Skip to comments.WA:Spokane homeowner who shot carjacker charged with manslaughter
Posted on 05/30/2013 6:04:38 AM PDT by marktwain
Dori thinks it should be legal to use deadly force to protect your property, but Spokane prosecutors disagree. They announced Wednesday that they are charging Gail Gerlach, who shot and killed a carjacker, with First Degree Manslaughter.
According to reports, 56-year-old Gail Herbert Gerlach had left his Chevy Suburban running in his driveway to warm it up on a cold day in March when Brendon Kaluza-Graham tried to drive away with it. Gail fired his gun, hitting Brendon in the head and killing him.
Gail said he saw Brendon raise his arm in his direction; he thought Brendon had a gun. But police later searched the car and didn't find a weapon.
After the shooting, KREM TV reported that Kaluza-Graham had been caught stealing cars four times in the past, and had been convicted of assaulting a police officer. Police report that he'd had multiple run-ins with law enforcement where he had been armed with knives.
(Excerpt) Read more at mynorthwest.com ...
If police can (and do) use this excuse, why not private citizens?
They might. Convict or not convict, she was apparently not in fear for her life when she shot. She’s probably in for six figures of legal costs, though, either way.
Makes you want to pay a carjacker to carjack the judge doesn’t it?
Washington state? 50/50
And he should demand a jury of his own peers, not the victim's peers.
“But police later searched the car and didn’t find a weapon.”
The car was/is the weapon. It is not beyond a perp to drive him over or ram him.
Was thinking the same thing.
"I was in fear for my life."
"He motioned like he had a weapon."
I 100% believe him that he was in fear for his life. I would never vote to convict him or anyone else removing a predator from society and experiencing an obviously justifiable fear for his life. He merely shot to stop the threat, and I'm glad he hit center-mass on the portion of the threat that was visible. I certainly don't blame him for misinterpreting a gesture from a violent criminal in the act of committing a felony as a threat to his life. Not guilty, all court costs to be paid by the prosecution's office. Ammo to be replaced at taxpayer expense.
Cops get away with this excuse every day. Why can't we?
Unfortunately but in most states its illegal to defend your property by shooting the thief.Now if the owner of the vehicle was standing in the front of the vehicle in his driveway and the perp attempted to run him down.This would probably have a more positive outlook for the property owner.
Unfortunately I think he’s toast.
Washington state law (I think, current. via Google). It would seem that the shooter has a legal leg to stand on. Personally, I think lethal force is only justifiable in the face of potentially lethal force.
Homicide By other person When justifiable.
Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:
(1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
(2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.
Certain property is considered special and it is automatically a felony to steal such property. The Revised Code of Washington 9A.560.65 makes it a Class B felony to commit theft of any motor vehicle, regardless of that vehicle’s value. Under 9A.56.300, it is also a Class B felony to steal a firearm of any value. If more than one firearm is taken, the theft of each firearm is charged as a separate offense.
Read more: What Constitutes Felony Theft in Washington State? | eHow http://www.ehow.com/info_8484497_constitutes-felony-theft-washington-state.html#ixzz2UmW3WLnB
They might. Convict or not convict, she was apparently not in fear for her life when she shot. Shes probably in for six figures of legal costs, though, either way.
From the article: “Gail said he saw Brendon raise his arm in his direction; he thought Brendon had a gun. But police later searched the car and didn’t find a weapon.”
Cops use that excuse all the time. Good luck proving to a jury (and it is the prosecution’s job to do so) that she didn’t fear for her life.
BTW, this is yet another reason I moved from Washington state to Kentucky two years ago, after 45 years in the Seattle area.
In Texas we would give her an award!!!!
Washington state? 50/50
“Will a jury convict him?”. Answer, NO! But, he will have to pay for a defense which will cost him thousands.
.........I hope a million people move out of the state as a result of this with most of them coming out of the liberal/marxist prosecutors county. The only way to teach ANYTHING to a rogue “government”, whether federal, state, or local is to hit em in the pocket book.
I also think that the governmental entity that prosecutes someone, at the judges discretion minimally, should have to pay attorneys fees when prosecutors go rogue. And, make no mistake, that prosecutor has the discretion to file or not to file. I would bet a hundred bucks he is just a diehard liberal gun grabber and racist, meaning if the perp was white and the shooter black there would be no prosecution.
The thief's grandparents, who raised him, called him a "sweet kid" who made some mistakes in life.
"I know taking the car was wrong, but it's not a capital crime he needed to be executed for."
Yeah, a real sweet kid. A question, Grama: How does a sweet kid have multiple run-ins with the law and you still call him a sweet kid? BTW, he wasn't executed. He was shot while caught in the act of committing a crime and Gail had every right to do what he could to stop the "sweet kid".
When I lived in Seattle, there was a California attorney being interviewed on local talk radio about California (not washington, but interesting) law regarding using deadly force. Here is the example he used to drive the point home:
If you are a woman who has just been the victim of a home invasion and the perp has just brutally raped you and left you for dead, as you lay on your living room floor he is exiting your apartment. You suddenly notice your hand is touching your pistol under your sofa. In a fit of adrenylin, you grab the pistol, force yourself up, aim the pistol and shoot him in the doorway. He dies of his wounds.
