Skip to comments.Family of victim outraged over lack of charges in W. Columbia shooting(SC)
Posted on 02/18/2011 5:18:12 AM PST by marktwain
WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Officials with the Lexington County Solicitor's Office are talking about the decision not to charge a homeowner who shot and killed a man outside his West Columbia house.
Prosecutors say what happened at the house early Monday morning adds up to a multi-faceted case of self-defense.
Homeowner Richard Williams confronting a man he'd seen breaking into his truck shortly after 3:00am. Williams told police the man temporarily blinded him with a flashlight.
Williams had a gun and fired twice, hitting the intruder at least once. Police say 44-year-old Mark Edward Howard tried to flee on the bicycle he was riding, but collapsed in the street and died.
Deputy Solicitor Dayton Riddle met with police Wednesday. "The question was asked is do you have any evidence whatsoever that this is anything other than self-defense," said Riddle. "And the answer I got was, we have zero evidence that it was anything but self-defense."
His uncle says Howard, originally from Williamsburg, Ohio, was a drifter who had a criminal record including theft. But Howard's family is outraged by the shooting.
"It's uncivilized," said uncle Rod Peck. "And it's sending a wrong message to people that they can just shoot any trespasser on their yard. Worst case scenario, maybe if one of the neighbor children came over in the middle of the night, it could have been one of the neighbor children. And we believe that this is wrongful death. That this is criminal, what this man did."
Riddle says to make a case against the homeowner, court rulings require the state to disprove self-defense. He says there's no evidence that would allow him to make that argument.
"If they collect evidence down the road that says something different, we can always revisit the decision,"s aid Riddle. "But as it stands today, the only evidence that's there indicates that it's self-defense. I have zero evidence to disprove self-defense, which is what I have to do according to the law."
His uncle says Howard's family was surprised he was in south Carolina, and had no idea why. Peck says Howard might have been in and out of trouble with the law, but had no convictions for violent crimes.
The family is looking for a way to pursue a case against Williams, but that will be hard to do. The facts and south Carolina law appear very much on the side of the homeowner.
“And it’s sending a wrong message to people that they can just shoot any trespasser on their yard”.
...it is?! What a strange thing to say.
First moral: Parents, keep your children out of the neighbor’s yard at 3:00 AM in the morning.
Sounds easy to me!
If Howard had knocked on William’s door and asked him for a can of beans because he was hungry, he probably would have gotten that and more. Americans are generous, even in these hard times.
In fact, I bet had Howard applied at the county relief office, he would’ve been eligible for food stamps.
Howard was a stupid man and paid for his stupidity.
The man was trash and needed killin
He assaulted the shooter with a light beam
BS. It is utterly civilized to respond to an initiation of force, fraud, or theft.
Don't want to get shot and die in the street? Don't steal other peoples stuff.
The thief was not a VICTIM. HE WAS A THIEF
Gosh, I wonder if the writer has an opinion on this story... It's just so hard to tell, with all the scrupulously objective journalists these days!
This article is poorly written. It didn’t say where the family off the criminal lives and didn’t even mention that they didn’t live in the state the homeowner shot him till the second to last paragraph. It mentions where the drifter’s family originated but not where they are located now.
We need a moral revival in the USA. There was a time when the family of a criminal would have been ashamed of his actions. There are many who are responsible for our moral decline, but the head of list have to be Progressives.
Too many people today value Criminal Rights over Victims Rights. People have the God-Given right to be free from undue force and coercion.
Even people with normally good moral values are getting more Criminal Rights. I cringe whenever anyone pushes to eliminate the Death Penalty....because the biggest winner in eliminating the Death Penalty are the criminals...and not just those who commit capital offenses
First, the headline should read, “Family of perp outraged....”
A beautiful and just law here in South Carolina is that the family cannot sue when the shooting is justifiable, which this one is according to our laws.
Perhaps it was growing up in Oklahoma, but my father taught me from the time I was young to:
1) not to trespass
2) if needing to go on someones land in an emergency, don’t blind the homeowner, shine the light on MY face and be VERY polite
3) most importantly, don’t steal
Apparently the perp — he was *not* a victim — never got the memo, or more likely didn’t seem to care. Sucks to be him. His family members need to look in the mirror at their own enabling behavior (and stupidity) for the blame, not the dude who refused to be a victim and offed their kin.
If Mark Howard didn’t try to break into Mr. Williams’s truck, he wouldn’t have been shot. Simple. Next!
Yes, it is a good law.
The “victims” “family” is looking for a payday from the killing of their no account relative they had pretty much nothing to do with.
Sad that a human life is gone...but it sure was self defense.
His “family” needs to go play the Lotto. The jig is up on this money making scheme.
>>>It’s uncivilized,” said uncle Rod Peck. “And it’s sending a wrong message to people that they can just shoot any trespasser on their yard. Worst case scenario, maybe if one of the neighbor children came over in the middle of the night, it could have been one of the neighbor children. And we believe that this is wrongful death. That this is criminal, what this man did.” <<<
a) Is trespassing and trying to steal a vehicle, “civilized”?
b) “If I invade someone’s property to steal their stuff, I might get shot to death” sounds like a pretty good message to me.
c) The “worst case scenario” didn’t happen. It wasn’t a neighbor’s child, it was your 44 year old, low-life, criminal nephew. IOW, it was the “best case scenario”.
d) “We believe this is ‘wrongful death’.” Translation, we believe we might have just hit the lottery and we plan to try to cash in on the death of our worthless relative.
"44-year-old Mark Edward Howard"
as in this article:
"Wilmer man gets 30 years in prison for making child molestation video", what was he doing loose, riding a bicycle in the wee hours of the morning and invading a homeowner's vehicle while trespassing?
If this is the same upstanding citizen, "44-year-old Mark Edward Howard", the guy also had meth and a firearm in his posession -- even though he had a prior conviction for felony drug possession.
If he is the same perp it appears that Richard Williams succeeded in doing cleanup of a piece of walking sewage the authorities should have had off the streets and behind bars...
I believe Williams’ intent was to protect himself. Maybe he also intended to protect his family and/or his possessions. But his intent doesn’t even come close to the reality of the situation. In reality, he protected all of us, and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.
“sending a wrong message to people that they can just shoot any trespasser on their yard”
Gee all the dead person had to do is obey the laws against trespassing. I guess sending the message of obeying the laws is not in this guys families minds.