Convenience store clerk convicted for shooting beer thief - Page 2

Convenience store clerk convicted for shooting beer thief

This is a discussion on Convenience store clerk convicted for shooting beer thief within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Well there is a stipulation in the law which allows you to use lethal force to protect property after dark... Originally Posted by From the ...

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Thread: Convenience store clerk convicted for shooting beer thief

  1. #16
    Moderator
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    Well there is a stipulation in the law which allows you to use lethal force to protect property after dark...

    Quote Originally Posted by From the above posted article
    The shooter also must believe that the property cannot be protected by other means and that he would be at risk by trying to get the property back using less than deadly force.
    Also

    Drummond, the prosecutor, said during his closing argument that normal people don't smile after shooting someone in defense of property. Drummond said that Romero also chuckled while police interviewed him.

    "You saw from his demeanor ... from his look that this was about anger; it was not about defending property," Drummond said. "Under the law of the State of Texas, ... that's murder."
    So, I'm thinking his demeanor after the fact, plus tampering with evidence (altering the video tape, hiding shell casings), and not calling the police had a cumulative effect on the jury.

    How you handle yourself after the shooting and how you interact with the police plays no small part in whether or not you end up in prison.

    Seems like this guy really screwed the pooch in how he handled himself and gave the jury every reason to convict.

    You have to be careful in how you act. You want to be all cocky and Joe Cool after the fact, that's fine. But you'll have to man up and accept what happens because of it.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."


  2. #17
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    The clerk was wrong, but pardon me if I fail to have any sympathy for the dead thief.
    I'm with ya on that one....
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson

  3. #18
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    If he had shot the guy and immediately called the police and not tampered with evidence he likely would not have seen the inside of a court room.
    His behavior after the shooting brings the whole shooting into question. Was the shooting in defense of property as allowed under Texas law?
    When you come back smiling, tamper with evidence, and lie to the police, that leads me to believe he was shooting out of spite rather than in an attempt to recover the beer.
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  4. #19
    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    When you commit a crime, you willingly open the door to this kind of possibility. You can't complain if this is what happens.

    A 12 pack of beer does not equate to a human life? Evidently the thief thought so, even if he was convinced the odds were astronomical. He should have played the lottery instead.

    If there was a natural disaster and this exact same thing happened, the thief would have been called a "looter" and no one would have batted an eye over his being shot. Same thief, same store, same theft, same death - no bill.
    "The flock sleep peaceably in their pasture at night because Sheepdogs stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
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  5. #20
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    Tampering with evidence, attempting to destroy the video and failing to call 911 = mens rea.

    As for the law, the issue of whether the shooter reasonably believes that there is no other way to recover the property (which is an element of the affirmative defense to the shooting) is a matter for the trier of fact to determine.

    A person who believes their actions were justified doesn't tamper with evidence. He worked pretty hard to send himself to jail, IMHO

    Matt
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  6. #21
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Tampering with the evidence? That was a separate crime committed after the shooting. He was charged and convicted for that. That doesn't have anything to do with murder. He didn't call the police? Is that a crime? He was angry? After being robbed multiple times with no intervention by the police, well, who wouldn't be?

    The fact is, he shot a man to stop a theft of property at night. The man dropped the beer, then and only then was he able to recover the property. This Texas law couldn't be more specific. Despite that, he was convicted by a jury drawn from the most liberal county in Texas.

    Which is worse for society? Killing a thug to stop a a convenience store robbery or convicting an innocent man for murder with no regard for the rule of law?

  7. #22
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    If the video had shown the thug pointing a gun at the clerk, would he have been convicted, even if he still tampered with the evidence after the fact? Let's be honest. The prosecutor and jury were the ones handing out vigilante justice, not the clerk.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    Tampering with the evidence? That was a separate crime committed after the shooting. He was charged and convicted for that. That doesn't have anything to do with murder. He didn't call the police? Is that a crime? He was angry? After being robbed multiple times with no intervention by the police, well, who wouldn't be?

    The fact is, he shot a man to stop a theft of property at night. The man dropped the beer, then and only then was he able to recover the property. This Texas law couldn't be more specific. Despite that, he was convicted by a jury drawn from the most liberal county in Texas.

    Which is worse for society? Killing a thug to stop a a convenience store robbery or convicting an innocent man for murder with no regard for the rule of law?
    The rule of law was followed. Whether or not the clerk had a reasonable belief that the property could not be otherwise recovered is a question of fact for the jury to decide.

