Jurors to Decide
I did not see this posted elsewhere. From the Sun-Sentinel:
What happened after Norman Borden fired five shots at the Jeep coming at him: self-defense or murder?
There's little disagreement surrounding the circumstances behind the deaths of Christopher Araujo and Saul Trejo, prosecutor Craig Williams told jurors Wednesday during his opening statement in Borden's murder trial.
Even Juan Mendez, who survived the shooting with injuries to his legs, testified that he and Araujo were going to go beat up Borden. Trejo was needed as a third man against Borden, Mendez said, to "rough him up a little bit."
Williams told jurors up front that Trejo was a documented member of the violent street gang Sur 13. And, he said, he doesn't deny that if there hadn't been a fence post on Hiawatha Avenue, Norman Borden probably would have gotten hit by the Jeep that Araujo was driving.
Borden, 44, pulled out his gun and shot five rounds through the windshield.
"I'm not going to stand here and tell you that's not some form of self-defense," Williams said. "It is. That's not in dispute."
After quickly firing off five rounds, Borden circled around the Jeep and unloaded his gun, Williams said. Araujo, 19, was shot multiple times in the face. Trejo, 21, was shot once. Mendez was shot several times in his legs.
The only issue for jurors to decide, Williams said, is whether the threat to Borden was still imminent before he decided to fire nine more rounds.
Borden is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
But Public Defender Carey Haughwout, who previously sought to dismiss the murder charges against Borden based on Florida's 2005 "stand your ground" law, said every shot Borden fired, he fired to save his life.
"He pulls out the gun and starts shooting and he does not stop," Haughwout said during her opening statement. "He does not stop because the danger is there, the danger is real."
Florida law now eliminates the duty to retreat and allows a person to use deadly force when danger is imminent.
Immediately after the shooting, Haughwout said, Borden was sorrowful and mournful.
"Why did you make me do this?" Borden asked when the shooting ended.
His friend, Jim Stonehouse, who witnessed the shooting, testified Borden was distraught and at the point of tears after the shooting.
What had started out as a "fun and joyful" night for Borden, who went with Stonehouse to a concert in Sunrise, ended in a desperate and necessary effort to save his own life, Haughwout said.
This wasn't the first time Borden had clashed with young men in the Westgate neighborhood west of West Palm Beach. Earlier that day, he had attempted to talk to Araujo's father about being harassed.
When Borden returned from the concert early on the morning of Oct. 8, the taunting continued, Haughwout said. His dogs were threatened.
Araujo and Mendez, who had been watching the movie Scarface and between them had consumed two dozen beers, spotted Borden outside walking his dogs.
Mendez, who now lives in Arizona, denied threatening the dogs or Borden with an ominous warning that he and Araujo had bats as weapons. During the altercation, Borden kicked the door of Araujo's Jeep, which Mendez was hanging out of, to prevent Mendez from getting out. Borden also flashed a gun after seeing Araujo stop the car in anger.
The act of kicking the door so infuriated Araujo that the two men went to get Trejo, Mendez admitted. Trejo walked out of his home wearing black gloves. A 13-year-old boy who initially was in the car with the pair testified that there was discussion about going to get a gun, but Mendez denied Wednesday that anyone was going to get a gun.
Mendez testified that with Trejo sitting in the back seat, Araujo drove a different route back to Borden's house so they could surprise him. But Araujo "took the corner too fast" and hit the fence, narrowly missing Borden.
"When the shooting started I ducked down and I was trying to put the car in reverse to try to get out of the line of fire," Mendez said. "It wouldn't move."
Borden then yelled, "You guys think you're so bad? You're not so bad anymore," Mendez testified. He then went inside and called 911.
Detectives found no gun in the Jeep, although a bat was found resting against Trejo's leg.
Within a day of the shooting and Borden's arrest, his home was set on fire. Borden has since received death threats, Haughwout said. His trial has generated extra security at the courthouse.
It does look really bad for him to have reloaded and continued firing. Once the bg is neutralized you have to stop.
It isn't at all clear from the news account that the BGs were neutralized after the first five shots. Their recitation of the facts is pretty muddled. It doesn't really say which wounds were inflicted by the first five shots and which came after the reload (pretty crucial to deciding whether the remaining shots were justified).
Originally Posted by turbo93
Agreed....who said the threat stopped after 5 shots?
I carry a spare mag....does that mean I shouldn't reload if I still believe the threat is still there?
A lot of details are missing...I hope the GG is NOT convicted.
I would be willing to bet almost more than I own that this is a "politically motivated" prosecution. I would be stunned if we don't find out that this prosecutor is a known anti-gun, dare I say democrat.
This case smells of Mike Nifong and Johnny Sutton!
It would seem that this case is a clear cut case of self defense in which I would venture to say it is more than reasonable to assume that Mr. Borden was still in belief that a threat was still imminent.
We are talking about at least one of the assailants to be a known member of a violent street gang. (Mr. Borden attempted to speak with the assailant's father earlier that day indicating that he knows them).
I am assuming he probably knows them well enough that Mr. Borden knew the assailant's criminal gang association beforehand and therefore under the 404 rule, he can use that information in evaluating the threat he felt.
He knows they are out for him and now 3 men attempt to run him down with a vehicle bludgeon.
The deadly threat is real, it is right before you with 3 assailants (force of numbers, one of which known to be part of violent gang) using a motor vehicle. He fires to defend himself in a matter of seconds... It is admitted to in open court that the driver attempted to put the vehicle in reverse (his intention, to get out of the line of fire).
Mr. Borden doesn't know his intention, as far as he knows, he's still attempting to run over him! The threat is Still Present! He continues to fire, In The Heat of The Moment! It is still actively playing out before his eyes.
