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Teens' deaths raise 'reasonable force' questions for instructors
Pioneer Press ^ | 5-3-14 | Erik Burgess

Posted on 05/04/2014 9:26:54 AM PDT by TurboZamboni

When Jere Hilland teaches you how to defend yourself, he always preaches using "reasonable force."

"In other words, if someone punches you in the nose, you can punch them in the nose," said Hilland, who has taught firearms classes in North Dakota for 10 years. "But you can't keep punching them in the nose. That's excessive force."

That's where Hilland guesses Byron Smith went wrong. Smith was found guilty Tuesday of premeditated murder after fatally shooting two teenagers who entered his home in Little Falls, Minn., on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Smith, who admitted shooting the teens "more times than I should have," used excessive force, Hilland said, and so he was not protected by law.

(Excerpt) Read more at twincities.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: banglist; castle; force; mn; propertyrights; smith
Minnesota law offers a one-paragraph statute defining the justifiable taking of life, saying it's allowed only "when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death," or while preventing a felony in the residence.

North Dakota law first requires that a person attempt to retreat, stating that the use of deadly force "is not justified if it can be avoided, with safety to the actor and others."

But North Dakota law further states that an individual is not required to retreat within or from his own home or place of work.

No 'new' questions are raised. Instructors teach to what the law is in their state.

But we do need "Castle Doctrine" passed in Minnesota.

1 posted on 05/04/2014 9:26:54 AM PDT by TurboZamboni
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To: TurboZamboni

Agreed. He performed an execution after they were incapacitated, (different ballgame) This doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t be able to shoot an unarmed intruder.


2 posted on 05/04/2014 9:31:23 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: TurboZamboni

I disagree with this sentence

Premeditated murder is something you plan in advance

He did not PLAN on these people breaking into his house, and in a fit og rage he DID go overboard but it was not “premeditated”

In that situation your emotions take over and you lose control

He should have been found guilty of manslaughter


3 posted on 05/04/2014 9:33:11 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: TurboZamboni

According to this nitwit, we can only meet force used illegally against us with ONLY the same amount of force and no more. That is insane. It’s likely to make the attacker all the more angrier and escalate the attack.

We should use escalated force until the attacker is incapacitated.


4 posted on 05/04/2014 9:35:06 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: Mr. K

yes he did plan on them breaking in..

he set the whole thing up, shot them, then took another gun and capped them in the head...

it was planned..


5 posted on 05/04/2014 9:36:41 AM PDT by joe fonebone (a socialist is just a juvenile communist)
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To: Mr. K

Yep, in the case of the girl, it was premeditated execution, but without regard to the law, it’s a realy risky venture to break into where you don’t belong. Do it at your own peril.


6 posted on 05/04/2014 9:36:51 AM PDT by umgud
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To: joe fonebone

um... he planned on them breaking in?

he told them to creak in?

he may have SUSPECTED more break-ins based on past history, but that is much different than planning

Bottom line- if THEY would not have broken in, they would be alive


7 posted on 05/04/2014 9:40:59 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: TurboZamboni

Funny how the article includes smiling, innocent photos of the perps, Trayvon-style. Let’s you know whether to believe the article or not.


8 posted on 05/04/2014 9:41:28 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: umgud

i understand about the girl- but I still grant leaway because he was out of control with emotion after a break in


9 posted on 05/04/2014 9:42:18 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: TurboZamboni

Sounds like he got a bad jury.


10 posted on 05/04/2014 9:47:04 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Mr. K
He did not PLAN on these people breaking into his house,

That's not what the facts of the case say.

11 posted on 05/04/2014 9:48:19 AM PDT by null and void ( They don't think think they are above the law. They think they are the law.)
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To: Mr. K

bottom line then..

IF your home has repeatedly been broken into..

IF you make it appear that no one is home, and then hide in your home with a firearm, waiting for them to break in..

THEN, you planned on a break in, and planned to execute whoever came through your door...

please, read about the story before you post...


12 posted on 05/04/2014 9:52:07 AM PDT by joe fonebone (a socialist is just a juvenile communist)
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To: fwdude

The article is wrong on the use of force continuum.


13 posted on 05/04/2014 9:52:19 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: umgud

“or while preventing a felony in the residence” =silly.

Hold on robbing me while I figure out if you have a felony level value of property in your hands, pal.

