Careful where you walk........

This is a discussion on Careful where you walk........ within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Teen boys' curiosity started deadly chain of events Shooting, which ended in fatal car crash, may test state's 'castle law' 11:34 PM CST on Monday, ...

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Thread: Careful where you walk........

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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    Careful where you walk........

    Teen boys' curiosity started deadly chain of events

    Shooting, which ended in fatal car crash, may test state's 'castle law'


    11:34 PM CST on Monday, March 3, 2008
    By SCOTT GOLDSTEIN and RICHARD ABSHIRE / The Dallas Morning News
    sgoldstein@dallasnews.com; rabshire@dallasnews.com

    The chain of events that left a teen shot near his friend's house and a pediatric nurse dead in a car accident late Saturday in Kaufman County began with the innocent curiosity of two boys.


    WILLIAM DESHAZER/DMN
    "We kept hearing music, so we wanted to go check it out," Brandon Robinson, 15, said. About 10:30 p.m., 16-year-old Devin Nalls and 15-year-old Brandon Robinson ventured out of the Nalls home along State Highway 243 and into the darkness to check out a noisy party nearby. They hopped a fence around the Frosch property next door, but as they passed the elderly couple's front porch, Brandon noticed something.

    "Hey, the blinds are moving," Brandon said to his best friend, just before a gunshot pierced a front window of the home, striking Brandon under his left arm.

    Devin's mother, June Nalls, 41, died in a car accident minutes later while driving the boys to the hospital. A man who had been drinking drove his vehicle into her lane, striking her head-on, police said.

    Also Online
    Audio: First 911 call regarding the shooting (.mp3)

    Audio: Second 911 call regarding the accident (.mp3)
    Brandon survived the car accident and the shooting that preceded it, and police haven't arrested W.C. Frosch, the 74-year-old man who fired the shot because he said he feared the boys were going to break into his home.

    Police said Monday that under the state's "castle law," passed last year, Mr. Frosch may not have committed a crime.

    The law permits the use of deadly force to protect property if the property owner reasonably believes such force is needed to prevent a serious offense, including burglary. Police and the boys' families maintain they were not committing such a crime when the shot was fired.

    The case will be referred to a grand jury, meaning criminal charges against Mr. Frosch are possible, police said.

    Shannon Edmonds, director of governmental relations for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, said there are several Texas self-defense and defense-of-property laws other than the castle law that could come into play in this case.

    Still, Mr. Edmonds said, this case "sounds like it could be an interesting test of the new law."

    He said several factors could play a role in the decision whether to charge Mr. Frosch. Among the possible factors, he said, is the time of night, Mr. Frosch and his wife's suspicion that a burglar could be targeting yard-sale merchandise and the fact that the Frosches might have already been concerned about a loud party going on next door.

    "I think what a grand jury is going to do is look at the totality of the circumstances in determining whether or not he acted reasonably," Mr. Edmonds said.

    To the Frosches, the shooting was justified.

    Mr. Frosch did not return a call seeking comment, but his wife, Jerry, defended her husband's actions Monday.

    The two teens were stealthily crossing the Frosches' yard, trying not to be seen by the partygoers, when Mr. Frosch heard something, told Mrs. Frosch to call 911 and armed himself with a handgun.

    "They were messing around our house," Mrs. Frosch said. "They were right at the window."

    Mr. Frosch apparently fired when he looked out a window and saw someone just outside.

    "Physical evidence shows that he was within 2 or 3 feet of the window when he was shot," said Sgt. Bryan Francis, a Kaufman County sheriff's spokesman. "He had most likely stopped there, based on all the statements."

    Sgt. Francis said Mr. Frosch told deputies that he thought the person he saw was going to break into his house.

    Mrs. Frosch said they occasionally have garage sales at the house, and during the 911 call that followed the shooting she notes her suspicions about a prowler's possible motive.

    "Well we just had a garage sale today," she said, according to a recording of the call released Monday.

    There were no items of value in the Frosches' yard the night of the shooting, and Sgt. Francis said there is no indication of any burglaries at the home.

    Minutes after Mrs. Frosch called police, another call was placed to 911 regarding a terrible car accident along State Highway 243, about a half-mile east of the Kaufman city limits.

    Ms. Nalls, 41, died instantly in the collision while driving her son and Brandon to the hospital.

    On Monday, Brandon Robinson recalled the events that twice could have killed him and left his best friend without a mother.

    "We kept hearing music, so we wanted to go check it out," Brandon said in a telephone interview from his bed at Parkland Memorial Hospital. "We walked across this dude's yard. I heard the window blinds move, and I told Devin. ... I heard gunfire, and we ran."

    Not realizing Brandon was hit, both boys darted back to Devin's home. Brandon's arm went numb. He looked in a bathroom mirror and saw the blood.

    The boys woke Ms. Nalls, who instinctively rushed them to her pickup and headed for the hospital.

    Ms. Nalls was killed minutes later in the accident, which also ruptured Brandon's spleen. Devin suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital Sunday.

    Agustin Renteria, 27, of Kaufman was driving the 1996 Ford that hit Ms. Nalls' truck. He was charged with failure to stop and render aid and was being held at the Kaufman County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail, said Sgt. Bryan Francis, a Kaufman County sheriff's spokesman.

    For Brandon's father, Donald, the shooting that ultimately put Ms. Nalls on the road Saturday night was a senseless act.