I don't feel in that situation any "reasonable" person could be expected to immediately stop and turn off the defensive mode of fight or flight in the time frame the prosecutor is attempting to imply he should have.
I just feel that is unreasonable.
Then to hear the prosecutor admit, they intended to do harm to him, they had two deadly weapons (vehicle used as a bludgeon, and a baseball bat), they had been drinking and watching a particularly violent gang activity movie, just prior to committing their clearly intentional act of mayhem.
While Mr. Borden did not know they had been drinking and watching the movie "Scarface", had a bat in the car, admitted going there to perform a 3 on 1 assault. The prosecutor certainly knew that... So why on earth would he even consider filing murder charges in a case like that? If not for a "politically motivated reason".
I feel that Mr. Borden should be able to successfully defend himself using an "affirmative defense" as long as his public defender is fairly skilled. Especially given the prosecutors opening statement in the case admitting to the circumstances surrounding the assailants mindset and intentions! He basically opened up a perfect affirmative defense as long as Mr. Borden can explain that he still was in fear of his life and interpreted the man putting car in reverse as a continued attempt on his life.
How many rounds did the gun hold? Did he actualy put another clip in?
I hope he comes out of this ok. It sounds like he lives in a bad neighborhood. I think he should have never been charged. The people in the jeep are the kind who will keep bullying some one until it turns into someone being hurt or killed. It sounds like the father didn't have any control over his kids.
"I would be willing to bet almost more than I own that this is a "politically motivated" prosecution. I would be stunned if we don't find out that this prosecutor is a known anti-gun, dare I say democrat.
This case smells of Mike Nifong and Johnny Sutton!"
Yup, it sure does!!
I'm with Tom. Maybe I'm missin it where it says he reloaded? Is hard to say if ALL the shots were necessary. But as they say, the jury gets months to decide what we get seconds to.
Palm Beach County.... Filthy Rich Liberal Democrat county. Still mad at Rush Limbaugh for moving to their neighborhood
Says he unloaded in the story. Since the BGs out numbered him, had a bat and had previously clashed with him , it seems self defense. Also they started the altercation, not the shooter. Put in the same situation , more than likely we would do the same or similar.
Guys, it is Palm Beach County. The prosecution is politically motivated because they are liberals. In any other county (except maybe Broward) the judge would have tossed the charges and even chided the prosecutor for wasting the court's time. They are out to try to jurisprudence the Stand Your Ground Law into nothingness.
Just some more arm chair analysis... according to the report, Mr. Borden fired 5 initial rounds! How many of you feel that happened in under 2 seconds... at least well under 5 seconds.
The witness stated he attempted to back up in order to get out of the line of fire... indicating he was responding to Mr. Bordens gunfire.
Again, Mr. Borden could reasonably assume that he was STILL attempting to run him down! There is no way he should reasonably assume the man wasn't trying to do anything else.
I would also argue that in that time frame, how could Mr. Borden possibly be able to RELIABLY assess that two of the men inside the car were dead or dying. They could have just as easily popped up from the window with a fully automatic UZI, for all he knew the THREAT WAS ONGOING at the time he performed his follow-up shots.
He also probably had no way of knowing which shots were the ones that incapacitated the assailants. His first 5 shots or the follow-up 9 shots?
I am totally sick and tired and outraged at prosecutors attempting to put in prison ordinary peaceful citizens for defending themselves against what the prosecutor admits were armed gang bangers who were drunk and had just view a particularly violent movie!
Where were the POLICE? Aren't they supposed to be there to do their jobs?
Or did the prosecutor expect the correct police response in this case should have been to come and draw a chalk outline around Mr. Borden, take photo's and canvass the neighborhood for non-existent witnesses.
Why are you turning this into a police bashing thread? Were they supposed to know some gang bangers were going to run the guy down?
True enough - it does not seem fair to castigate LE - seeing as this was a sudden occurrence and so how could they be there just at the right time?!
Thing is as we all know really - and why we carry - the cops just cannot be there at the time of most need - ain't gonna happen, bar miracles :wink:
Whoa... hold up! Before this gets out of hand.... I was not bashing cops in the least! Hell most of my friends are LEO and I work with them!
It was my attempt at a little bit of sarcasm aimed soley at the ANTI-GUN crowd who constantly lament about why we as citizens don't need guns because the Police are there to protect us sheep! And it was directed at the Prosecutor as what he thought should have happened in this case! (Anyone out there in law enforcement doesn't know at least one prosecutor who doesn't have a little contempt for the men in the trenches? I know a couple!)
I have friends who are Homicide Investigators, Drug Task Force cops, Sheriff's, Chiefs of Polices, and the ground pounding beat cops and road deputies as well as some of the Best Law Enforcement Trainers in the nation as I am among their ranks! I have been a member of ASLET for over 7 years!
My nephew is a Border Patrol Agent in Naco, Az who I finally convinced to transfer to the Canadian border as soon as he is back from Afghanistan so he doesn't get thrown in prison for just doing his job down on the southern border in U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's territory!
No one knows as well as I do the tireless, thankless job they do. And I know you physically can't have a cop on every corner or have your own personal cop escort you around.
The only reason I'm not a Cop today is because at 18 years of age, I was working in downtown KCMO as an EMT and already had 2 years in the fire service under my belt. You can't be a cop before you are 21.
I just stayed in EMS and Fire Service but work closely with Law Enforcement.
My remarks were in no way meant to COP BASH!
I hope you all can see the difference in my intentions!
Sorry for offending anyone who participates in this forum! Not sorry if I offend anti-gunners or rogue prosecutors!
Next time I will be sure and make a notation of sarcasm in a disclaimer!