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BREAKING: Jury acquits Spokane man of shooting fleeing car thief
The Socialist-Review ^

Posted on 04/10/2014 5:53:29 PM PDT by narses

Tears flowed on both sides of a Spokane courtroom Thursday as a jury acquitted Gail Gerlach of manslaughter in the March 2013 death of Brendon Kaluza-Graham.

Gerlach’s wife, Sharon, wept and embraced her family as the verdict, not guilty on both a first-degree and second-degree manslaughter charge, was read in open court. Ann Kaluza-Graham, grandmother of the man shot dead trying to steal Gerlach’s SUV, burst into tears as she said her grandson never got a chance to answer theft charges or prove himself a changed person.

“This was a tragedy,” Gerlach said in a brief statement after the verdict was read. “As Christians, we believe in redemption. The greatest tragedy is that Mr. Brendon Kaluza-Graham will not have a chance to turn his life around.”

The family of the 25-year-old said they were disgusted with the way the media has portrayed Kaluza-Graham, saying their relative was made into a “one-dimensional thief.”

“He had hopes, and dreams,” Ann Kaluza said. She added “he was made into a poster boy for the angst of the community, a sacrificial lamb. That’s not right.”

Sharon Gerlach walked into Judge Annette Plese’s courtroom gripping the hand of her husband Thursday. Ann Kaluza said her heart was pounding as a packed courtroom waited for a verdict in the controversial case that Gerlach’s attorneys said was never about property crime.

“This case should have never been filed,” defense attorney David Stevens said. “This police handed this over without recommendations for a reason. You don’t take a vote on whether to file charges.”

The jury continued to deliberate Thursday afternoon as to whether the homicide could be deemed justified. If at least 10 jurors agree that Gerlach’s fatal shooting of Kaluza-Graham was justified self-defense, the public will end up paying for the trying of the case, which Stevens and colleague Richard Lee estimated to be close to $300,000.

Prosecutor Deric Martin told Kaluza-Graham’s family he was disappointed with the verdict and thanked them for their support. Many family members were present throughout the trial, which began with jury selection March 31.

Jurors rejected arguments from prosecutors Gerlach acted recklessly when he fired his semiautomatic handgun once through the rear window of his SUV as Kaluza-Graham drove away the morning of March 25, 2013. They also rejected the lesser claim he acted with criminal negligence, a requisite for second-degree manslaughter.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: 2ndamendment; banglist; castledoctrine; gerlach; kaluza; spokane; washington
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1 posted on 04/10/2014 5:53:29 PM PDT by narses
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To: narses; KingOfVagabonds; Berlin_Freeper; UnRuley1; mlizzy; mc5cents; RichInOC; Prince of Space; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

2 posted on 04/10/2014 5:53:43 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses
Ann Kaluza-Graham, grandmother of the man shot dead trying to steal Gerlach’s SUV, burst into tears as she said her grandson never got a chance to answer theft charges or prove himself a changed person.

That's OK granny. He's changed now.

3 posted on 04/10/2014 5:55:51 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Read the comments. The left wing-nuts have their panties tied into knots.


4 posted on 04/10/2014 5:56:36 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses
I think the jury was sending a message to all the Saint Trayvons out there.
5 posted on 04/10/2014 5:57:25 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Spokane is an odd little town. But stealing a man’s work truck is pretty much accepted as a form of suicide.


6 posted on 04/10/2014 5:58:26 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses

Some good news today.


7 posted on 04/10/2014 5:59:07 PM PDT by uncitizen (Impeach the Communist Already!)
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To: narses
He had hopes, and dreams, Ann Kaluza said.

Unexpected

8 posted on 04/10/2014 5:59:10 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: narses

“As Christians, we believe in redemption.”

Its forgiven, not forgotten. You must still pay the piper.


9 posted on 04/10/2014 5:59:32 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Perfectly lawful acquittal.

Jury said so.

10 posted on 04/10/2014 6:00:10 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: tomkat

Apparently Grandma can’t distinguish between “turn the life around” and turning signals on a stolen SUV. I don’t think the kid is gonna get the saintly award.


11 posted on 04/10/2014 6:00:58 PM PDT by Wicket (1 Peter 3:15 , Romans 5:5-8)
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To: narses
saying their relative was made into a “one-dimensional thief.” “He had hopes, and dreams,” Ann Kaluza said. She added “he was made into a poster boy for the angst of the community, a sacrificial lamb. That’s not right.”

OK, so now he's a three-dimensional thief. Not only that, he's the very best kind of thief. A dead one.

12 posted on 04/10/2014 6:02:51 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; KingOfVagabonds; Berlin_Freeper; UnRuley1; mlizzy; mc5cents; RichInOC; ...

As I said, Spokane is an odd little town. The cops (unionized) decided to stop worrying about property crimes.

Spokane police to investigate fewer thefts, burglaries

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/oct/06/property-crimes-unit-disbands/


13 posted on 04/10/2014 6:03:08 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses

If it were Texas, he probably would never have been charged in the first place.


