Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Grand jury: city homicide justifiable
Weatherford Democrat ^ | 29 April, 2009 | Galen Scott

Posted on 05/07/2009 3:42:49 AM PDT by marktwain

The Weatherford home owner who shot and killed an intruder in March will not face criminal charges, a Parker County Grand Jury recently determined.

After hearing a full offense report, which included witness statements and evidence, jurors declined to indict the elderly shooter.

Weatherford police presented the case April 16. The homicide, which occurred in the 500 block of South Rusk Street, occurred shortly after 1 a.m. on March 4.

On the morning of the incident, Robert Earl Bardwell, 57, of Weatherford, was shot multiple times after police say he forced entry into a residence and started assaulting the elderly owner’s 34-year-old son.

The home owner, identified as a 66-year-old white male, reportedly attempted to warn Bardwell by firing one shot from an automatic pistol into the ceiling. However, when the assailant failed to heed the warning and continued to assault his son, police say the father shot the intruder several times, fatally wounding him.

According to police, Bardwell was estranged from a relationship with a female subject in the home at the time of the incident.

Following the incident, police declined to identify the shooter and his son because neither man was arrested.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: banglist; domestic; homedefense; texas
A woman who has left you is not worth your life.
1 posted on 05/07/2009 3:42:49 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marktwain

The warning shot is questionable, but since the other party pressed on, well, no excuses for him after that.

Good shooting (except for the warning shot).


2 posted on 05/07/2009 3:55:23 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

You should also note that this occurred in Texas. :D


3 posted on 05/07/2009 3:56:16 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
There are still pockets of reasonable people in the U.S..
And in this case I suspect the prosecutor licked his finger and went with the prevailing sentiment in deciding how to present the evidence to the grand jury. However, I have seen corrupt prosecutors dismiss one grand jury and impanel another after the first refused to indict someone that the local sherrif had a personal grudge against. Just one of many misconducts that eventually caused him to be voted out of office.
4 posted on 05/07/2009 4:20:45 AM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (America held hostage - day 163)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: bitterohiogunclinger

That generally does not happen in Texas self defense cases, not even in Democrat counties.

Also, the Texas grand jury system is a little bit different than it is in Ohio. Jury nullification is alive and well and enshrined in law here.


5 posted on 05/07/2009 4:23:30 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr

Just finished being the foreman on a Grand Jury in Ohio.

Curious what you mean by “Jury nullification is alive and well here.”


6 posted on 05/07/2009 4:57:50 AM PDT by Bartholomew Roberts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Gotta love the title of the article though. Sheesh.


7 posted on 05/07/2009 5:00:35 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Why was this even brought before the Grand Jury?


8 posted on 05/07/2009 5:11:03 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Suppose you were a clueless idiot, and suppose you were Barack Obama; but I repeat myself)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bartholomew Roberts
A jury may acquit even if they believe the defendant did everything the prosecutor says he did, for any reason, and might do so either because they believe it's bad law or that the law has been misapplied in a particular case.

For example, I personally will never vote to convict on a charge of having ("to keep") or carrying ("and bear") a gun ("arms") because I believe a law against it is a bad law ("shall not be infringed").

The effect of such an acquittal is "precedent"; it becomes more difficult to convict others of similar charges, and eventually the law is no longer applied and "nullified".

9 posted on 05/07/2009 5:14:19 AM PDT by ExGeeEye (Keep your powder dry, and your iron hidden.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
“Why was this even brought before the Grand Jury?”

It is standard practice in Texas, and I think it is a good one. Any homicide is a serious matter that should be looked at to determine if it were justified or not. The system in
Texas is far superior to the one we have in Arizona, where a prosecutor can *and has* prosecuted an individual after the initial investigator said it was a clear case of self-defense, and after an appeals judge found the that there had been prosecutorial misconduct during the initial Grand Jury.

Harold Fish is still in jail after the legislature passed laws three times to get him a new trial. The first time the judge said the law did not apply because it was ex post facto, and the second and third times the law was vetoed by former Arizona governor and current head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano.

Here is a link to get some details of the case:

http://www.snubnose.info/wordpress/rkba/injustice-in-arizona/

10 posted on 05/07/2009 5:19:22 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I have also read that in TX if a Grand Jury determines that a homicide case is self-defense, the deceased perp’s relatives can’t file a wrongful death civil suit against the shooter. Is this true?


11 posted on 05/07/2009 5:42:43 AM PDT by gieriscm (07 FFL / 02 SOT - www.extremefirepower.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: gieriscm

I do not know if that is the law in Texas. Perhaps someone on the forum can clarify the matter.


