Texas: "Police investigating deadly shooting that could fall under 'Castle Law'"
07:31 PM CST on Sunday, December 28, 2008
By JESSICA VESS / KVUE News
Police investigate a deadly shooting that could fall under the State’s so-called “Castle Law”.
Police are not saying much right now because they are still investigating the invasion, but we do know that the suspected burglar was shot and killed. It happened at a home about an hour northeast of Austin in Cameron.
Milam County Sheriff's deputies got a call around two this morning about the shooting of a home intruder.
Deputies found suspected burglar, 34-year-old Eddie Sexton III, dead.
No charges are filed yet, but the case could be the latest in a string of Castle Law defenses.
The law which was passed last September by Texas lawmakers gives homeowners the right to shoot an intruder - but there are boundaries.
It's still unclear whether or not the homeowner is the one who shot and killed Sexton this morning.
Deputies say the investigation will go to a grand jury. That group will decide if charges should be filed.
That is the way all Castle Doctrine defenses are handled. . . .
See also a related story in Colorado that has gotten a lot of national and international attention here:
Mistaken for thief, man gunned down
Comments 247 | Recommend 24
December 29, 2008 - 4:01 PM
SUE McMILLIN and BILL VOGRIN
COLORADO SPRINGS — . . . .
Colorado Springs police spokesman Lt. David Whitlock said residents of the Virginia Avenue house made a 911 call and reported that someone was trying to break into the house.
One of the residents confronted Kennedy at the back door and fired a handgun at least once, Whitlock said. He said the two people inside the home did not know Kennedy.
He declined to name the residents or to provide additional information.
"We're doing timeline work now to see what brought these people together," Whitlock said. He characterized the shooting as an "unfortunate situation" and said police will turn their investigation over to the District Attorney's Office to determine whether charges will be filed.
The El Paso County Coroner's Office said an autopsy is scheduled today. . . .
Here is an additional story:
New Details In Springs Shooting
Updated: Jan 1, 2009 09:54 AM
KRDO News Channel 13, Colorado Springs
COLORADO SPRINGS - New information have come to light about the shooting death of a 22-year-old Colorado Springs man who may have been mistaken for an intruder.
It now appears the victim, Sean Kennedy, had broken a window and was trying to get inside a back door when he was shot and killed by the homeowner Sunday night.
An Associated Press story that starts out being critical of those who shot the intruder has this information towards the end:
David Webster, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, said it's still unclear whether the "Make My Day" law will apply to this case.
"It gets murky if the door is broken but not open," he said. Prosecutors also must consider whether Kennedy was warned before being shot.
The occupants of the house called police to report that they believed a burglary was occurring. Police have not said how long after the call that shots were fired.
"The time frame will be key," Webster said. "It sounds like they were trying to do the right thing and get law enforcement there." . . .
Kennedy's house has a wooden privacy fence in the backyard, while the home where he was shot has a chain-link fence. His friends said he was in no condition to notice the difference after an evening of drinking and watching the Denver Broncos game at a friend's house.
From the Denver Post: The man's father described the situation this way:
"He had had too much to drink, as boys that age will do, and he apparently went to the wrong house, rang the doorbell and went to the back door and was pounding pretty aggressively, I guess, to wake up his roommates," Grant Kennedy said. "I guess the people inside were fearful of him. It's just a tragedy." . . .