You are guilty of first degree manslaughter (at the least) because the guy was leaving and not a current threat to your life.
I no longer take the law seriously in this country.
The thief’s grandparents, who raised him, called him a “sweet kid” who made some mistakes in life.
Judge a tree by it’s fruit, granny.
You own a gun you need to know all the laws of your state.
I love South Carolina. Protect your property and self.
I volunteer to serve on this jury...in fact, I don’t do much more than send in an absentee ballot: NOT GUILTY.
I guess there’s no castle law there. That will make criminals think twice about trying to jack your stuff.
“the officer felt threatened...”
“Gail said he saw Brendon raise his arm in his direction; he thought Brendon had a gun. “
If a cop shot someone under the same circumstances it would be legal.
(6) Concealable weapon means a firearm having a length of less than twelve inches measured along its greatest dimension that must be carried in a manner that is hidden from public view in normal wear of clothing except when needed for self defense, defense of others, and the protection of real or personal property.
Will a jury convict him?
Washington state? 50/50
Big cities usually equates to Progressive majority.
First of all, some on this thread are under the impression that the shooter is a woman; it was a man. Anyway, the guy had left his car running in front of his house (stupid, and illegal in Washington). And as far as the furtive movement, the thief was shot in the back of the head as he was driving away - in fact, he actually made it several blocks before running into a utility pole. It seems unlikely that a person running out of their house would be able to see any kind of movement through the tinted back window and past several headrests.
Where was his brother Sue when all this took place?
Have you actually been to Spokane? It’s not exactly a “big city” or a hotbed of liberalism.
So a man or woman who is “deputized” and expected to be honest and forthright can simply state they felt “threatened,” yet a citizen, supposedly presumed innocent until proven guilty, is immediately suspect when they shoot and kill someone stealing their property, grand theft auto, a felony.
This is further proof that we no more “own” our property than we do our own lives. We can’t protect our property from anyone or anything. Apparently only the police, who’ll just as soon shoot you on your own property, are permitted to shoot the bad guys.
Getting real tired of your shit, law enforcement.
NO, and a grand jury shouldn't indict.
Saw an article yesterday where an Iraq and Afghanistan vet accosted a crook breaking into his house. He told crook he better flee and he then fired the warning shot into the ground with his “assault rifle.” He DIDN’T fire the shot into the crook’s head or chest.
Guess who was arrested and what charge was filed?
The Spokane boys are trying to “send a message”. Don’t shoot Obama voters while they are in the act of committing a felony.
FBI shoots unarmed alledged accomplice to Boston terrorist.
government troops shoot unarmed terrorist in boat.
Not hearing of any penalty.
“You own a gun you need to know all the laws of your state.”
Very true. We moved to VA from MD 5 years ago, and we are much happier here
However, MD allows for use of deadly force to protect property while VA doesn’t., and here, there has to be an immediate threat of grave physical injury to allow use of a firearm.
In this case, in the Freak State, all would be OK, but here in the Commonwealth, the woman would be charged with murder.
remote start with automatic door locking...it’s a wunnerful thing.
If you have quoted that word-for-word it seems this person would be in the clear. I mean it doesn’t say “violent felony” just felony. Clearly the shooter was acting to prevent a felony.
I must say I always get nervous about warming up the car unattended. Thieves steal cars when they aren’t running, this just makes it so easy for them.
But I grew up in NYC in the 70s, I always say I’d lock my car if it was parked in the grand canyon.
That's why you keep a cheap throwaway around, which you've never handled without gloves (the ammo as well).
If he is lucky enough to get an informed juror on each jury, and he has enough money to hold out, he will be free but broke.
Sheesh, I hate to see that this came out of Spokane.
Not if there is one sane person on it.
On the other hand, this is Washington state, so sane people are kind of rare, and are probably kicked out of jury pools...
I live in a supposedly well-to-do suburb in Connecticut and I wouldn’t do it. I suppose it comes down to the zeal of the prosecutor, the skill of the defense and the luck of the draw with the jury. Watch out for the civil suit though.
Hope not.They should give him at least TWO awards.One for ridding society of vermin,and another for being a damn good shot!
Guess who was arrested and what charge was filed?
The home owner was probably arrested for unlawful discharge of a firearm and probably Reckless Endangerment.
He,The home owner would have been better off just telling the Perp to lay down on the floor until the Law enforcement people come and pick him up.
People have to Remember that you can’t use deadly force unless its being used against you and you fear for your life.
You better be able to describe that fear in detail so a jury will agree with your decision to use deadly force.
Its best to read your states Firearms and use of force Statutes so you know what to do before hand.
If you're smart, you are only guilty of perjury, and it's not provable in court.
The rapist turned back, said he was going to shoot/stab/beat you to death, took a step toward you, and only then, when your life was in immediate danger, did you decide to shoot. In the moment it took your shaky hand to squeeze the trigger, he turned away, so the bullet hit him in the back, but at the time you started to pull the trigger, your life was in immediate danger.
(1) Don't give any details, truthful or not, without a lawyer, and
(2) don't recant or waver once you have decided how and why your life was in immediate danger when you shot that predator in the back.
Police investigators recommended no charges but somehow you send the DA know better. I was just wondering how.
Not if I'm on the jury.
(1) Know your state laws about firearms and use of force.
(2) Lock your car when warming it up.