Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Texas Man Cleared in Shooting of Possible Burglars

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Greenville, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    39

    Post imported post

    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.as...20080630e.html

    Houston (AP) - A Texas man who shot and killed two men he suspected of burglarizing his neighbor's home cleared in the shootings Monday by a grand jury.

    Joe Horn, 61, shot the two men in November after he saw them crawling out the windows of a neighbor's house in the Houston suburb of Pasadena.

    Horn called 911 and told the dispatcher he had a shotgun and was going to kill the men. The dispatcher pleaded with him not to go outside, but Horn confronted the men with a 12-gauge shotgun and shot both in the back.

    "The message we're trying to send today is the criminal justice system works," Harris County District Attorney Kenneth Magidson said.

    Horn's attorney, Tom Lambright, has said his client believed the two men had broken into his neighbor's home and that he shot them only when they came into his yard and threatened him.

    The suspected burglars, Hernando Riascos Torres, 38, and Diego Ortiz, 30, were unemployed illegal immigrants from Colombia. Torres was deported to Colombia in 1999 after a 1994 cocaine-related conviction.

    The episode touched off protests from civil rights activists who said the shooting was racially motivated and that Horn took the law into his own hands. Horn's supporters defended his actions, saying he was protecting himself and being a good neighbor to a homeowner who was out of town.

    "I understand the concerns of some in the community regarding Mr. Horn's conduct," Magidson said. "The use of deadly force is carefully limited in Texas law to certain circumstances ... In this case, however, the grand jury concluded that Mr. Horn's use of deadly force did not rise to a criminal offense."

    Lambright did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment from The Associated Press.

    Texas law allows people to use deadly force to protect themselves if it is reasonable to believe they are in mortal danger. In limited circumstances, people also can use deadly force to protect a neighbor's property; for example, if a homeowner asks a neighbor to watch over his property while he's out of town.

    It's not clear whether the neighbor whose home was burglarized asked Horn to watch over his house.
    Joe Horn: Hurry up man. Catch these guys, will ya? 'Cause I ain't gonna. I'm gonna be honest with ya. I'm not gonna let 'em go. I'm not gonna let them get away with this.

    The dispatcher begged him to wait for police instead of taking any action.

    Horn:
    You hear the shotgun clicking and I'm going.

    911 Dispatcher:
    Don't go outside.

    On the recording, Horn can be heard threatening to shoot the men if they move.

    Horn:
    Move, you're dead.

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3880630

    I guess they moved.

    It seems kind of a dumb thing for the DA to say: ["The message we're trying to send today is the criminal justice system works"]. But I guess all DA's feel obliged to make some public statement, even a stupid one. He probably figured he had Horn cold on this one. But the grand jury saw it differently.:celebrate

    Many people will try to second-guess the justification for his actions. Would I have done the same thing? No way to know. I'm not Joe Horn, and I wasn't there.
    Death is lighter than a feather.
    Duty heavier than a mountain.

    - John Steakley

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Buffalo Valley, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    329

    Post imported post

    I've never understood what was so objectionable about "taking the law into your own hands." Isn't that a citizen's responsibility? If we are barred from enforcing law, if the only ones who can enforce law upon us are agents of the government, then we are mere subjects.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gary, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    518

    Post imported post

    Not quite sure I would have left my home to confront someone robbing a neighbor's home and made myself a test case, but in any event, I'm happy to read that for once, the criminal justice did not favor the criminal.

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Virginia USA, ,
    Posts
    1,688

    Post imported post

    tattedupboy wrote:
    Not quite sure I would have left my home to confront someone robbing a neighbor's home and made myself a test case, but in any event, I'm happy to read that for once, the criminal justice did not favor the criminal.
    Agree, I wouldn't have done it.

    I really don't think this kind of action is favorable to the "2nd amendment rights" crusade either. I think he went a little "out" of his "authority"

    Then again, they more than likely would have gotten away so I really don't know what to say. I don't feel any loss over the lives. Glad he was cleared.

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern Fauquier Co, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,297

    Post imported post

    HankT won't be happy.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    839

    Post imported post

    I wouldn't have done what he did, but I believe that legally he should be allowed to do what he did.

    This country was founded on our rights to be secure in our life, liberty and property, and to me that means we all deserve the legal right to use lethal force to protect our property, and anyone who takes initiative to protect another persons property is a good friend to have.

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Gary, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    518

    Post imported post

    Well, let's not forget that Texas is the only state in America where deadly force may be lawfully employed in the defense of property. I'm wondering if that was the rationale that was applied to this case, even though the property in question was not his.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    9,193

    Post imported post

    Yes, the justice system works, but at what cost to the Good Guy. Thank goodness Mr, Horn prevailed.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    , , USA
    Posts
    1,436

    Post imported post

    longwatch wrote:
    HankT won't be happy.
    No SHE won't.


