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Lesson learned, close the door

utbagpiper

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This bizarre case is a little tough to unravel between poor reporting and so much going on. But long story short, seems a BG forced his way into a home (after committing several crimes at his parents' home down the street). The homeowner was given a gun by someone else in the home. BG and homeowner struggle over the gun, and both are shot.

Full article at this KSL link.

Relevant excerpt:

KSL said:
[The bad guy,] Kidder woke the people inside the house by yelling from the front yard. He and the homeowner "had a dialogue" through the screen door, but the homeowner declined to let Kidder inside as he was demanding, police say. Kidder then forced his way through the screen door and assaulted the homeowner "by punching him in the face and strangling him," according to the report.

Another person in the house handed the homeowner a gun, the report states, but Kidder attempted to take the gun away and kill the two residents. As the two struggled over the gun, several shots were fired. Kidder was struck three times, police say. The homeowner was shot once. Both suffered injuries not considered to be life-threatening.
Lesson to be learned, don't argue through a screen door with nutty and/or violent persons. Close the real door, arm yourself if not already armed (and why isn't one already armed in such a case?), call the cops, and prepare to repeal any attempt to force entry.

Charles
 

JoeSparky

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I do believe a person shooting and possibly causing the death of a 'bad guy' forcing his way into a home not his own via a screen door, especially a screen door with someone inside attempting to prevent the BGs entrance would be fully justified per UTAH law weather the "real" door was closed or not!

Home invasion in my book!
 

utbagpiper

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I do believe a person shooting and possibly causing the death of a 'bad guy' forcing his way into a home not his own via a screen door, especially a screen door with someone inside attempting to prevent the BGs entrance would be fully justified per UTAH law weather the "real" door was closed or not!

Home invasion in my book!
Absolutely. The homeowner shooting the BG is 100% legally justified in this case so far as I can tell.

In fact, under Utah law, you don't even have to wait for the BG to gain entrance to the home. Attempted entry by force or stealth is grounds to use deadly force if reasonably necessary to stop the attempt.

But the homeowner got himself shot (however minimally) needlessly in the process, and placed his household at needless risk by not making it more difficult for the badguy to get in.

If awakened by idiots, nut jobs, or violent criminals, arm yourself, double check the locks on the doors, call the police, and get yourself and family into the most defensible position possible.
 
Last edited:

JoeSparky

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Absolutely. The homeowner shooting the BG is 100% legally justified in this case so far as I can tell.

In fact, under Utah law, you don't even have to wait for the BG to gain entrance to the home. Attempted entry by force or stealth is grounds to use deadly force if reasonably necessary to stop the attempt.

But the homeowner got himself shot (however minimally) needlessly in the process, and placed his household at needless risk by not making it more difficult for the badguy to get in.

If awakened by idiots, nut jobs, or violent criminals, arm yourself, double check the locks on the doors, call the police, and get yourself and family into the most defensible position possible.
Agreement with you here. As to the last paragraph/sentence while wise advice not legally required in Utah.
 

utbagpiper

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Agreement with you here. As to the last paragraph/sentence while wise advice not legally required in Utah.
Correct.

That said, I would hate to see an over-zealous prosecutor ever be able to claim that engaging verbally was tantamount to some kind of "fighting by agreement" that might void claims of self-defense. If one were to engage verbally--such as though an upstairs window or intercom system, I believe the best course is to make clear you don't want any trouble, telling the aggressor to back off, have called the police, and are prepared to defend yourself.

But I'm sure plenty of other courses would be legally defensible in Utah.

We are fortunate to have very good defense of habitation laws. We just have to remember they don't extend to trespassing on the outdoor areas, nor even theft or vandalism. The legal limit appears to be when the aggressor attempts entry into the actual home.

I would offer as my opinion that one could also use deadly force in defense of innocent life were aggressors outside to attempt or engage in anything that would clearly endanger life in the home. Eg throwing Molotov cocktails toward the home.

Charles
 

JoeSparky

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Correct.

That said, I would hate to see an over-zealous prosecutor ever be able to claim that engaging verbally was tantamount to some kind of "fighting by agreement" that might void claims of self-defense. If one were to engage verbally--such as though an upstairs window or intercom system, I believe the best course is to make clear you don't want any trouble, telling the aggressor to back off, have called the police, and are prepared to defend yourself.

But I'm sure plenty of other courses would be legally defensible in Utah.

We are fortunate to have very good defense of habitation laws. We just have to remember they don't extend to trespassing on the outdoor areas, nor even theft or vandalism. The legal limit appears to be when the aggressor attempts entry into the actual home.

I would offer as my opinion that one could also use deadly force in defense of innocent life were aggressors outside to attempt or engage in anything that would clearly endanger life in the home. Eg throwing Molotov cocktails toward the home.

Charles
Your speculation about an overzealous prosecutor is noted but said prosecutor would have to overcome the Utah law allowing one to notify, display, warn, (pick your thesaurus based word choice) that one is armed in an effort to DE-escalate the situation is allowed!

Until an attempt is made to enter the home I think the charges would be limited to Disturbing the Peace, trespassing, possibly making a terroristic threat, ect.

Tossing of Molotov cocktails and probably simply have a similar device and attempting to light same prior to throwing would be arson, attempted arson, ect--- all felonies where a victim is in great risk of injury or death..... justified self defense---- Suggest a good outdoor surveillance system where perp can be easily id'd and provide great evidence to support one's claim of self defense.
 

utbagpiper

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Your speculation about an overzealous prosecutor is noted but said prosecutor would have to overcome the Utah law allowing one to notify, display, warn, (pick your thesaurus based word choice) that one is armed in an effort to DE-escalate the situation is allowed!
Very good point. Thank you.
 
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