14 posted on 04/10/2014 6:03:24 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: smokingfrog

He should not have been. And if the jury agrees, the County will pay $300,000 in costs and attorney fees for the (falsely) accused.


15 posted on 04/10/2014 6:04:14 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses

“The jury continued to deliberate Thursday afternoon as to whether the homicide could be deemed justified. If at least 10 jurors agree that Gerlach’s fatal shooting of Kaluza-Graham was justified self-defense, the public will end up paying for the trying of the case, which Stevens and colleague Richard Lee estimated to be close to $300,000. “

Who pays if they don’t?


16 posted on 04/10/2014 6:04:27 PM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin
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To: narses
"As Christians, we believe in redemption. The greatest tragedy is that Mr. Brendon Kaluza-Graham will not have a chance to turn his life around."

I agree in a sense; it is a tragedy that this thief (and we know he was a thief given that he was shot while stealing the shooter's car) did not take any of his earlier chances to turn his life around. Having been the victim of theft and having known other victims, I am certain that this criminal did a great deal of harm to many people, both financially and psychologically.

"Gerlach acted recklessly when he fired his semiautomatic handgun once through the rear window of his SUV as Kaluza-Graham drove away the morning of March 25, 2013.

One shot kill against a moving vehicle and with little or no warning? That's not reckless, it's fine shooting - particularly with today's ammo prices.

I'd be happier if criminals went straight on their own initiative before committing many crimes, but I have heard of few, if any, cases when I minded a successful defense of life or property by the victims of crime. Committing a crime against an innocent person is in my mind betting your life that the victim will not have any surprises, and that's a big bet to make.

17 posted on 04/10/2014 6:04:39 PM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: narses
“He had hopes, and dreams,”

Yeah, hopes and dreams of taking other people's stuff. He died doing what he loved, so what's the family griping about.

18 posted on 04/10/2014 6:06:39 PM PDT by Ezekiel (All who mourn the destruction of America merit the celebration of her rebirth.)
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To: Pollster1

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/may/30/choices-made-on-march-morning-leave-two-families/

Kaluza-Graham’s history was riddled with trouble, including convictions for auto theft, joyriding and reckless driving.


19 posted on 04/10/2014 6:06:48 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses
The shooter, Gail Gerlach.

The shootee, Brendon Kaluza-Graham.

Kaluza-Graham had a criminal history and engaged in violent behavior towards police when resisting arrest. A large amount of meth was found in Kaluza-Graham during his autopsy and meth was found on his body, which the defense team says was packaged for possible resale.

Kaluza-Graham (25) had an extensive criminal history. It dates back to 2008, when he was charged two times for taking a vehicle without permission. He was charged again in 2009 for taking a vehicle without permission. Then in 2012, he faced yet another charge for taking a vehicle without permission. That year, he was also charged with assault in the 3rd degree of a law enforcement officer, controlled substance possession which included cocaine, meth, and marijuana. He also faced charged for obstructing a law enforcement officer and using a vehicle theft tool.

20 posted on 04/10/2014 6:08:12 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: narses

Within 10-15 years the Supreme Court will abandon Double Jeopardy.


21 posted on 04/10/2014 6:08:22 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: tomkat

Hopes and dreams? Let me guess grandma he had to steal that vehicle to earn the money he needed to go to college to turn his life around. How sad. How sad that grandma is obviously delusional.


22 posted on 04/10/2014 6:08:53 PM PDT by dowcaet
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To: Pride in the USA; Stillwaters

Unexpected


23 posted on 04/10/2014 6:09:18 PM PDT by lonevoice (We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality)
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To: nickcarraway

The Feds already have, ask Laurence Powell and Stacey Koon.


24 posted on 04/10/2014 6:12:30 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses
she said her grandson never got a chance to answer theft charges or prove himself a changed person.

That really says it all right there.

25 posted on 04/10/2014 6:13:04 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: narses
If they don't record the crimes they don't show up in the crime statistics.

Then they can pat themselves on the back because the crime rate is going down.

26 posted on 04/10/2014 6:13:37 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket)
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To: narses

Don’t forget to charge the perp’s estate for repairs to the truck. New windows are expensive.


27 posted on 04/10/2014 6:15:19 PM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (Obama been Liberal. Hope Change!)
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To: dowcaet; Wicket

But to our national shame and daily detriment, 90% of LIVs are sucked in by Enemedia’s unceasing regurgitation of such tripe.


28 posted on 04/10/2014 6:25:46 PM PDT by tomkat (neither guilt nor apologies from this white boy)
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To: narses

she said her grandson never got a chance to answer theft charges or prove himself a changed person

As the man was shot inside the car he was stealing I think he answered for the theft charge grandma.............
I think it also proves what kind of person he was.........


29 posted on 04/10/2014 6:28:58 PM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I go to sign up for the American Revolution 2014 and the Crusades 2014?)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

New windows are expensive. So is new stain resistant truck interior.


30 posted on 04/10/2014 6:30:25 PM PDT by wetgundog (" Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is no Vice")
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To: narses

Looks good to me. Let’s hope the Jury finds that the shooting was “justified” in its remaining deliberations.