    Tarzan

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Niceville, Florida, USA
    Posts
    75

    Post imported post

    tattedupboy wrote:
    Well, let's not forget that Texas is the only state in America where deadly force may be lawfully employed in the defense of property. I'm wondering if that was the rationale that was applied to this case, even though the property in question was not his.
    In AZ you can use deadly force to prevent buglary.

  11. #11
    Regular Member AZkopper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    673

    Post imported post

    whiskaz_55 wrote:
    In AZ you can use deadly force to prevent buglary.
    That is a partial truth. In AZ you may used deadly force to protect your life or the life of someone else. If someone burglarizes or trespasses in to your home (or any home or car you are currantly in), While you are home or while you are in the car deadly force is authorized under the AZ Castle Doctine law. The inturder is presumed to be a threat to you. You may not do what the TX guy did--You will be arrested and probably found guilty of Murder.

    I heard the actual 9-1-1 tape of this incident. The guy calls 911 to report the burglary, then tells the dispatcher he's going out side "To kill them". The dispatcher trieis to disuade him, and he says "I know the law, I'm going to kill them". He then goes out (with his phone) and says "Don't move" [0.5 second pause] then fires three shots at the subjects....in the back (as it was described on the [conservative] talk radio show I heard it on.


    Honestly, while part of me applaudes the idea of the citizenry of this country defending their (and their neighbor's) lives and properties, up to and including deadly force, part of me really believes this was pre-meditated murder. Based on what I heard on the tapes, I don't believe he had any intent other than to kill them, regardless of their actions. The fact that the grand jury found it legal does not necessarily make it morally right.

    Just my opinion.



  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    , , USA
    Posts
    1,436

    Post imported post

    tattedupboy wrote:
    Well, let's not forget that Texas is the only state in America where deadly force may be lawfully employed in the defense of property. I'm wondering if that was the rationale that was applied to this case, even though the property in question was not his.
    Not exasctly true......Legal in Utah two.....



    76-2-407. Deadly force in defense of persons on real property.
    (1) A person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury against another in his defense of persons on real property other than his habitation if:
    (a) he is in lawful possession of the real property;
    (b) he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's trespass onto the real property;
    (c) the trespass is made or attempted by use of force or in a violent and tumultuous manner; and
    (d) (i) the person reasonably believes that the trespass is attempted or made for the purpose of committing violence against any person on the real property and he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent personal violence; or
    (ii) the person reasonably believes that the trespass is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a forcible felony as defined in Section 76-2-402 that poses imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury to a person on the real property and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of that forcible felony.
    (2) The person using deadly force in defense of persons on real property under Subsection (1) is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the trespass or attempted trespass is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or for the purpose of committing a forcible felony.



    http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_02_040700.htm



    Tarzan

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    55

    Post imported post

    "It seems kind of a dumb thing for the DA to say: ["The message we're trying to send today is the criminal justice system works"]. But I guess all DA's feel obliged to make some public statement, even a stupid one. He probably figured he had Horn cold on this one. But the grand jury saw it differently."

    The reading I get from the DA is that he concurs with the decision of the Grand Jury.

    Anyone involved in a lethal shooting will be arrested. That's just due process. When the "system works" is that the Grand Jury moves to dismiss indictment because the shooting is justifiable self defense.

    Two men move onto someone's property in a threatening manner DESPITE the property owner holding a shotgun and issuing warnings . . . that's imminent threat to life, concomitant with both means and intent.

    A reasonable person would assume that such actions on the part of the aggressors would indicate that they were armed.



  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Lake Charles Area, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    1,723

    Post imported post

    tattedupboy wrote:
    Well, let's not forget that Texas is the only state in America where deadly force may be lawfully employed in the defense of property. I'm wondering if that was the rationale that was applied to this case, even though the property in question was not his.


    Louisiana also makes your transportation vehicle an extension of your home, therefore giving you the right to self defense with Deadly Force if need be.

    See also - http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...8/ai_n17175535

    In Louisiana, the new law would presume a shooter using deadly force acted "reasonably" if evidence shows an entry was unlawful and forced.

    Louisiana earlier enacted a companion law that allows the legal use of force to ward off a violent attack in a home, business or vehicle.

