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Thread: TX Man Guilty In Shooting Over Pigs

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    HankT's Postulate of Civilian Self-Defense:

    It is a bad strategy to shoot an unarmed person.

    is affirmed again.... </shakes head>



    Thursday, August 23, 2007
    Man guilty in shooting over pigs

    Leon County victim killed while skinning neighbor's show hogs

    By HOLLY HUFFMAN
    Eagle Staff Writer



    A Leon County jury deliberated 90 minutes Wednesday before returning a guilty verdict in the murder trial of a volunteer firefighter accused of killing a neighbor who butchered his show pigs.

    Joseph Clampitte was shot to death in June 2006 while skinning what he thought were wild pigs that had rooted into his yard, authorities said. Daniel Tolopka II, the owner of the pigs, was charged with murder the following day.

    Defense attorneys argued Wednesday that Tolopka thought his neighbor was armed and, thus, was acting in self-defense when he fired repeatedly as he approached the man standing near the butchered pigs.

    Tolopka testified Tuesday that he continued firing until the 50-year-old stopped moving, then approached the body and realized there was no gun in his hand. At that point, the attorneys said, their client didn't know what to do.

    "We think he just told too many lies thinking no one would believe him," Huntsville defense attorney J. Paxton Adams said, expressing disappointment over the verdict. "We just had a lot of lies to cover. That was our biggest fear in the whole case - just lie after lie. To ask a jury to believe him at trial, it was always the toughest thing we had in our case."

    Special prosecutor Robert Gage could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

    Prosecutors previously argued that Tolopka became enraged at the sight of his dead show pigs and sneaked up on Clampitte, firing at least 14 times as he approached. Tolopka called police after the shooting, but only after he had taken a shower, washed his clothes and invented a story about another gunman, the prosecution said.

    Adams pointed to a knife on the ground at the crime scene that authorities failed to collect as evidence Tolopka was armed. Several knives and skinning tools were piled neatly together, but one knife was on the ground, he said. That weapon, he said, probably is what Tolopka mistook for a gun.

    "We believe, and [Tolopka] testified, that it was in his hand. But from 100 feet away ... he thought it was a gun. He shot in self-defense and continued to fire until Mr. Clampitte was down and not moving."

    The punishment phase of the trial begins Thursday. Tolopka could face 99 years or life in prison.


    http://www.theeagle.com/stories/0823...0070823901.php



  2. #2
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Sounds like he snuck up behind him and capped him for stealing his hogs......now if the other guy had jumped up and brandished the knife at him, was waving it around or something, then I can see it (except the whole 14 shots thing.....makes it obvious, no?).....but it sounds like the guy was pissed and decided he'd take matters into his own hands rather than calling the police......nobody was in danger, hell, the animal was already dead.......it's a matter for court then, no way was it a matter of self defense.

    And not saying you should lie.....but at least get your story straight......jeez......

  3. #3
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    compmanio365 wrote:
    And not saying you should lie.....but at least get your story straight......jeez......
    I think that might be a big fibber...as well asa goof with a gun....



    June 6, 2006
    Officials: Slaying victim killed neighbor's pigs

    By HOLLY HUFFMAN
    Eagle Staff Writer


    A Normangee man who was shot to death over the weekend may have been killed in revenge for apparently slaughtering his neighbor's show pigs, Leon County sheriff's officials said Monday.

    Joseph Clampitte III apparently thought the pigs were wild and shot them after they rooted into his yard, Sheriff Mike Price said. Clampitte was skinning them when his neighbor, Daniel Tolopka II, arrived home and became enraged, he said.


    AT A GLANCE

    Joseph Clampitte III apparently slaughtered his neighbor's show pigs, thinking they were wild, after the pigs had wandered into his yard, officials said Monday.

    • Daniel Tolopka II of Normangee returned home and became enraged, according to police.

    • Tolopka fired at least 15 rounds from his 9 mm pistol, hitting Clampitte five times, sheriff's officials said.

    • He was charged Sunday with murder.

    "They weren't feral hogs," Price said, explaining that the animals had been newly acquired show pigs. "In fact, they had burrowed out of the pen from the next-door neighbor's [property]."

    Tolopka, who was charged Sunday with murder, is accused of firing at least 15 rounds at Clampitte while the two were in Clampitte's back yard off County Road 456. Preliminary autopsy results released Monday show Clampitte was shot five times - two bullets grazed his back and stomach while three others struck him in the calf, forearm and back of the head.

    It was the shot to Clampitte's head that caused his death, the autopsy states.

    Investigators found a trail of 9 mm shell casings extending from the body to the direction of Tolopka's home, meaning he likely fired as he advanced toward his neighbor, Price said.

    Tolopka told authorities he had three 9 mm pistols. He turned over two but claimed he had lost the third in the woods behind his home, according to an officer's sworn statement. Investigators searching Tolopka's home found the missing pistol hidden in a stove, the court document states.

    Also found in Tolopka's home were numerous live rounds that matched the spent 9 mm casings located at the slaying scene, according to the affidavit.

    Sheriff's officials said they learned of the incident just after noon Saturday when Tolopka, 34, called to report a shooting at his 50-year-old neighbor's home. Clampitte had been unarmed, but he did have two skinning knives covered in pig blood lying nearby, Price said.

    Tolopka was arrested Sunday and taken to the Leon County Jail in Centerville. He was released Monday on $250,000 bail. Tolopka could not be reached for comment late Monday. Price said that he had yet to hire an attorney.


    http://www.theeagle.com/stories/0606...0060606007.php




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