Ok, you can go, looks like that’s under $500. Oh wait, you say you have burglary tools and prior convictions? Well, that ups the level
now. Ok , I’ll shoot you after all.


14 posted on 05/04/2014 9:53:05 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: Mr. K
Mr. K said: "Premeditated murder is something you plan in advance."

It's the intention to cause the death of another when not legally justified that is necessary. The intention can be formed in a very short period of time; such as the time between obtaining a second gun and the firing of the lethal shots.

15 posted on 05/04/2014 9:54:41 AM PDT by William Tell
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To: Mr. K
He did not PLAN on these people breaking into his house

But he did PLAN on killing them when they did break in.

One of the questions that I have is:

Was he given a heads up by someone that the kids who robbed his house a month earlier were on their way over to do it again that morning.

So he gets up and moves his vehicle so it can't be seen and they show up within the hour and voila.

All too convenient -- somehow I get the feeling that he knew they were on the way and just lay in wait to ambush them.

The question is who gave him the heads up??? Could it have been the same person who told the kids to go over there at that time because he wouldn't be home???

16 posted on 05/04/2014 9:55:36 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: Mr. K

There is even evidence that he didn’t report the killings on Thanksgiving day, and kept recording, because he was hoping that while the family and friends searched for the kids, that he may be able to take out the dad as well.

He didn’t call someone to ask them to call the police, until more than 24 hours later.


17 posted on 05/04/2014 10:10:06 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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To: fwdude

What kind of photos do you think they have to choose from?

When I was 18 or so, just about all of my photos were smiling and innocent looking, isn’t that generally true, or at least frequently so?


18 posted on 05/04/2014 10:13:48 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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To: null and void
One of the encouraging things I keep seeing out of the defensive shootings in Detroit is the number of intended victims who warn the attacker that "I'm armed and I will shoot". It establishes that you don't want to shoot and you have reasonable cause to believe they intend harm when they keep coming.

She Got a Gun and Concealed Carry Permit Last Year and Never Needed to Use Them… Until She Did

However you don't always get the chance

Off-duty Detroit police officer shoots would-be cell phone thief in the face
19 posted on 05/04/2014 10:16:00 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: TurboZamboni

Smith stood over the girl while she was already near dead and pumped her full of rounds with a finishing round under her chin, with a pistol her retrieved from another room.

If you are able to safely retrieve another weapon from a room then stand over that person and fill them full of lead with a chin shot as a finisher, YOU ARE NOT IN FEAR OF YOUR LIFE.

And that kids, is murder.


20 posted on 05/04/2014 10:17:00 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: cripplecreek

I am reminded of the story of the Quaker gentleman farmer, who awakened in the middle of the night and heard noises of a suspicious nature from the first floor. He proceeded to investigate, carrying a double barreled shotgun.

He found a questionable person stuffing the family silver into a pillowslip in the dining room. He then stated firmly, “Friend, I would not harm thee for all the world, but you are standing where I intend to shoot!”


21 posted on 05/04/2014 10:22:57 AM PDT by null and void ( They don't think think they are above the law. They think they are the law.)
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To: Mr. K

Not if he went to get another gun to shoot the girl and saying die bi**h as he put the gun under her chin. That was premeditated. She was already down with a gun shot.


22 posted on 05/04/2014 10:32:48 AM PDT by SkyDancer (I Believe In The Law Until It Intereferes With Justice. And Pay Your Liberty Tax Citizen.)
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To: ansel12

My guess is that these teens almost certainly had a criminal record. You don’t just jump to burglary from a clean slate.

They should have used former mug shots.


23 posted on 05/04/2014 10:37:13 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: TurboZamboni

The NoDak law needs to be fixed for all venues.


24 posted on 05/04/2014 10:37:20 AM PDT by SgtHooper (This is my tag!)
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To: fwdude

If you find them, then show us the photos, Trayvon had his on the internet.


25 posted on 05/04/2014 10:41:31 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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To: TurboZamboni

“Officers are taught to use common sense when faced with a potentially deadly situation, and citizens should use the same kind of good judgment, Vettel said.”

Oh now there’s some real enlightenment. Being taught and getting away with as an LEO are mile apart. The citizen should be given this much leeway as well.


26 posted on 05/04/2014 10:41:50 AM PDT by SgtHooper (This is my tag!)
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To: Free Vulcan
He confessed that he executed her, to end her suffering.

"When the female stopped moving, he dragged her by her clothes and into the workshop, too. There, he said, he noticed she was still gasping and didn’t believe she should suffer, so he gave her “a good clean finishing shot,” he said."

After finishing off both teens as they lay wounded, he waited more than 24 hours to notify anyone because he didn't want to disrupt people on "Thanksgiving".

“I saw it as a static situation,” he told police. He said he also thought for a bit that although his Thanksgiving was ruined, he didn’t have to ruin it for others by calling authorities that day.

27 posted on 05/04/2014 10:47:46 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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To: SgtHooper

Even a cop couldn’t get away with what this guy did, see post 27.


28 posted on 05/04/2014 10:48:51 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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To: Free Vulcan
609.065 JUSTIFIABLE TAKING OF LIFE. The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor’s place of abode.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.065

I don’t think a reasonable person believes someone unarmed and dying in front of you is a threat of death or great bodily harm(why the jury did what they did) If he believed that, he probably wouldn’t come as close as he had to to deliver a ‘kill shot’ under the chin.

The Minnesota homeowner shot one in the head at point blank range after they were no longer a threat and recorded himself taunting before doing so. (Then he kept the bodies overnight before calling police.)

29 posted on 05/04/2014 10:54:44 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: fwdude

Juvenile records are typically sealed .

They were likely not even admissable as evidence, although I’m not certain in this case.


30 posted on 05/04/2014 10:56:10 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: TurboZamboni

He probably should not have shot them AT ALL, unless he could see that they were armed with firearms. Even if they had had a bat, or a knife, I think I would have told them “FREEZE!” while aiming at them.


31 posted on 05/04/2014 11:06:34 AM PDT by 2harddrive
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To: TurboZamboni

That more than anything was the clincher on Smith to me. Every state law I’ve read distinguishes between aggressor and defender, with the legal test generally being whether you are in fear of death or bodily harm.

Proximity bears heavily in that, at all times any wise armed defender would want to keep a certain distance (beyond hand-to-hand) and cover between them and the aggressor so as not to negate the advantage of having a gun. When you willfully advance uncovered to point blank range and do what Smith did, you are no longer in fear of your life. In fact you have reversed the roles and are no longer legally covered.


32 posted on 05/04/2014 11:08:32 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: joe fonebone

Did you read what you posted?

Seriously read it?


33 posted on 05/04/2014 11:48:04 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Want to keep your doctor? Remove your Democrat Senator.)
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To: TurboZamboni

bfl


34 posted on 05/04/2014 11:50:20 AM PDT by caveat emptor (!)
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To: 2harddrive

google ‘Tueller Drill’.


35 posted on 05/04/2014 12:21:24 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: miliantnutcase

The only part of this case I don’t agree with is the concept of premeditated murder. I don’t care if he hid his car, he still has a right to hang out in his own house and the two teenagers only got shot because they broke in. Finishing them off when they were down and not immediately calling authorities was his crime. Considering the man’s history as a crime victim I consider that a crime in the heat of the moment, but not premeditation.


36 posted on 05/04/2014 12:22:55 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: USNBandit

Kinda where I sit on this as well.


37 posted on 05/04/2014 12:55:24 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: Balding_Eagle

yeah...

what is your point?


38 posted on 05/04/2014 2:02:05 PM PDT by joe fonebone (a socialist is just a juvenile communist)
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To: 2harddrive
He probably should not have shot them AT ALL, unless he could see that they were armed with firearms. Even if they had had a bat, or a knife, I think I would have told them “FREEZE!” while aiming at them.

If someone breaks into your darkened house in the middle of the night and you take time to see if they are armed you will die. I always assume that they are intending to kill me. I will shoot them dead.

39 posted on 05/04/2014 3:08:59 PM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: joe fonebone

A lot of us leave our houses looking like that, probably including you.


40 posted on 05/04/2014 6:00:04 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Want to keep your doctor? Remove your Democrat Senator.)
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To: ansel12

I’ll stand by my contention that these “children” were criminals in training.


41 posted on 05/04/2014 8:14:31 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: fwdude

LOL, OK, I don’t think anyone cares.


42 posted on 05/04/2014 8:24:03 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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