Supremely sad: Pastor pleads in son’s gun death

Supremely sad: Pastor pleads in son’s gun death

This is a discussion on Supremely sad: Pastor pleads in son’s gun death within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; http://www.delconewsnetwork.com/arti...4528909375.txt Darby pastor pleads in son’s gun death Published: Sunday, July 18, 2010 By Marlene DiGiacomo SPECIAL TO THE NEWS MEDIA COURTHOUSE — A pastor ...

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Thread: Supremely sad: Pastor pleads in son’s gun death

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Supremely sad: Pastor pleads in son’s gun death

    http://www.delconewsnetwork.com/arti...4528909375.txt

    Darby pastor pleads in son’s gun death

    Published: Sunday, July 18, 2010

    By Marlene DiGiacomo
    SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

    MEDIA COURTHOUSE — A pastor Monday, while pleading guilty to a voluntary manslaughter charge in the shooting death of the son he loved, said the 21-year-old victim’s rage last Christmas Day gave the father little choice but to take his life.

    Kirk Caldwell, 43, of the 100 block of Ridge Avenue, Darby Borough, who serves as pastor of the End Times Harvest Mission in Philadelphia, admitted responsibility in the death of Jordan Caldwell, the oldest of the defendant’s eight children.

    The hearing for Kirk Caldwell was replete with witnesses who came to praise him as a leader, a strong family man, a peacemaker and “a man of strong moral, impeccable character.”

    The victim’s wife said her husband doesn’t have “a malicious bone in his body,” but that their son’s violent streak had became progressively worse over the years despite all their efforts to help him.

    “Somehow as Jordan grew older, he started slipping away,” the grieving wife and mother said.

    She asked Judge Frank T. Hazel for leniency for her husband, stating, “He needs to be home. We’re going through the motions, but we’re not actually living.”

    Hazel, who explained that the victim had a significant juvenile criminal history, sentenced Caldwell to serve two to four years in the shooting in which he is culpable under the law.

    The judge said the proceedings are unique.

    “I have a situation where the victim’s family speaks for the defendant, not because they don’t love the boy who died, but they have love for the man who tried not to kill him,” said the judge. “I don’t have a doubt that every reasonable effort was made here to avoid this catastrophic event.” But yet he is still found guilty and gets prison time?

    Caldwell told the court that on the day of the shooting, his son Jordan had first assaulted his girlfriend and then turned his rage on his handicapped foster brother.

    When Caldwell, who had been asleep, came downstairs and tried to intervene, he too was attacked and suffered a shoulder injury.

    Caldwell said after he was knocked down and he felt pain in his shoulder, he went back upstairs thinking it was over. However, there was a second commotion and he mistakenly thought he heard somebody say that Jordan “had a knife.”

    Caldwell said he grabbed his gun, which he kept for protection, went back downstairs and then pleaded with his oldest son to leave. He said, however, that his son started moving toward him.

    “My shoulder is messed up. I’m defenseless. The only thing I’m thinking is he’s going to overpower me and take this gun out of my hands,” the defendant said.

    Caldwell added that he saw how enraged his son was and he was afraid that if Jordan got hold of the gun, he could turn it on others who were in the house.

    Attorney Brian McMonagle, said when the fatal shot was fired, “Caldwell’s world was turned upside down.”

    “This is tough stuff,” McMonagle told Hazel. “We’re not born to outlive our children. We certainly aren’t born to watch them die at our own hands. It really shouldn’t be that way for this man.”

    McMonagle reiterated what others said regarding Caldwell.

    “His entire life has been about service, serving his community, serving his friends — taking people off street corners, taking children into his home and raising his own children,” he said.

    Caldwell’s sister, Dawn, detailed their dysfunctional family history, stating that her brother was forced to begin working at the age of 11 or 12 to support the family and that he helped save her life when she was considering suicide.

    “Kirk has always been the rock,” she said. “He’s always the peacemaker — the one to try to stop the violence. It’s just a tragic mistake and he’s sorry for it.”

    Caldwell said that his son, in a rage, once punched a man so badly that the man now suffers from vision problems. He said he couldn’t understand why Jordan acted the way he did.

    “I don’t know where the violence came from,” said the defendant, adding that his son has been in and out of treatment and jail.

    He told the court a psychiatrist once told him their son “loves violence. I never ever thought that she would be right,” he said.

    Caldwell lamented he has been able to help others, but couldn’t turn his own son’s life around.

    Police said after Caldwell fired, he dropped the gun and ran to his son’s aid. The victim was pronounced dead at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

    More than a dozen guests were gathered in the defendant’s home at the time that the confrontation erupted into bloodshed, police said.

    “I’ve done everything I could to be a good father,” Caldwell told the court. “My life has been simple — work, church and home.”
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    And why was this not self-defense ?

    in fear of imminent death or serious injury to self or others ! ! ! at least that's the basis here. It sure seems to qualify to me on all accounts. It's still a shame, but I also understand it. It also seems that many others verify his version of the story and how violent the son had become.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    A very sad story all around.....
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Should have called the cops and had the son removed or arrested for domestic violence
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    The aggressive son beats his girlfriend, then his handicapped brother. The father is told his son has a knife, and then the son begins to turn his rage toward the father and others in the home. The father fears people's lives are at risk, because of his son's rage. And yet, he's taken to task by the legal system for defending against the son's violence the moment it turns against the rest of the family.

    There are either some aspects we're unaware of, or a serious injustice is being done to this man.

    Lesson for all of us: feeling a threat and feeling you're right in stopping it isn't necessarily legally sufficient to escape the "noose."
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    And why was this not self-defense ?

    in fear of imminent death or serious injury to self or others ! ! ! at least that's the basis here. It sure seems to qualify to me on all accounts. It's still a shame, but I also understand it. It also seems that many others verify his version of the story and how violent the son had become.

    Poor man was probably not in the mood for a trial and they convinced him to plead out :(
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  7. #7
    Member Array socal2310's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctsketch View Post
    Poor man was probably not in the mood for a trial and they convinced him to plead out :(
    +1

    He was very likely heavily burdened with remorse and self reproach for failing to find a way out of the situation. On top of that, how much do you want to bet on him having an attorney with little or no experience or knowledge relevant to a legally justified shooting?

    Something to keep in mind if you own a gun for self defense, most attorneys are ill equipped to defend a client with a positive defense. Normally the prosecutor must prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt while the defense is only obligated to undermine the prosecutors position. A self defense shooting is a very different scenario. The shooter is admitting to committing homicide and now must prove that the shooting was justified.

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