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Thread: VCU student charged with murder

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    VCU student charged with murder in Union Hill shooting

    The man who police say shot a robber in the Union Hill neighborhoodis now being charged with second degree murder.

    Witnesses say Eric Driver, 25 and a student at VCU, came out of his home to find his girlfriend being held at gunpoint by a masked thief who was attempting to break into her car. They say he rushed to her defense, shooting theman six times.

    The man shot, Jamal Holman, 24, was rushed to VCU Medical Center with hismask still on, where he later died.

    Police confirmed thatHolman did break into the vehicle. Originally, policewere not calling the case a homicide investigation.

    http://www.nbc12.com/Global/story.asp?S=10231572
    http://www.nbc12.com/Global/story.asp?S=10255397
    http://www.nbc12.com/global/story.asp?s=10285347

    From what I've read, I wonder if any of us would have reacted differently - even sounds like it might have escalated to a kidnapping or worse.

    Yata hey

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    That's wrong, his girlfriend was being held at gun point! I'm sure he was in fear of her life. I would have done the same ifit was my wife I saw being held at gun point. I hope the charges get thrown out and he sues.



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    Wow, I think I would have done the same thing that this man did. I hope that everything turns out alright for him.

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    Regular Member Riana's Avatar
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    Interesting how the story changes with each reporting. First the criminal had a gun - next he didn't. IMO, it shouldn't matter - the girlfriend was screaming, and the shooter reacted - but it might matter.

    Here in VA, is it generally considered legal to use deadly force in defense of property? I bet that's why they're going after the shooter - they claim if the criminal was unarmed, the shooter was not defending his girlfriend's life, but her car.

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    The second article says the man was unarmed, and the girlfriend discovered the a masked man sitting inside her car when she went to go get it fixed.

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    Regular Member crazydude6030's Avatar
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    Read the comments in the third link...

    http://www.nbc12.com/global/story.asp?s=10285347

    I find that pretty interesting.


    Here is what we don't know. We don't know rather or not the shooter invoked his 5th amendment right when the police were asking him questions. For all we know he said something that might have indicated something other then his GF being held at gun point.

    We also don't know fore sure if there is or was a weapon or if it was pointed at someone. Correct me if I am wrong here, but don't VA self defense laws change depending on the time of day and where you are?

    Sad though, this guy takes care of an alleged bad guy and look where it got him. :? We need laws like FL or TX where personal property can be defended easier.

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    Lethal force is justified to stop imminent death and serious bodily injury, either to yourself or another person, that is what I was taught in armed security school in March. Our instructor was a 29 year officer of the Norfolk police department:shock:.

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    Regular Member crazydude6030's Avatar
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    Pagan wrote:
    Lethal force is justified to stop imminent death and serious bodily injury, either to yourself or another person, that is what I was taught in armed security school in March. Our instructor was a 29 year officer of the Norfolk police department:shock:.
    What is the law on this? I knew you have to feel like you felt like your life is in danger. But another person? I didn't think VA law provided that.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    crazydude6030 wrote:
    What is the law on this? I knew you have to feel like you felt like your life is in danger. But another person? I didn't think VA law provided that.
    Indeed on the other side of that argument could be made that if you stand by and allow someone to commit a malicious crime then you could also be partly culpable.

    Unfortunately the "Good Samaritan" law (or reasoning) does not seem to exonerate as much as it implicates these days.

    I don't understand for the life of me how it is better to call the police to investigate a crime than it is to proactively thwart one.

    Yes, there is too much information that we do not know, but I would pray that if you dispatch a criminal in the act of committing a crime, particularly against another physical person (perhaps not necessarily a property crime) that would weigh strongly into the character of the conclusion by the courts.

    Again, the fatal shots have been ambiguously described in numerous accounts. Did he shoot the guy as he tried to flee? I say that should be just fine and dandy, but the law says otherwise. However, if the attacker provoked or was physically threatening and refused to desist once confronted, only a clinically insane person would consider passivity as a course to survival.

    Too many unknowns... just the way the media likes it.
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    Regular Member crazydude6030's Avatar
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    wylde007 wrote:
    Indeed on the other side of that argument could be made that if you stand by and allow someone to commit a malicious crime then you could also be partly culpable.
    Right, can you image talking to the police after the fact. "Well i had a gun on me, and i would have acted, but he never did anything to make me feel like i was in danger. Sure the person he was holding hostage was. Thats why i called you guys. I didn't want to get in trouble for acting. BTW, why did it take you ten minutes to get here?"

