (besides simply having a visible weapon, though a weapon in hand could be enough) to cause the situation to escalate. Based on the released info I see two rough scenarios for what happened:

    1) Defendent goes over with a holstered gun and asks/tells his neighbors to turn down their music. They see his gun (such as shirt wasn't fully over it) and start to escalate the situation by threatening to get their weapon and eventually attacking the defendent (as evidenced by someone going for the camera). This also depends on where he was at on the driveway and what he was doing (such as moving back towards the sidewalk/road vs approaching the door or refusing to leave).

    2) Defendent goes over brandishing his weapon or has it obviously visible and posititoned in a threatening manner (such as turning it towards the deceased and has his hand on it) and is overly aggressive (aka the aggressor). As he is now the aggressor he now loses the ability to defend himself with lethal force as he started the whole confrontation and caused it to get to this point.

    Overall I would say it looks worse for the defendent, but again, not enough info was released to be able to say either way.

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    (and no, you do not need to be told to leave and refuse before you can be said to commit criminal trespass)
    Cite and explanation?

    Only instances I can think of that would be an automatic trespass in Texas would be ignoring properly posted 30.06 signs, trespass onto property with no trespassing signs and/or trespass onto a property where you have already been served trespass notice.

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    I think the guy didn't do much to help the "Stand Your Ground" argument. 1) He could have called the cops to complain about the music. 2) If he did go over to ask them to turn it down, He should have made damn sure nobody saw his weapon. 3) with him pushing the "Stand Your Ground" thing so much, it was like he was expecting the worst of scenarios to play out in the end. It has taken a lot of work to get the law passed to help an individual to legally defend himself in much more needed circumstances. I'd hate to lose that law because people want to go out of their way to use it. Just my opinion.
    watch your top knot !

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    Cite and explanation?

    Only instances I can think of that would be an automatic trespass in Texas would be ignoring properly posted 30.06 signs, trespass onto property with no trespassing signs and/or trespass onto a property where you have already been served trespass notice.
    http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/30.05.00.html

    30.05. CRIMINAL TRESPASS. (a) A person commits an
    offense if he enters or remains on or in property, including an
    aircraft or other vehicle, of another without effective consent or
    he enters or remains in a building of another without effective
    consent and he:
    (1) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or
    (2) received notice to depart but failed to do so.
    (b) For purposes of this section:
    (1) "Entry" means the intrusion of the entire body.
    (2) "Notice" means:
    (a) oral or written communication by the owner or
    someone with apparent authority to act for the owner; ....
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say the shooter both entered and remained on property not his own without effective consent, that the shooter remained there without effective consent, that the shooter was given notice that the entry onto the land was forbidden and that the shooter received notice to depart but failed to do so.

    Happy now?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    Not enough info, but imo it looks bad for both sides with what limited information was released. To me, them simply seeing his gun isn't reason enough to escalate the situation and say "I'm going to go get my weapon now." But then comes the question on what exactly is Texas law on a visible weapon, even if it is an "accidental" display of a CCed weapon, and just how was his weapon displayed (such as in hand vs in a holster)? There's also the question about the defendent and if he had done something (besides simply having a visible weapon, though a weapon in hand could be enough) to cause the situation to escalate. Based on the released info I see two rough scenarios for what happened:

    1) Defendent goes over with a holstered gun and asks/tells his neighbors to turn down their music. They see his gun (such as shirt wasn't fully over it) and start to escalate the situation by threatening to get their weapon and eventually attacking the defendent (as evidenced by someone going for the camera). This also depends on where he was at on the driveway and what he was doing (such as moving back towards the sidewalk/road vs approaching the door or refusing to leave).

    2) Defendent goes over brandishing his weapon or has it obviously visible and posititoned in a threatening manner (such as turning it towards the deceased and has his hand on it) and is overly aggressive (aka the aggressor). As he is now the aggressor he now loses the ability to defend himself with lethal force as he started the whole confrontation and caused it to get to this point.

    Overall I would say it looks worse for the defendent, but again, not enough info was released to be able to say either way.
    Agreed
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    Texas Penal Code 9.31, Self Defense:
    b) The use of force against another is not justified:
    (4) if the actor provoked the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless:
    (A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and
    (B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor; or
    (5) if the actor sought an explanation from or discussion with the other person concerning the actor's differences with the other person while the actor was:
    (A) carrying a weapon in violation of Section 46.02;

    Section 9.32, Deadly Force in Defense of a Person:
    (b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
    (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used;


    So, the legality in this case will hinge on a couple of things. First, was the shooter legally carrying when he confronted his neighbor? If not, then he lost any claim to legal self defense. Second, even if he was legally carrying, he lost the claim to legal self defense if he provoked the neighbor's threatened or attempted use of force.

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    Piggy-backing my own post:

    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    So, the legality in this case will hinge on a couple of things. First, was the shooter legally carrying when he confronted his neighbor? If not, then he lost any claim to legal self defense.
    I presented this because the original URL in the first post had changed, and no longer had any information at all about this incident.

    On the way home from work at midnight, I heard on the news that Rodrigues had been convicted, and the the news report (below) said that he did have a CHL. So, this would have been irrelevant if Texas was an OC state, but since he "intentionally failed to conceal", he was not carrying legally, even with a CHL.

    Strike one.


    Second, even if he was legally carrying, he lost the claim to legal self defense if he provoked the neighbor's threatened or attempted use of force.
    The video shows he was throwing buzzwords around to 9-1-1, like "standing my ground" and "I'm in fear for my life", even though he obviously wasn't. It also looks like he wasn't on anyone else's private property, so trespassing wasn't an issue. But, the fact that he provoked the others into using force was readily apparent from the video that he thought would save him.