The perp’s record, and the fact that he was actually driving away in a stolen vehicle, make it pretty clear what was happening.


31 posted on 04/10/2014 6:33:53 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

So Gail Gerlach performed a community service? Give him the $300K for his defense, the community will save that over the years vs. what would have been the likely future criminal acts of the deceased.


32 posted on 04/10/2014 6:41:03 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: SECURE AMERICA

BREAKING NEWS: Jury decides Gerlach’s use of force was justified, means he can ask for legal costs to be reimbursed by state of WA


33 posted on 04/10/2014 6:41:03 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: Cicero

BREAKING NEWS: Jury decides Gerlach’s use of force was justified, means he can ask for legal costs to be reimbursed by state of WA


34 posted on 04/10/2014 6:41:15 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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To: narses

Excellent news, and see my previous. The taxpayers got a bargain. The prosecutor who took this to trial needs to be looking for a job.


35 posted on 04/10/2014 6:43:18 PM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Pollster1

Well said.


36 posted on 04/10/2014 6:44:28 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: narses
But stealing a man’s work truck is pretty much accepted as a form of suicide.

Stealing a man's horse used to be a hanging offense ...

37 posted on 04/10/2014 6:50:52 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: smokingfrog

right, u dont want to try to steal anyones F-150 or Silverado in Texas!,it will probably be the last vehicle u ever drive.


38 posted on 04/10/2014 6:51:07 PM PDT by Cruz_West_Paul2016
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To: narses

Has Deputy Prosecutor Deric Martin been fired, disbarred, and asked to leave the state yet? This case should never have gone to trial.


39 posted on 04/10/2014 6:51:45 PM PDT by Carl Vehse
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To: narses
Love happy endings!
40 posted on 04/10/2014 6:58:29 PM PDT by The Cajun (tea party!!!, Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert......Nuff said.)
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To: nickcarraway
Within 10-15 years the Supreme Court will abandon Double Jeopardy.

They will, but only for whitey, not for anyone else.

41 posted on 04/10/2014 7:00:51 PM PDT by Ouderkirk (To the left, everything must evidence that this or that strand of leftist theory is true)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
and meth was found on his body, which the defense team says was packaged for possible resale.

So he probably was, in fact, turning his life around. He was dreaming of becoming a successful small businessman.

42 posted on 04/10/2014 7:00:54 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Want to keep your doctor? Remove your Democrat Senator.)
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To: narses

Bump!


43 posted on 04/10/2014 7:06:37 PM PDT by rdl6989
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To: smokingfrog

Except in Houston, San Antonio and Austin .... they are more “progressive” there.


44 posted on 04/10/2014 7:08:03 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (I think the Administration would get more respect if they just went ahead and wore clown suits.)
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To: narses

Steal here, die here. Works for me.


45 posted on 04/10/2014 7:08:50 PM PDT by Noumenon (Resistance. Restoration. Retribution.)
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To: narses

Excellent.

(and on the guy getting acquitted too)


46 posted on 04/10/2014 7:11:25 PM PDT by logi_cal869
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Am I bad for laughing so hard at your comment??????

I don’t care!


47 posted on 04/10/2014 7:19:55 PM PDT by Shimmer1
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To: narses
That story doesn't include anything that remotely justifies a self-defense claim (defense of property, yes, but not self-defense). As far as I know, no state allows you to shoot someone who has stolen your property but is fleeing with it, unless that person does something to indicate he's a threat to you.

Here's a link to a story that shows the basis of the self-defense claim. He said he thought he saw a weapon in the thief's hand, and thought he was about to be shot.

48 posted on 04/10/2014 7:22:54 PM PDT by GJones2 (Self-defense)
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To: narses

“the public will end up paying for the trying of the case, which Stevens and colleague Richard Lee estimated to be close to $300,000.”

How can that be? That’s absolutely ridiculous.

Give me a look at those receipts.


49 posted on 04/10/2014 7:23:20 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: GJones2

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-474161.html#.UVK4XfP4dpY.gmail

Here’s Washington State Law; note that it pertains to citizens, not law enforcement, who are covered in another point of the same chapter:

RCW 9A.16.020
Use of force — When lawful.
The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following case(s):
(2) Whenever necessarily used by a person arresting one who has committed a felony and delivering him or her to a public officer competent to receive him or her into custody;

So in theory, any citizen can use whatever force is necessary to arrest (i.e. stop) a felon. However, the Tennessee v. Garner case must be taken into account for citizens as well as for LE; and the gist of that is that you need to assess and balance the risk of using force against this person vs. the risk of allowing them to escape. Are they going to harm someone? Have they already done so? How dangerous are they? That’s all Garner requires us to articulate.

There are certainly cases in which I would shoot a fleeing felon in the back, LE or not; and that decision would arise out of a conviction that they represent a totally unacceptable danger if allowed to escape. Both the Law and Garner envision and allow for this kind of possibility.


50 posted on 04/10/2014 7:28:49 PM PDT by narses (Matthew 7:6. He appears to have made up his mind let him live with the consequences.)
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