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Thread: TX Pawn Shop Owner who shot and killed robber goes to Grand Jury

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I couldn't find any further information in a google search this morning. Being that the store owner, who by all indications in this short blurb (and my limited knowledge of TX law) was totally justified in the shooting, I am quite curious as to why he is being referred to the grand jury. I think this one is worth keeping and eye on, especially for Houston area members. Perhaps someone local or with more google-fu than I can find more info about this matter.



    Robbery suspect's shooting goes to grand jury
    Copyright 2008
    Houston Chronicle
    Oct. 26, 2008, 12:35PM

    The fatal shooting of a suspected robber during a hold-up at a northwest Harris County pawn shop Saturday will be referred to a grand jury, authorities said today.
    Clifford Jerome Thomas, 36, wore sunglasses and a cap about 6 p.m. when he pulled a gun on the owner of Gulf Coast Pawn and Jewelry, 9440 Louetta, Harris County Sheriff's deputies said.

    Thomas threatened to kill the owner, who was working behind the counter. He took out a pair of handcuffs, ordering the man to his knees, deputies said.

    When the owner refused to comply, Thomas fired at him, but missed. The owner was able to retrieve his own pistol and shot Thomas several times, deputies said.

    Thomas, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, later died at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. The owner was not injured, deputies said.
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6078958.html


    Another:

    HOUSTON (KTRK) -- We now know the name of the robbery suspect who was shot and killed by the owner of a north Houston pawn shop. That pawn shop owner is a war veteran who was armed and ready for intruders.

    Harris County sheriff's deputies say 36-year-old Clifford Jerome Thomas, 36, armed with a gun, went into the pawn shop on Louetta near Champion yesterday evening and told the owner he was going to rob him. Thomas fired one shot at the owner and missed. The owner grabbed his handgun and fired four shots at the suspect. He later died at a hospital.

    "They were separated by the counter, and the store owner, he just felt like from what this guy was telling him, to kneel down behind the counter and told him he was robbing him, and told him he was going to kill him, he just was going to make it easy and was not going to comply with the instructions of the robbery suspect," said Sgt. Ben Beall with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

    The owner of the business was not hurt.

    http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?se...amp;id=6470695



    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Wasn't much of a 'bullet proof' vest, eh?

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    depending on the county, most shootings in texas go to a grand jury by default. This usually gets no billed by that jury, but most DA's make an honest attempt to have all actions vetted by the people. I wouldn't worry too much about this.

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    Regular Member AZkopper's Avatar
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    DKSuddeth wrote:
    depending on the county, most shootings in texas go to a grand jury by default. This usually gets no billed by that jury, but most DA's make an honest attempt to have all actions vetted by the people. I wouldn't worry too much about this.
    +1, it is not uncommon for any homicide to go to a GJ, just to cross all the i's and dot all the t's. Besides, if it goes 'No Bill', that officially clears the defendant.

    Sure, it seems like it sucks, but it's just "our system" at work.



  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification on how things work in the TX judicial system!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    TheMrMitch wrote:
    Wasn't much of a 'bullet proof' vest, eh?
    Depends where the rounds went. An armored vest won't do much for a shot in the face/head. In the heat of the moment, the victim might not have been aiming at center of mass.

    +1 forthe goodguys.

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    Regular Member CrossFire's Avatar
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    AZkopper wrote:
    DKSuddeth wrote:
    depending on the county, most shootings in texas go to a grand jury by default. This usually gets no billed by that jury, but most DA's make an honest attempt to have all actions vetted by the people. I wouldn't worry too much about this.
    +1, it is not uncommon for any homicide to go to a GJ, just to cross all the i's and dot all the t's. Besides, if it goes 'No Bill', that officially clears the defendant.

    Sure, it seems like it sucks, but it's just "our system" at work.

    It is my understanding that no bill does not clear a person of wrong doing and that if evidense comes to light at a later date that person canstill be brought to trial.

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    CrossFire wrote:
    AZkopper wrote:
    DKSuddeth wrote:
    depending on the county, most shootings in texas go to a grand jury by default. This usually gets no billed by that jury, but most DA's make an honest attempt to have all actions vetted by the people. I wouldn't worry too much about this.
    +1, it is not uncommon for any homicide to go to a GJ, just to cross all the i's and dot all the t's. Besides, if it goes 'No Bill', that officially clears the defendant.

    Sure, it seems like it sucks, but it's just "our system" at work.

    It is my understanding that no bill does not clear a person of wrong doing and that if evidense comes to light at a later date that person canstill be brought to trial.
    Technically correct, until you are found not-guilty by a regular jury you are not completely cleared. If a grand Jury does a no bill then it is very unusual for it to be brought back to them unless major evidence in uncovered. In a cse such as this it would be very unlikely that any additional facts would be brought out so a NB would be the end of it. If it was not presented to the GJ then the prosecuter could have the option of opening it back up at any time and presenting it including additional investigation. As someone else said this could just be a formality to clear thing up and then possibly used in any civil trial that may be brought.

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    Regular Member CrossFire's Avatar
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    Agreed. I just pointed this out because of a recent event here in TX where a man was NB after shooting two poeple who were robbing his neighbors house and was told by 911 to not get involved. I am sure that many on this forum are familiar with the story as there was a thread about it. The possibility of this coming back to haunt him and any one else who isNBis real evenif not likely.

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    I think this is standard practice to cover both the DA and the victim. They can BOTH say " Look it was the grand jury's decision".

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    CrossFire wrote:
    Agreed. I just pointed this out because of a recent event here in TX where a man was NB after shooting two poeple who were robbing his neighbors house and was told by 911 to not get involved. I am sure that many on this forum are familiar with the story as there was a thread about it. The possibility of this coming back to haunt him and any one else who isNBis real evenif not likely.
    Just trying to elaborate before someone jumps in and cries double jeopardy. Going to a Grand Jury a second time on the same case is a rarity but possible.

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    Just trying to elaborate before someone jumps in and cries double jeopardy. Going to a Grand Jury a second time on the same case is a rarity but possible.

    It's considerably more possible if the DA has a political axe to grind *cough*Bernard Goetz*cough*.

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