    Its stupid that we have to think of such things when faced in a situation like this man was.

    wylde007 wrote:
    Yes, there is too much information that we do not know, but I would pray that if you dispatch a criminal in the act of committing a crime, particularly against another physical person (perhaps not necessarily a property crime) that would weigh strongly into the character of the conclusion by the courts.
    I agree, but I don't think VA law really covers us if that happens. Am I wrong?

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    crazydude6030 wrote:
    BTW, why did it take you ten minutes to get here?
    When seconds count...
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    In Virginia you may use deadly force to protect your life or the life of someone else and to prevent serious bodily harm to yourself or another - the threat must be imminent.

    My google-fu is malfunctioning, so I shall leave it to others to cite appropriately.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member glockfan's Avatar
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    This case just goes to show the deep dodo you can get in for doing a defensive shooting.

    Sometimes the authorities do the right thing, they let off that VCU student and store employee David Fielding who GLOCK'd the robber Jerome Davis of the Forest Hill Avenue Baskin Robbins in September 2007.

    They charged David at first.


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    crazydude6030 wrote:
    wylde007 wrote:

    Its stupid that we have to think of such things when faced in a situation like this man was.

    wylde007 wrote:
    Yes...it is stupid. Unfortunately it is a fact. That's why it's so damned important to train over and over so It's second nature.
    Also, what you say after is just as important. YOU ARE ALWAYS AFRAID. Never say differently.

    And last...he shot the guy 6 times. Bad move.

    Don't get me wrong. IMHO he did a good thing. Good riddance to the @#$%. Sorry for his family that just held a vigil, but they won't be getting any sympathy cards from me.

    But for the shooter, even if he wins the case, a good part of his life is over.

    Hey???we have a dirty word filter...******* asshile ******* ******* **** ****

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    Regular Member crazydude6030's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    And last...he shot the guy 6 times. Bad move.
    Shoot until the threat is stopped. Maybe he didn't stop until the 6th round? :shock:

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    Regular Member sccrref's Avatar
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    As stated, there is a lot that we do not know. As part of the discussion in the class I took for CHP, it was brought up that if you are involved in a shooting, to not make a statement at that time. Let them know that you are emotionally distressed over what just occurred and you would like to collect yourself and possibly talk to your attourny before answering any questions. About the only statement I would initially make would be that Iwas in fear of great bodily harm or death to myself or whomever it was.

    Shooting the person 6 times could definitely be excessive. If the person was still moving and perceived as a continued threat, then 6 may not be enough.

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    sccrref wrote:
    As stated, there is a lot that we do not know. As part of the discussion in the class I took for CHP, it was brought up that if you are involved in a shooting, to not make a statement at that time. Let them know that you are emotionally distressed over what just occurred and you would like to collect yourself and possibly talk to your attourny before answering any questions. About the only statement I would initially make would be that Iwas in fear of great bodily harm or death to myself or whomever it was.

    Shooting the person 6 times could definitely be excessive. If the person was still moving and perceived as a continued threat, then 6 may not be enough.
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    Riana wrote:
    ...

    Here in VA, is it generally considered legal to use deadly force in defense of property? I bet that's why they're going after the shooter - they claim if the criminal was unarmed, the shooter was not defending his girlfriend's life, but her car.
    Absolutely not. Only allowed to use firearms to defend against imminent threat of death or serious injury.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    crazydude6030 wrote:
    Pagan wrote:
    Lethal force is justified to stop imminent death and serious bodily injury, either to yourself or another person, that is what I was taught in armed security school in March. Our instructor was a 29 year officer of the Norfolk police department:shock:.
    What is the law on this? I knew you have to feel like you felt like your life is in danger. But another person? I didn't think VA law provided that.
    Here is proibably the best place to try and answer the question "What is the law, and what does it mean?" http://www.virginia1774.org/Page5.html

    There are cases on whether or not "mere fear" of death or serious bodily injury are sufficient to invoke a defense of justified or excusable homicide. There are cases where the original provoker withdrew and later defended himself from attack.

    I continually suggest this site as a resource, and encourage people to do their own research to draw their conclusions, then "defend" those conclusions based on their reading of the law.

    IMHO the first aticle suggests excusable homicide, the second one suggests excusable homicide but in a weaker manner, and the last article is useless in deciding if it was a "good shoot" or not. The fact that he was granted bond suggests the CA is leaning towards excusable homicide, as does the charge of 2nd degree murderhttp://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...00+cod+18.2-33
    § 18.2-33. Felony homicide defined; punishment.

    The killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act other than those specified in §§ 18.2-31 and 18.2-32, is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years nor more than forty years.