    Strike two.

    And finally, the jury simply didn't believe him.

    Strike three.

    This case should be exhibit number one in the category "A CHL is not a Batman license!"

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-te...is-3630968.php

    Last edited by KBCraig; 06-14-2012 at 03:40 AM.

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    Found guilty!

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonie View Post
    Found guilty!
    Good, he was a complete idiot and deserves it.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    What a video, being right there as an actual crime occurs ! So sad.

    Rodrigurez was his own enemy for sure, the *voices* had him convinced that he was in the right.

    911 would have definately been the better choice in this situation, midnight, loud music & alcohol do not add up to a good ending no matter what. LEO's are the "professionals" that should be dealing with anything like this issue b4 it gets out of control...

    I'm wondering now ( hypothetically speaking ) if the whole trial (indictment/verdict) would've had a different result IF he had Not videoed the actual event ?

    Hopefully we'll never know from any other event transpiring such as this one did.

    peace&rkba4ever!
    Last edited by scott58dh; 06-14-2012 at 11:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Texas Penal Code 9.31, Self Defense:
    b) The use of force against another is not justified:
    (4) if the actor provoked the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless:
    (A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and
    (B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor; or
    (5) if the actor sought an explanation from or discussion with the other person concerning the actor's differences with the other person while the actor was:
    (A) carrying a weapon in violation of Section 46.02;

    Section 9.32, Deadly Force in Defense of a Person:
    (b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
    (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used;


    So, the legality in this case will hinge on a couple of things. First, was the shooter legally carrying when he confronted his neighbor? If not, then he lost any claim to legal self defense. Second, even if he was legally carrying, he lost the claim to legal self defense if he provoked the neighbor's threatened or attempted use of force.
    The way I read (4)(A) is that if he was reasonably trying to disarm the situation (aka walking down the driveway to leave) then he could still defend himself if the other person then escalates the situation. This could be wrong and the jury obviously didn't see it that way (and I'm not trying to second guess them as they have access to far more info on this case than me), but from reading the law it appears that the initial aggressor can still defend himself depending on the situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aknazer View Post
    The way I read (4)(A) is that if he was reasonably trying to disarm the situation (aka walking down the driveway to leave) then he could still defend himself if the other person then escalates the situation. This could be wrong and the jury obviously didn't see it that way (and I'm not trying to second guess them as they have access to far more info on this case than me), but from reading the law it appears that the initial aggressor can still defend himself depending on the situation.
    If he had abandoned the encounter and the other party re-engaged, then yes he could claim self defense. That was not the case here, though.

    He was "standing his ground" (the video seemed to show him in the street, not the other party's driveway), which he could have done, except he wasn't carrying legally. Even though he had a CHL, the moment he showed the others he was carrying a gun without being legally justified to use force, he was not legally carrying (PC 46.035(a), "Unlawful carrying of handgun by a license holder" by intentionally failing to conceal). By illegally carrying, he lost the claim of self defense.

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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    I thought the argument was that he wasn't justified because he instigated the confrontation with the intent to shoot someone.

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    Based on what this vid shows, the shooter was being nice and polite during the whole vid and what happened is one of the rednecks (probably drunk) slipped up behind him and jumped him which, in my opinion, gives him the right to use deadly force to defend himself given the situation being there were many of them and it was at night. Would calling the cops have been the better choice, of course but was he justified in shooting the guy that jumped him, I say he was but I'm sure there is more to this than the vid shows. This looks like a case of the jury saying "you're guilty because you could've handled this a different way that wouldn't have ended up with a shooting"......a verdict that I don't agree with because it's the same thing as saying he could've run until he had nowhere else to run and then shot if it was still necessary. A verdict that's the same thing as having a "duty to retreat" law......something else I'm in total disagreement with.
    Last edited by ALOC1911; 06-15-2012 at 10:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALOC1911 View Post
    Based on what this vid shows, the shooter was being nice and polite during the whole vid and what happened is one of the rednecks (probably drunk) slipped up behind him and jumped him which, in my opinion, gives him the right to use deadly force to defend himself given the situation being there were many of them and it was at night.
    You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but your opinion is at odds with Texas law. I posted the law above (post #14 in this thread), then followed up in #15.

    Under Texas law, he was not legally carrying, and he lost both the right to claim self defense, and the right to "stand his ground". His only legal justification for using force would have been if he had disengaged, or was attempting to disengage the confrontation, and the other re-engaged him. That didn't happen.

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    Texas man gets 40 year sentence in S-Y-G case

    HOUSTON A man who claimed Texas' version of a stand-your-ground law allowed him to fatally shoot a neighbor after an argument about a noisy party was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years for murder.

    Raul Rodriguez, 46, had faced up to life in prison for the 2010 killing of Kelly Danaher.

    -Read more:; http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/27...#ixzz1z29eVcmU

    Leave the Police work for the Police, that's whay they're paid to do.

    If you don't like the noisy party next door, make a phone call = 911.

    Don't be a *** JOHN WAYNE*** and try to reason with drunks, especially when You are ready for a gun fight.

    Common sense can save a life, and it might be yours !

    peace&rkba4ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    I thought the argument was that he wasn't justified because he instigated the confrontation with the intent to shoot someone.
    I had read that somewhere as well. Apparently there is video of him at the house telling party goers to come to the street and talk about it. Jury felt that was baiting them.

    Would be nice to see court records as well as the whole video, since the video I watched only showed him in the street apparently standing his ground when they tried to jump him or something.

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