Skip to comments.Neighbors testify to gunfire in Castle Doctrine case
Posted on 03/07/2011 7:30:03 PM PST by smokingfrog
SAN ANTONIO-- Belinda Nieto told a jury she was watching television when she was interrupted by gunfire outside her home.
She said it terrorized her.
I just threw myself on the ground. I honestly thought I was being attacked by gangs," Nieto said. "Thats how it sounded.
Nieto was one of several neighbors asked by prosecutors to describe the scene where Ray Lemes took aim with his glock pistol at an intruder in his home.
Lemes is on trial for murder in the 437th District Court in connection to a shooting that happened in front of his home in August 2007.
Tracy Glass, a 19-year-old student from Angelo State University, died a block from his sisters house that night. Prosecutors said Glass had been drinking and may have blundered into the wrong neighborhood and the wrong home, thinking he was on his sisters street.
Instead, he awoke Lemes wife, who began screaming. Lemes attorneys say the 51-year old had just seconds to react and shot the intruder to defend himself and his wife.
But because Glass died in the cul-de-sac in front of the house -- in the street-- prosecutors are calling it murder, not self-defense.
The medical examiner said Glass was shot five times in the neck, head and chest. Nieto said the gunfire got her scared for her life and that of her sleeping son.
(Excerpt) Read more at kens5.com ...
Some drunk shows up at your house in the middle of the night? How are you supposed to tell what they're up to?
Oops. Sounds like he chased the guy out of his house and then shot him.
That many injuries ya have to wonder why he got out of the house at all ?
Don't you have people in Texas who adhere rather persnicketedly to the Code of Vendetta?
You just never know they might do if you shoot their relatives in the street.
I know that can be a problem in some East Coast areas ~
I’ve got a problem with this shooting. The Castle Doctrine and the Stand Your Ground laws both have the axiom that if no longer on your property, you cannot chase down and shoot someone.
The homeowner testified that he chased him down, and at some point he stopped, then lunged at him, so he shot him. Three gunshot wounds to his back, a finger, and the back of his forearm. Two other shots traveled downward through his body from his neck and chest, Lunan said. Weapon was a licensed, .40 Glock.
Much of the testimony will come from the Medical Examiner, about the angle of the shots fired.
But in the final analysis, I think the old rules apply: good shots are on your property, if the bad guy is advancing on you or menacing you; bad shots are off your property, when the bad guy is running away, solely with intent to escape.
Texas is turning gay.
Probably a consequence of all those New Yorkers and Californians moving here. That’s what locusts do.
But, those rules don't apply in Texas. See Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code. You can shoot perps tp prevent their escape. Happens often in Texas and the homeowners get off with a handshake from the Grand Jury.
Well if you believe in the Ranger Code then you should chase the bad guy down and kill him and everybody else in his clan, including the women and children.
That is why there are very few, if any, Indian reservations in Texas.
There’s no obligation to predict the motives of a home invader or some drunk guy that shows up at your house in the middle of the night trying to get in.
This appears to be yet another case of a pantywaste prosecutor not liking the law as written and prosecuting the victim in violation of statute.
Like it or not, in Texas it’s legal to shoot someone running away to prevent their escape after commiting a crime against you at night. When the victim is acquitted I hope he sues the pants off the city, police, prosecutor, and the estate of the deceased perp.
Other reports said that the homeowner admitted chasing the guy from his house and shooting him on the front lawn.
The Grand Jury brought charges because the homeowner was not protecting his property (the perp had stolen nothing and was stealing nothing outside).
Outside, if the guy did turn around and “lunge” as stated by the homeowner then I would guess it’s a good shoot. However, the homeowner is the one that has to live with it.
Sure, he was in the wrong house BUT was he there to commit any sort of crime.
I think the prosecutor is trying to send a message to some in the community that you can't just kill a guy for wandering around drunk ~ you have to have a reason beyond that.
My goodness, even the cops can't get away with that one all the time so why should a civilian think he can.
He says he heard someone broke into his house. He saw a man crouching behind his couch. The intruder lunged at him. BANG. If you are being attacked, shoot until the danger is past.
I want drunk intruders dead rather than dead homeowners.
Imagine hearing both versions at the start of the trial and then sitting through the whole trial knowing that the homeowner has been through this ordeal for 3 1/2 years.
No, there’s a problem there. Intent of the dead guy doesn’t matter, because there is no easy way for the homeowner to divine intent, instead having to rely on circumstances.
This goes all the way back to ancient Biblical law, that reasoned that it is justified to kill a thief in your home *at night*, but not during the day, which makes sense from several directions.
The guy was out of the house and running down the street!
The guy claims the "lunge" part took place outside somewhere.
I assume you are referring to:
SUBCHAPTER D. PROTECTION OF PROPERTY
However, these both assume that the thief is escaping with your property, not just escaping. Do you mean otherwise?
It is a situation of physical evidence, not intent. The actions of the dead guy are only known by the testimony of the shooter, not his intent. So the trial must focus on the intent of the shooter, and the physical evidence.
While it may sound nit-picky, “intent” has a very limited trial use, here, so the trial will focus on a limited number of criteria.
1) Events leading up to the shooting.
2) Physical location of the shooting, where shooter and shootee were, relative to each other. Bullet angles, where cartridge cases fell, etc.
3) Shooter state of mind (likely coached by his attorney).
All else being equal, there is a good chance for a conviction.
For all we know he simply ran outside, saw somebody nearby, and shot him.
We had a case here in the DC area where a University of Maryland student who lived in Virginia had an SUV. A dope dealer with a similarly configured and colored SUV was being followed by a cop. The cop lost sight of the dope dealer momentarily but then picked up on the student on his way home from class. The cop went from Maryland to Virginia, cornered the kid in a driveway, and then shot him to death.
The local prosecutors said that was OK. A civil court said it wasn't.
The difference between the cop in my tale and the shooter in the Texas tale is the shooter wasn't a cop, and everybody was on foot.
Both situations were at night.
I'm just guessing that successful prosecution is almost guaranteed unless the shooter can prove he was a cop.
There was no need to pass laws like the above in Texas.
Texas state law permits the use of deadly force in the situation described. If they are fleeing the scene of a crime at night, you can chase them down the street and plug 'em. On the face of it what the homeowner did was legal.
Bexar (pronounced "bear") County DA Susan Reed is not a 'Rat. She may be a RINO, but maybe not. Perhaps there are circumstances here we don't know about.
See #18 above, it has the link to the TX statute, which are not that bad as far as readability goes, granted some legalese.
I noted that it specified that you could shoot them while fleeing if they had some of your property you wanted to recover, and this might be the sticking point. Since supposedly the dead guy was not a thief, he didn’t have stolen goods on him.
As with such cases, “the devil is in the details”, and this might be what gets him convicted. His big defense seems to be that after he chased down the guy, he turned and lunged. That will be for the medical examiner to determine with shot angles, etc.
From a jury’s point of view, firing five shots at close range is problematic, as the two being off the homeowner’s property, and no evidence that the intruder committed any crime other than intruding.
I’m still leaning strongly to conviction. Time will tell, though, and pretty soon.