    (1975, cc. 14, 15; 1999, c. 282.)
    I know that 2nd degre murder is antithetical to excusable homicide, which is the admission of 1st degree murder1 with a defensible excuse.

    1 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...00+cod+18.2-32
    § 18.2-32. First and second degree murder defined; punishment.

    Murder, other than capital murder, by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, or by any willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing [emphasis added], or in the commission of, or attempt to commit, arson, rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration, robbery, burglary or abduction, except as provided in § 18.2-31, is murder of the first degree, punishable as a Class 2 felony.

    All murder other than capital murder and murder in the first degree is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than forty years.

    (Code 1950, § 18.1-21; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 42; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1976, c. 503; 1977, cc. 478, 492; 1981, c. 397; 1993, cc. 463, 490; 1998, c. 281.)
    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    skidmark wrote:
    § 18.2-33. Felony homicide defined; punishment.

    The killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act other than those specified in §§ 18.2-31 and 18.2-32, is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years nor more than forty years.

    (1975, cc. 14, 15; 1999, c. 282.)
    If it comes down to that, a minimum of 5 years in prison seems way unfair for someone that could have possibly saved someone from being raped, kidnapped, and/or murdered.

    If this happened in a state like Texas with a castle doctrine, he would have not had to worry.

    First Ryan Frederick, now this. I hope the charges are dropped.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    scarletwahoo wrote:
    skidmark wrote:
    § 18.2-33. Felony homicide defined; punishment.

    The killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act other than those specified in §§ 18.2-31 and 18.2-32, is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years nor more than forty years.

    (1975, cc. 14, 15; 1999, c. 282.)
    If it comes down to that, a minimum of 5 years in prison seems way unfair for someone that could have possibly saved someone from being raped, kidnapped, and/or murdered.

    If this happened in a state like Texas with a castle doctrine, he would have not had to worry.

    First Ryan Frederick, now this. I hope the charges are dropped.
    Just to be nitpicking for a moment - Castle Doctrine is not the same as immunity from civil liability.

    Castle doctrine, generally stated, is the absence of a need to retreat before taking action to defend yourself. As it now is used, it means you do not need to retreat before defending yourself if you were in a place you were legally entitled to be (home, street, shopping mall, etc.) and were not engaged in any illegal activity at the time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine

    Civil immunity, on the other hand, protects you from being sued by the person or the heirs/estate of the person if they were engaged in illegal activity causing you to defend yourself. (See the wiki section.)

    The issue is that the natural right of defense of self and others changes in an instant as events unfold. What may have been justified or excusable can become criminal in less than the blink of an eye. On the other hand, Force Science Institute http://www.forcescience.org/has done some excellent work showing, for instance, that a person was shot in the back because the shooter could not pull the trigger fast enough to get the shot off when the person was in fact facing them. http://www.forcescience.org/fsinews/...al-for-murder/

    stay safe.

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

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    It's worth pointing out, though, that many of the state laws which apply the Castle Doctrine also provide Civil Immunity for self defense actions. This encourages folks to conflate the two different elements of these laws.

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    Even when shooting someone in self defense you will be question as per the INVESTIGATION, and as such you are not FREE to go. The rest is basic, keep quiet, and seek an attourney,IMO.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Pagan wrote:
    Even when shooting someone in self defense you will be question as per the INVESTIGATION, and as such you are not FREE to go. The rest is basic, keep quiet, and seek an attourney,IMO.
    +1. Pagan is a wise man.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
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    The story is in constant flux.

    First the badguy had the girlfriend at gunpoint; then in the next story she came out to find the badguy in her car, runs back to get her boyfriend; no mention of being at gunpoint.

    Now. . .if the first version is correct; badguy has her at gunpoint and Driver comes out and shoots him; I fail to see how that isn't a good shoot.

    If the second version is correct, Driver is going to find himself in deep doo-doo. The law doesn't permit for deadly force to defend property; its more or less reserved to defend your life or that of another if you feel you're about to be murdered or moments away from serious bodily injury and the badguy has the means to make that happen at his whim.

    If the girlfriend was running away and the badguy wasn't aiming at her; then he used deadly force in defense of property; which the law doesn't presently allow for.

    If the girlfriend was running away and the badguy was drawing a bead on her; then his use of deadly force was used in defense of life; which the law does allow for.

    Unfortunatley for those of us in the court of public opinion; the hacks in Richmond Press corp have all the journalistic prowess of a drunk kindergardner.
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when youre serious and when youre being sarcastic. Abraham Lincoln

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