12 posted on 05/07/2009 5:46:45 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
The homicide, which occurred in the 500 block of South Rusk Street~
Following the incident, police declined to identify the shooter and his son because neither man was arrested.
I can't believe everyone missed that.. Sorry to say, but it's the sleazy 'hidden' way that a Demo rag would get the info he/she wanted to get out. Who needs pics and a police report when you have their address!?
13 posted on 05/07/2009 5:47:01 AM PDT by Bikkuri
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
"The warning shot is questionable."

Yep. The only time you will ever hear this Joe 6-pack claim to have fired a warning shot is if I have to come up with an excuse for missing my intended target.

14 posted on 05/07/2009 5:49:06 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: gieriscm
I have also read that in TX if a Grand Jury determines that a homicide case is self-defense, the deceased perp’s relatives can’t file a wrongful death civil suit against the shooter. Is this true?
I don't know any of the updated laws... but I DO know that one of the reasons I got out of LE and changed careers was, back then, if you shot and killed or maimed a person (criminal in the act) that was armed and dangerous (meaning that an innocent or an LE), being hurt or killed, the family of the criminal could take the LE(me or another participating LE involved) to civil court and drain your paycheck for the rest of your life. (and THAT was in Texas)
15 posted on 05/07/2009 5:52:59 AM PDT by Bikkuri
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: gieriscm
I have also read that in TX if a Grand Jury determines that a homicide case is self-defense, the deceased perp’s relatives can’t file a wrongful death civil suit against the shooter. Is this true?

This is correct: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/CP/htm/CP.83.htm

Sec. 83.001. CIVIL IMMUNITY. A defendant who uses force or deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9, Penal Code, is immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant's use of force or deadly force, as applicable.

This was added in 2007. There was a similar provision before that (which is still in effect), but it requires a conviction: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/CP/htm/CP.86.htm

Sec. 86.002. RECOVERY OF DAMAGES FOR INJURY TO CONVICTED PERSON PROHIBITED. (a) A claimant who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may not recover damages for an injury sustained during the commission of the felony or misdemeanor if the injury would not have been sustained but for the commission of the felony or misdemeanor.

This provision of law also has prohibitions against derivative claims by family members and also assesses any cost of defense against the claimant.

16 posted on 05/07/2009 7:55:44 AM PDT by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: justlurking

Thank you.


17 posted on 05/07/2009 9:30:28 AM PDT by gieriscm (07 FFL / 02 SOT - www.extremefirepower.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro

In Texas, the prosecutor has two choices (and sometimes doesn’t have a choice at all). He can choose not to prosecute, in which case the shooter may face civil action. Unlikely and there are many barriers to that, but it can happen and will be a problem until the case eventually gets tossed by a judge.

He can also present it to the Grand Jury. In many counties, there isn’t a choice, all homicides (justified or not) are placed before the Grand Jury whether or not the prosecutor actually wants to file charges. This is actually a good thing; if the Grand Jury “no-bills” or refuses to indict, it ends the threat of civil lawsuit against the shooter.

This is why Joe Horn (the Houston man who shot two burglars on his lawn) isn’t facing mass lawsuits from the burglars’ families and the local race baiters - since the Grand Jury issued a “no-bill” and declared that no crime occurred, no civil lawsuit can occur.


18 posted on 05/07/2009 12:21:24 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr; marktwain

Thanks for the detailed answers.
It makes some sense now.


19 posted on 05/07/2009 2:35:48 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Suppose you were a clueless idiot, and suppose you were Barack Obama; but I repeat myself)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
The warning shot is questionable, but since the other party pressed on, well, no excuses for him after that.

Could easily have been an afterthought, to make things look better for the shooter. Unless you do it after a significant time lapse, witnesses would not notice the pause.

Something to consider...

20 posted on 05/07/2009 3:01:40 PM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr; Liberty Valance

In Texas the warning shot can be fired directly into the assailant’s forehead.


21 posted on 05/07/2009 3:09:10 PM PDT by Brucifer (Proud member of the Double Secret Reloading Underground.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
Gotta love those "No Bills" from Texas' Grand Juries. They do tend to give the benefit of any doubt to anyone who causes great bodily harm or death while in their own home, or on their own property, and the injured or decases person is not of their household.

The reason for the No Bill is often the unstated "He needed killin'".

22 posted on 05/07/2009 4:33:09 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Charles Martel

Warning shots are not recommended in Texas as they may endanger people downrange.

It’s also wasting ammo.


23 posted on 05/07/2009 6:39:32 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: El Gato

Texas Grand Juries have also been known to do things like take up collections to buy the now-cleared shooter a better or larger caliber gun.


24 posted on 05/07/2009 6:41:36 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
Warning shots are not recommended in Texas as they may endanger people downrange.

Come on, now. Texans *never* hit anything but what they are aiming at. Surely everyone knows this by now. ;-)

25 posted on 05/07/2009 9:10:53 PM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson