Prosecutor moves against ice cream manager

Prosecutor moves against ice cream manager

This is a discussion on Prosecutor moves against ice cream manager within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In today's Richmond Times-Dispatch: Ice-cream manager facing case Prosecutors want firearms charge in fatal shooting of robber in South Side Friday, Sep 28, 2007 - ...

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Thread: Prosecutor moves against ice cream manager

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Prosecutor moves against ice cream manager

    In today's Richmond Times-Dispatch:

    Ice-cream manager facing case
    Prosecutors want firearms charge in fatal shooting of robber in South Side

    Friday, Sep 28, 2007 - 12:09 AM Updated: 12:46 PM

    By JIM NOLAN
    TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
    Richmond prosecutors will seek a felony indictment on a charge of reckless discharge of a firearm against the Baskin-Robbins ice-cream parlor manager who fatally shot a man who robbed the store this month.

    "We have considered everything the police officers have brought in, the witnesses interviewed, the review of the scene and the forensic evidence collected, and I believe there is probable cause that a crime has been committed," said Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael N. Herring, explaining his decision to present evidence to a grand jury.

    Herring is expected to formally announce his decision at a news conference this morning.

    According to police, on Sept. 6 Jerome Davis, 43, entered the Baskin-Robbins at 6940 Forest Hill Ave. waving a BB gun version of a 9mm handgun and demanded money from the register. The shift manager, David Fielding, handed over cash and change.

    According to investigators, Davis ordered Fielding, another Baskin-Robbins employee and the lone customer to go to the back of the store.

    Once in the back of the store, investigators said, Fielding produced his own 9mm gun from his waistband. The 21-year-old art student at Virginia Commonwealth University moved back toward the front counter of the store and opened fire, causing Davis to flee.

    Investigators said it appears three of the shots fired that night by Fielding were fired from inside the store. Outside the store, investigators found evidence of eight additional shots fired.

    Davis, a career criminal with a record of robberies and prison time, was hit twice -- once in the hand and once in the back. He died a short distance away in front of his home in the 2900 block of Cherokee Road, a couple of blocks behind the ice-cream parlor.

    Herring said he has decided to seek an indictment against Fielding for reckless discharge, not manslaughter, because it cannot be determined whether the shot that killed Davis was fired from inside or outside the store.

    "One volley of shots appears to have been arguably reasonable," Herring said. "And from what I've seen, the other volley of shots does not."

    "The robber's trial should not have taken place in the parking lot of the Baskin-Robbins," he said.

    Reckless discharge is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

    Herring said he wanted the grand jury to decide whether the second round of shots was reckless.

    "If they believe they were, then they have the option to indict," Herring said. "If they don't, then I have to respect that decision."

    Reached last night, attorney Craig S. Cooley, who along with lawyer Frank N. Cowan is representing Fielding, said it was inappropriate for him to comment on the case at this time.

    The shooting has raised controversy over whether the actions of the store manager were justified given the circumstances of the robbery. Virginia law allows a person to use deadly force in self-defense only if his or her safety is threatened.

    After the shooting, a petition was circulated to Stratford Hills-area businesses expressing support for Fielding. More than 550 people signed the petition.

    Organizers and local business leaders also have urged further steps be taken to curb the rash of armed commercial robberies in the ice-cream store's area, which increased from six in the first eight months of 2006 to 32 through Sept. 2 of this year.

    The Baskin-Robbins had been robbed Aug. 14, several weeks before the fatal shooting, when Fielding was present. No shots were fired at that time, and no one was injured. An early report said Fielding purchased his handgun after that incident, but police said records indicate he bought it in the spring.

    "As much as I respect and appreciate the public's opinion, I can't allow any aspect of a charging decision to be affected by it," Herring said.

    "If there's anything I want people to take away from this, it's that I don't think more guns is in any way a good thing," the prosecutor added.

    "It's only a matter of time before some victim hits an innocent bystander. Then what?"
    - Tom
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array DirtDawg's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmmmm, seems as if there's no other criminals to pursue other then that the ice cream guy....

    I don't "think" it was a good idea to run after the BG-but then I wasn't there.

    Whole lotta variables here.
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    Yep - the eternal variables and sounds like maybe a jury will have a hard job making a decision too.

    On the face of it - those later 8 shots do have a nasty ring to them.
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    Senior Member Array rabywk's Avatar
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    The shot in the back didn't help things either.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I am not as concerned about the shot in the back as I am with the following the BG into the parking lot. The shot in the back could have occured while the BG was trying to take cover for a better offensive position. The shooter didn't know it was a toy gun and the BG wasn't going to stay around and shoot it out.

    I think a lot will depend on how far the shooter followed the BG into the lot. Did he chase after him, to just outside the door, or did he run 100 yds across the lot firing all the way? Lots of variables when it comes to whether it is going to be called justified or not. Eye witnesses, and the accounts of the others in the store will weigh in on the juries decision also.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Member Array alto's Avatar
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    I'm with Ted Nugent. I want career criminals dead. Coming from someone who has never hurt anyone in my 58 years, I have no pity for the criminal..none. And, we have to follow laws as well. The jury will decide. A lawyer is attached to every round we may discharge.

