Skip to comments.Teens' deaths raise 'reasonable force' questions for instructors
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 ...
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.
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.
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
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.
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..
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.
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
Funny how the article includes smiling, innocent photos of the perps, Trayvon-style. Let’s you know whether to believe the article or not.
i understand about the girl- but I still grant leaway because he was out of control with emotion after a break in
Sounds like he got a bad jury.
That's not what the facts of the case say.
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...
The article is wrong on the use of force continuum.
“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.
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.
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???
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.
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?
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.
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!”
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.
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.
The NoDak law needs to be fixed for all venues.
If you find them, then show us the photos, Trayvon had his on the internet.
“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.
"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 didnt 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 didnt have to ruin it for others by calling authorities that day.
Even a cop couldn’t get away with what this guy did, see post 27.
I dont 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 wouldnt 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.)
Juvenile records are typically sealed .
They were likely not even admissable as evidence, although I’m not certain in this case.
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.
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.
Did you read what you posted?
Seriously read it?
google ‘Tueller Drill’.
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.
Kinda where I sit on this as well.
what is your point?
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.
A lot of us leave our houses looking like that, probably including you.
I’ll stand by my contention that these “children” were criminals in training.
LOL, OK, I don’t think anyone cares.