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Thread: Man Meets Girlfriend's Husband, Kills Him in Self-Defense

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    This story dispels, completely, the usual anti-gunner/Brady-ite spiel that a person with a gun will somehow suddenly get into an emotional argument about life, love, women, whatever...and then SHOOT WHOEVER HE IS ARGUING WITH!

    Here we have PROOF that it doesn't turn out that way!

    Trevor Herrick is not a goof with a gun. OK, he's a goof with a knifebut he is not a goof with a gun.

    Also, this story presents a dilemma. The much heralded HankT's Postulate of Civilian Self-Defense reads:

    It is a bad strategy to shoot an unarmed person.

    It may need to be revised somewhat...


    It is a bad strategy to shoot or stab an unarmed person.


    It is a bad strategy to shoot or stab an unarmed person in the back.


    It is a bad strategy to stab an unarmed person in lieu of shooting him with a luger...if it's your girlfriend's husband....

    ...nah, it needs work... I'll get it...

    Suspect claims self-defense

    By Brent Curtis Staff Writer -

    Published: May 2, 2009

    The defense attorney for accused murderer Trevor P. Herrick said Friday that his client acted in self-defense when he stabbed 52-year-old Kerry Munger in the Diamond Run Mall parking lot last week.

    Herrick, 34, of West Rutland pleaded innocent last week to a charge that he murdered the Benson man who was married to the woman he had a longstanding affair with.

    Prosecutors asked that Herrick be jailed without bail last week, but defense attorney Matthew Harnett delayed a decision on that request by asking for an evidentiary review.

    On Friday, Harnett acknowledged during a hearing in Rutland District Court that the weight of the available evidence in the case was strong — but he argued that Herrick shouldn't be held without bail and could in fact be freed on only conditions of release because much of the evidence pointed toward self-defense.

    "What we have here is not a dangerous person but a law abiding individual who was caught up in a terrifying event," Harnett said. "He is innocent at this point. If he's put in jail then he's being punished before he's been convicted of anything."

    Whether Herrick acted in self-defense or whether he killed with almost no provocation as Rutland County State's Attorney James Mongeon argued Friday could ultimately be decided by a jury.

    But in the short-term, the question falls to Judge Thomas Zonay to decide whether Herrick should be jailed with no chance to post bail; whether bail should be set; or whether Herrick should be freed on conditions of release.

    The judge said he wouldn't issue a decision Friday — instead telling both attorneys that he wanted time to consider both sides before issuing a written decision that he said would come no later than Wednesday.

    Before the rendezvous at the mall on April 20, Herrick told police he stopped at the house where he grabbed a knife and a handgun from his room which Mongeon described during the hearing Friday as "virtually an armory" of guns and knives.

    The gun, a .41-caliber Luger, was under a jacket on the front seat of Herrick's truck during the incident, police said.

    During his meeting with Munger, Herrick told police heated words were exchanged until the older man shoved his shoulder. At that point, Herrick told police he reached behind his back and pulled a 3 1/2 inch blade from a sheath hidden under his sweatshirt.

    Herrick said he reached around and stabbed Munger in the back once. When the Benson man allegedly threatened to kill him and charged toward him, Herrick said he swung the knife again stabbing Munger in the side and dropping him to the ground. Munger died soon after.

    While Herrick never claimed to be acting in defense during interviews with police and citizens who tried to administer CPR to Munger, Harnett said his decision to bring weapons to the meeting was a reasonable precaution for a man meeting the physically larger husband of the woman he was having an affair with.

    He also rebutted Mongeon's argument that Herrick resorted to deadly force without warning against Munger, who was unarmed, by arguing that his client was worried only for his own safety.

    "You're allowed to use deadly force without warning if you believe someone is about to use deadly force against you," Harnett said. "Mr. Munger was a much larger man. I'm not trying to try my case now, but I'm suggesting when you look at the information that's available, the evidence is consistent with self-defense."

    After the stabbing, Harnett said his client called 911, waited for police and cooperated with investigators.

    In addition, Harnett said his client's strong family ties to the community, lack of a criminal record or history of violence or problems with substance abuse or mental disorders made him a low risk of fleeing custody or harming the public.

    But Mongeon said Herrick's risk to the safety of others was so high — as evidenced by the suddenness of his attack and the minor provocation that initiated it — that he should be jailed without the option of bail.

    "The nature and circumstances of this offense are chilling," he said. "Mr. Herrick had opportunities to leave but he chose not to…There was so little provocation from Mr. Munger for so great a response."

    Mongeon also pointed to Herrick's personal life as a factor. Herrick, who lives with his parents, occupies a room void of almost all accessories except guns and knives — which a state police investigator said included assault rifles, hunting rifles, handguns, black powder weapons, and knives ranging from hunting knives to lances.

    Harnett said all of Herrick's guns and knives were legally owned.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Can we start with the .41 cal luger? Maybe it's just because I am not a fanboy of the species, but do lugers even come in .42 cal? If so, is it plain vanilla .41, or .41 magnum?

    There is just too much confusion going on for me to want to get involved in the "he shoved my shoulder which I perceived as a threat of death or serious bodily injury".

    I always thought of Vermonters as merely being eccentric, like Larry and Daryl and Daryl, instead of being trailer park trash. Going to the mall tomeet the husband of the woman you are having an affair with - that's just plain wrong!

    As for HankT's postulate, I think in this case it works out to It is a bad strategy to stab the unarmed husband of your girlfriend in lieu of shooting him with a luger...especially if it's in the mall parking lot.

    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.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"

  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    .41 Luger?

    Maybe they meant a .41 Ruger?

    No idea, Luger's only came in 9x19mm and 7.65x22 I believe.

    I'd take the "virtual armory" comments with a grain of salt. The media has reported some guys as having an "arsenal" or an "arsenal" of guns, which turns out to be 3 - 10 guns. Hardly an "armory" worth of guns, you barely being to touch the tip of the iceberg when you start hitting 30 - 50 guns.

    I'd wait for this to develop further before drawing any conclusions.

    Yes, touching another person is considered assault and I do not know the laws where this took place, so a simple assault may be all thats needed in order to defend yourself with lethal force.

  4. #4
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    Someone may have mentioned that it was a model 41 Luger and the reporter took it as .41 caliber. I can't find any mention of a .41 caliber Luger.

    As for going to the mall to meet your girfriends husband and stopping to pick up a knife and gun on the way. Please, give me a break. Just the meeting is stupid as you know what is going to happen and to make sure you are armed before hand. When you find yourself in a hole too deep to climb out of, QUIT DIGGING. I don't want to judge without all hte facts but it doesn't look too good too for Goofy even with the push on the shoulder and being smaller.

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