    "I believe in the right to bear arms," Mr. Robinson said. "But usually with a little more respect. What's worth more: private property or human life?"
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    Seems like this could turn into a very convoluted and interesting case.
    Rick

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    Indefensible shooting, IMHO.

    The "assailant" was outside the residence, and was making no attempt to enter.

    I hope the grand jury indicts.

    Matt
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    Three tons of stupid.

    Stupid to be skulking on some guys porch, stupid to shoot blind, stupid to drive in a panic if they have a functional emergency response system.

    Stupid gets people killed or sent to prison.

    I have doubts about the mysterious "party".

    --Travis--

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    Checking out the party details will be easy...

    Wonder what others would of thought if this was a 12 yr old...vice a 15 yr old

    Seems Texans are entrenched in the 'shoot first, ask questions later'...perhaps an unintended result of the castle law.

    My prayers to the family for their son being harmed, IMHO, unjustly...but also the loss of a mother and wife.

    Rick

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    JD
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    Funny that no one is howling for the blood of the drunk driver......THAT ACTUALLY KILLED A PERSON.

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    Don't get me started on drunk drivers. Having spent the better part of 15 years as a EMS provider, I have a deep and abiding hatred of drunken driving.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    Last night on the Local news the old man that actually shot the kid claims the young man was trying to open his window.
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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    This isn't about the castle law. It's not even a shoot first ask questions later kind of thing...Or maybe it is. If you see two people trying to stealthily cross your property and end up 3 feet from your window...Do you ask them what's going on? You're an elderly man with your wife. You already know there is some kind of party, and you see two people sneaking onto your property. As for the law. It does not require that the 2 kids had an intent of burglary or criminal mischief, it just requires that Mr Frosch believes that they had that intent, and that it was a reasonable assumption. When I first heard about this case, I thought it was ridiculous. But this article sheds some more light on it. The two kids were 3 feet from his window...He had observed them stealthily crossing the yard, he had already had his wife call the police, this doesn't show a man who wants to go out looking or a fight. His judgement may not have been the best, but he was scared.

    And the castle law isn't changing things that much. When I grew up, sometimes we would cross some guys pasture or property to get to a friends house or to go to his pond or whatever, and we knew if we didn't have permission that we took a chance on getting shot or shot at. I can't think of any time when a property owner actually tried to hit somebody, but the chance was always there.
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    This isn't about the castle law. It's not even a shoot first ask questions later kind of thing...Or maybe it is. If you see two people trying to stealthily cross your property and end up 3 feet from your window...Do you ask them what's going on? You're an elderly man with your wife. You already know there is some kind of party, and you see two people sneaking onto your property. As for the law. It does not require that the 2 kids had an intent of burglary or criminal mischief, it just requires that Mr Frosch believes that they had that intent, and that it was a reasonable assumption. When I first heard about this case, I thought it was ridiculous. But this article sheds some more light on it. The two kids were 3 feet from his window...He had observed them stealthily crossing the yard, he had already had his wife call the police, this doesn't show a man who wants to go out looking or a fight. His judgement may not have been the best, but he was scared.

    And the castle law isn't changing things that much. When I grew up, sometimes we would cross some guys pasture or property to get to a friends house or to go to his pond or whatever, and we knew if we didn't have permission that we took a chance on getting shot or shot at. I can't think of any time when a property owner actually tried to hit somebody, but the chance was always there.
    Agreed...He and his wife were older and alone. It was late and they were scared after watching them creep the yard in the middle of the night. Do you open the door and ask? The only other issue I see is that we're still only seeing one side of the story. It's still the Teens word vs the elderly couple. Who's to say the teens weren't going to break in? Of course there's always going to be the emotional response:
    What's worth more: private property or human life?"
    Answer: Depends on who's human life...and under what circumstances.
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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Look, it's simple, you don't go sneaking on to somebody's property in the middle of the night...if you choose to, well, sometimes it is going to lead to misunderstandings.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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    If the kids were merely walking by the window, I can't see that as being a good shoot. Trigger happy old fart panicked and puleld the trigger when he shouldn't have.

    If the kid was actually trying to open the window, then I think it falls under "Castle Doctrine", and the kid shouldn't have been monkeying with the window.

    Still, as previously mentioned, the only person who's actually murdered someone is being overlooked over the other issues.

    -JT

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Well when you all get to be old pharts then look at this with those eyes. There have been multiple cases that elderly peoples homes have been broken into and the residents asaulted or killed. When you get old and can't move as well as you used to, you really can't take chances. No one has the right to be wandering about on private property late at night. I might not of fired but each person must do what they feel necessary for protection.

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    Well, now, according to Reborn one story has the homeowner claiming the kids tried to open the window. I agree that the castle doctrine generally covers the action and the kids were stupid for sneaking across somebody's property, but if it comes out that the homeowner is lying or embellishing to make his defense scenario sound better, it would not surprise me if the grand jury indicts him. And probably rightly so, since any attempt to fabricate makes it look like he knows that the boys weren't really a threat to him when he fired.

    And the drunk driver should be hanged in the public square. Any of the stories mention his, ah, citizenship status...?
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    I am looking at it like this. They "hopped a fence" into the elderly couples yard at or around 2230. Knowing my grandparents they would have probably done the same thing. Like said above we are only really seeing one side of the story.

    I do agree on taking the drunk driver out to the town square
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