    They clearly felt that the clerk's actions negated the affirmative defense raised.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
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  9. #24
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    What part of the law would that be?
    This part:

    SUBCHAPTER D. PROTECTION OF PROPERTY

    Sec. 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.

    (b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:

    (1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or

    (2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


    Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

    (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

    (3) he reasonably believes that:

    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


    Sec. 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON'S PROPERTY. A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:

    (1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or

    (2) the actor reasonably believes that:

    (A) the third person has requested his protection of the land or property;

    (B) he has a legal duty to protect the third person's land or property; or

    (C) the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor's spouse, parent, or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor's care.

  10. #25
    Senior Moderator
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    It is still a question of fact for the jury to decide. They decided he did not have such a reasonable belief, apparently.
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  11. #26
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    The rule of law was followed. Whether or not the clerk had a reasonable belief that the property could not be otherwise recovered is a question of fact for the jury to decide.

    They clearly felt that the clerk's actions negated the affirmative defense raised.

    Matt
    I don't think it's clear at all what the jury felt. They could have felt that deadly force wasn't required to recover the property, but let's be honest. What reasonable person could believe that a 12-pack of beer could have been recovered from a thug running away from a convenience store robbery, at night, without putting the clerk's life in danger? Would you have chased after this thug and tried to wrestle it away from him?

    Is it more likely that they truly thought he should have recovered the beer some other way, or just like in this thread, they just decided a 12-pack wasn't worth getting killed over, despite the law?

  12. #27
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    It is still a question of fact for the jury to decide. They decided he did not have such a reasonable belief, apparently.
    And just like a jury can ignore the law and find a guilty person innocent, they have the power to ignore the law and convict an innocent man.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    This part:

    SUBCHAPTER D. PROTECTION OF PROPERTY

    Sec. 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property.

    (b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible, movable property by another is justified in using force against the other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession and:

    (1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or

    (2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using force, threat, or fraud against the actor.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


    Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and

    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

    (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

    (3) he reasonably believes that:

    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


    Sec. 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON'S PROPERTY. A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if, under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:

    (1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or

    (2) the actor reasonably believes that:

    (A) the third person has requested his protection of the land or property;

    (B) he has a legal duty to protect the third person's land or property; or

    (C) the third person whose land or property he uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor's spouse, parent, or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor's care.
    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    It is still a question of fact for the jury to decide. They decided he did not have such a reasonable belief, apparently.
    I agree with Matt. And in this case, I believe the clerk sent himself to prison with his actions after the fact. You can cry foul all you want, but in the end, you have to come back to reality. And the fact is, how you behave after the fact does carry weight with a jury.

    Tampering with evidence, altering the crime scene equates to guilt in the eyes of almost every jury I've ever known of. That is a hard thing to overcome when it comes to trial.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dldeuce View Post
    And just like a jury can ignore the law and find a guilty person innocent, they have the power to ignore the law and convict an innocent man.
    No, they don't. The defendant will appeal, I'm sure. If what you claim happened, happened, then he'll be successful on appeal.

    The jury may well have inferred that the clerk was acting for other reasons apart from recovering the beer based on his attempt to destroy evidence and his failure to call the police.

    Matt
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    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    I agree with Matt. And in this case, I believe the clerk sent himself to prison with his actions after the fact. You can cry foul all you want, but in the end, you have to come back to reality. And the fact is, how you behave after the fact does carry weight with a jury.

    Tampering with evidence, altering the crime scene equates to guilt in the eyes of almost every jury I've ever known of. That is a hard thing to overcome when it comes to trial.
    The prosecutor argued that he didn't shoot the guy to defend property. He argued that he shot the guy out of anger or vengeance, where there is no justification for that. That's what we're seeing in this thread. The reaction here is that no one could reasonably shoot a 22 year old over a 12 pack of beer. There had to be another reason, and that's murder. That's how the tampering of evidence played into it. The prosecutor argued those actions as evidence the shooting wasn't over defense of property. What you guys are really arguing is what constitutes tangible property? You're arguing that the property has to have sufficient value to justify murder, or else there must be some other reason for killing a thief who's robbing a convenience store. That argument substantially weakens this law in favor of thieves, and I suggest that it substantially weakens society.

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