  15. #15
    Regular Member AZkopper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    673

    Post imported post

    tarzan1888 wrote:
    76-2-407. Deadly force in defense of persons on real property.
    (1) A person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury against another in his defense of persons on real property other than his habitation if:
    (a) he is in lawful possession of the real property;
    (b) he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's trespass onto the real property;
    (c) the trespass is made or attempted by use of force or in a violent and tumultuous manner; and
    (d) (i) the person reasonably believes that the trespass is attempted or made for the purpose of committing violence against any person on the real property and he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent personal violence; or
    (ii) the person reasonably believes that the trespass is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a forcible felony as defined in Section 76-2-402 that poses imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury to a person on the real property and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of that forcible felony.
    (2) The person using deadly force in defense of persons on real property under Subsection (1) is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the trespass or attempted trespass is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or for the purpose of committing a forcible felony.



    http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_02_040700.htm



    Tarzan
    Just out of curiosity, how does Utah define a "foricble felony"? Is that like a robbery or rape? As opposed to theft of your John Deer Tractor? If it is, then it's not much different than AZ's law, except they (wisely) extend it to your whole property, not just your car and home.

  16. #16
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    , Oregon, USA
    Posts
    100

    Post imported post

    I thank God every time I hear of a citizen doing what any real American will do, also that a lily livered prosecuting attorney did not get his way. What is wrong with these morons upholding the law? Maybe if they would hand out a “that ‘a’ boy” to citizens who take a risk now and then to squash the criminal elements we would not have the problems we face now in society. Besides these to fine specimens of immigration would have got a few months, a deportation, then we’d see them next year exiting someone else’s window or worse and all at the expense of the people of Texas. This man not only eliminated a danger to society, but saved time, money and resources for the more complicated cases involving actual police work.

    And what the hell is, “Taking the law into there own hands,” supposed to mean? In the absence of a duly sworn officer, who is the law? This garbage ticks me off. The responsibility of law and order is everyone’s, not just to those legally able to hand out traffic tickets.

    I am glad the grand jury was at least able to find it within them to acquit this old timer. Good for the jury and good for the 12gauge wielding, old timer. It is a sad thing when someone looses their life and sadder that it is over something as stupid as these two idiots where doing. If this did not happen when it did, it would have happened later. Maybe they would have died during a more heinous crime or after they to had killed someone. It is hard to really feel sorry for these guy’s in my opinion, but better them than an innocent person not able to protect themselves. In my book, regardless the old mans personal motives, he did everyone a favor.



  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    Well, I'm glad he was cleared. Primarily because as I remember it, he broke no Texas law. I'm not saying that what he did was right, but the law's the law.

    The problem with "taking the law into your own hands" is that the protections for suspects of criminal investigations do not apply to private citizens. Joe Horn did not find guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, along with 11 other peers, the two men he killed. Once again, Texas law allows this, so he was operating within the law. Fortunately, these guys were guilty... though arguably not deserving of death. But it will be a bad day for gun owners, and I hope this day never comes, when one of them shoots a neighbor kid accidentally for retrieving a frisbee from a neighbor's yard. The point is... taking the law into one's own hands is all well and good if one knows for sure that he is after the right person, and that the person is absolutely guilty. Yet when a slew of attorneys and 12 carefully-selected peers have trouble determining guilt, I doubt the ability of the average citizen to make such a decision that is fair, complete, and objective.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Niceville, Florida, USA
    Posts
    75

    Post imported post

    AZkopper wrote:
    whiskaz_55 wrote:
    In AZ you can use deadly force to prevent buglary.
    That is a partial truth. In AZ you may used deadly force to protect your life or the life of someone else. If someone burglarizes or trespasses in to your home (or any home or car you are currantly in), While you are home or while you are in the car deadly force is authorized under the AZ Castle Doctine law. The inturder is presumed to be a threat to you. You may not do what the TX guy did--You will be arrested and probably found guilty of Murder.
    Not true...Just under the castle doctrine you would be correct, but in AZ you are justified to use deadly force to prevent certain crimes, including burlary. And the statue is pretty clear that you are justified whether you're in a house or not

    13-411. Justification; use of force in crime prevention; applicability
    A. A person is justified in threatening or using both physical force and deadly physical force against another if and to the extent the person reasonably believes that physical force or deadly physical force is immediately necessary to prevent the other's commission of arson of an occupied structure under section 13-1704, burglary in the second or first degree under section 13-1507 or 13-1508, kidnapping under section 13-1304, manslaughter under section 13-1103, second or first degree murder under section 13-1104 or 13-1105, sexual conduct with a minor under section 13-1405, sexual assault under section 13-1406, child molestation under section 13-1410, armed robbery under section 13-1904 or aggravated assault under section 13-1204, subsection A, paragraphs 1 and 2.
    B. There is no duty to retreat before threatening or using physical force or deadly physical force justified by subsection A of this section.
    C. A person is presumed to be acting reasonably for the purposes of this section if the person is acting to prevent the commission of any of the offenses listed in subsection A of this section.
    D. This section is not limited to the use or threatened use of physical or deadly physical force in a person's home, residence, place of business, land the person owns or leases, conveyance of any kind, or any other place in this state where a person has a right to be.