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    suppose he hit a kid while shooting at long range at someone who as no longer a threat. I don't care if he was hit in the back or the front it was reckless in my opinion. I was not there and this is not his jury but we have a huge responsiblity when we carry although I lack sympathy for the bg I agree his trial should not have been by one at that point the threat was over. the kid acted stupidly I hope it does not ruin his life but I would indict him if I was on the jury. Do not let your natural sympathy for a fellow CHL blind you to how stupid and dangerous he was. He was luckey the only one killed was a BG.

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    Member Array mousehunter's Avatar
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    I think following the bg into the parking lot invited this, but can understand plenty of reasons that could prove it was reasonable. The manager had no way of knowing when he was actually out of danger.

    That said, story is a good reminder of 2 things - 1) A lawyer is attached to every round discharged and 2) practice, a bit better aim with the first 3 shots might have prevented this.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed P95, and turbo.

    There is the problem that he removed himself from safety at the back of the store to then by choice confront, engage, and chase out of the store the BG.
    If he had stayed in the back concealed enough to unholster and lie in wait for the BG to choose to possibly return, or flee, he'd have been lawful. If he motioned to return then blast him and it's done, legally.
    Leaving relative safety to engage the BG toward protection of goods and monies (which is not allowable toward use of lethal force in VA) was iffy but he'd probably have been okay/excused to that point if he and the corrobating witness in the store could show that the BG had shown intent to return to them as per statements or physical motion(s) immediately prior or as he, Fielding, made his defensive move. Firing on Davis the BG in the store is okay as he's defending himself and was within imminent danger.
    But once the guy cleared the door and was running away he is no longer an imminent threat and Fielding can and could choose to stay safely inside the store. Instead he choose to chase him beyond the plane of the door. These are all ignoring the shot in the back factor which some immediately wrote off in the original thread when the story first broke.

    The DA is right though, by law.
    As well he could've chosen to let Fielding go but I'd never bet on a DA doing a citizen a solid. That is not their citizen assigned task.
    This also is another excellent example of how a revolver is a good option as opposed to an automatic for defensive efforts, as old schoolers have long been preaching. No casings ejected, no evidence left behind, no lawfully recognized self incrimination.

    Agreed a lot of variables, that we all should think of and consider while we have the luxury to do so toward potential of our own news day.
    Not all DAs are like us or think like us or even if they are both will fall to one side of the lawfullness coin than another upon cases of lethal force employed toward self defense. This is serious business and we civilians have to err on the side of caution in our thinking and actions even as the BGs obviously haven't a care in the world.
    Either you do so or you risk gambling all your familial wealth and very likely your freedoms too.

    3 yrs. ago during a VA specific CCL class I took at the NRA HdQ the instructors went over for the students a scenario nearly exactly like this only it was the rear door of a restaurant and the GG had chased the BG out and into an alleyway firing the whole time leaving shell casings inside the building and beyond the door into the alley. The BG was hit, also in the back, and went down further up the alley. The police arrived, the GG got to talking, shell casings were picked up in the alley way, and in the end the well meaning GG was prosecuted for IIRC the same thing 'reckless discharge' even as the BG was in fact armed. The instructors, who were all cops, indicated that the problem was the shell casings. Had they not been outside and beyond the plane of the door then he'd likely have been okay even as the BG was per their tale hit in the back multiple times.

    - Janq
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabywk View Post
    The shot in the back didn't help things either.
    That is the best way to shoot a criminal. Seriously, if he has his weapon and has already tried herding you into the back there is no way to know if he isn't simply going for cover to continue the fight. If he really wanted out he could have ditched the gun and either given up or run away.

    The 8 shots outside could be a big problem and if fired by the manager were pretty stupid. He may pay for that.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Gun Bunny's Avatar
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    "If there's anything I want people to take away from this, it's that I don't think more guns is in any way a good thing," the prosecutor added.

    I don't like the sound of that!
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    If the shot in the back is one of the pillars of the prosecution's case, it might be shaky. I read about several cases in which the BG was shot in the back and the GG was found not guilty by the Jury. One of the cases about 15 years or so in Miami where a shop owner put about 5 rounds in the front and 10 rounds in the back of a junkie that broke into his shop & was taken to trial three times: The first two ended in mistrials and the third one he was found not guilty. IIRC the DA was one of the annointed by Janet Reno and was fit to be tied by the Jury's decission. Also another case in the Orange County area in FL: Robbery of a store where the BG got the GG's keys and wallet. The GG was shot by the BG but managed to put up a struggle and the BG ran away. Fearing that the BG may go to his house where his Mom was alone, the GG gave chase and shot the BG in the arse. Local DA took to Grand Jury and they found No Bill.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Rossman's Avatar
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    It is very unfortunate when others look to take action against any citizen who is protecting himself from a perpetrator. In the heat of the moment there are many variables. Without video proof that a serious wrong was committed, a jury will likely acquit. IMAO

  15. #15
    Member Array ttpete's Avatar
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    In MI, it would have been legal to do what he did. The law allows shooting a fleeing felon who may pose a danger to the public.
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