  19. #19
    Regular Member AZkopper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    673

    Post imported post

    Your right, I completely forgot about subsection D of ARS 13-411.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  20. #20
    Regular Member MetalChris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    1,215

    Post imported post

    Source
    Quanell X: Grand jury system is 'broken'

    02:32 AM CDT on Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    By Taylor Timmins / KHOU.com

    In a much-anticipated decision, a Harris County grand jury on Monday declined to indict Horn for shooting and killing two suspected burglars outside his neighbor’s Pasadena home in November.

    “In this case, the grand jury concluded that Mr. Horn’s use of deadly force did not rise to a criminal offense,” said Harris County District Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

    The shootings sparked outrage across the nation, culminating in an emotional, racially-charged protest in Horn’s neighborhood that pitted Pasadena against itself.

    Quanell X, a Houston activist, said the District Attorney’s office has a “racist mindset” and intentionally strikes African-Americans from grand juries.

    “Those who put that grand jury together picked people that look like them, think like them,” Quanell X said.

    He said he was told the vast majority of the grand jurors were white, and that there was one minority.

    The Harris County District Attorney’s office as a rule refuses to comment on the identities of grand jurors.

    The men Horn killed, Hernando Torres and Diego Ortiz, were both illegal immigrants from Colombia who police believe were involved in an organized home burglary ring.

    Horn claimed he shot the men in self-defense, but an autopsy showed they were both shot in the back.

    “I am very surprised that these two lives had no value, that someone can take the law into their own hands and shoot them like animals and get away with it. This is not over. It’s not over by a longshot,” Stephany Storey, the fiancé of one of the men Horn killed, said.

    Storey had hoped to testify before the grand jury last week, but she was turned away.

    In response to the verdict, Quanell X said he will lead a protest at the DA’s office at 5 p.m. on July 10.

    “In less than 10 years, blacks, Hispanics and minorities will be the largest number in Harris County, and we will remember how we were treated,” Quanell X said. “So those in power, remember you got children and grandchildren too. You reap what you have sowed.”

    He maintains that if a black man did the same thing Horn did, he would have received jail time.

    “This was a wild and out-of-control Western-thinking, gun-toting man who saw the opportunity to be judge, jury and executioner, and Harris County let him get away with it. But we’re not going to let him get away with it,” Quanell X said.

    As for Horn’s neighbors, the activist said he sympathizes with the fact that they don’t want unrest in their community, but he thinks they need to let law enforcement take care of criminals.

    “We said from day one we deplore and condemn the criminal act they were participating in, but we do not believe you use criminal behavior to solve criminal activity,” Quanell X said.

    Meanwhile, Quanell X said he is meeting with civil attorneys to discuss the next legal move. He said he planned to lobby lawmakers to change the Castle Doctrine, which he believes is racially motivated. (WHAT?!)

    The Castle Doctrine is a controversial law that gives Texans a stronger right to defend themselves with deadly force in their homes, cars and workplaces.

    But not everyone was displeased with the grand jury’s decision.

    “I think the evidence showed that Joe was, in fact, within his legal rights to do what he did. He didn’t want to do it, but he didn’t have any other alternative,” said Horn’s attorney, Tom Lambright.

    Horn testified before the jurors for about 90 minutes on Friday before he was escorted out of the courtroom in secret.

    Lambright said Horn still feels awful about the shooting and is not ready to comment publicly yet. But he said that Horn is very grateful to the people who supported him and stood behind him.

    The whole controversy started back in November, when Horn called 911 to report that two men were burglarizing his neighbor’s home.

    During the 911 call, the operator repeatedly warned Horn to stay inside.

    “I’ve got a shotgun do you want me to stop ‘em?” Horn asked.

    “Nope don’t do that. Ain’t no property worth shooting somebody over OK?,” the Pasadena dispatcher said as he called out officers to the scene.

    “I’ll be honest with you, I’m not gonna let ‘em go, I’m not gonna let them get away with this (expletive),” he told the dispatcher.

    Then a short time later: “I can’t take a chance on getting killed over this. I’m gonna shoot. I’m gonna shoot.”

    The entire shooting was caught on tape.

    Horn can be heard telling the suspects, “You’re dead,” followed by a loud boom. (BULL-CRAP! He said, "Move, you're dead." Lamestream media at it's best.)

    Lambright, who has known Horn for decades, said his client is normally a quiet, humble man and his behavior that day was out of character.

    Many of Horn’s friends and neighbors have supported him throughout the ordeal, some even applauding his actions.

    Others, like Quanell X, feel he is nothing more than a vigilante.

    “How can you call the man who shoots two men in the back a hero,” Quanell X said.
    Bolded portions are my emphasis, my comments are in italics.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •