Convenience store clerk convicted for shooting beer thief - Page 3

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; Originally Posted by MattInFla No, they don't. The defendant will appeal, I'm sure. If what you claim happened, happened, then he'll be successful on appeal. ...

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Thread: Convenience store clerk convicted for shooting beer thief

  1. #31
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    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
    Their power can be overturned by the judge or on appeal, but they definitely have the power to convict.

    Answer this for me. If a video clearly showed the thug pointing a gun at the clerk, would it be legitimate for the jury to deny a self defense claim because he tampered with the evidence after the fact? Like I said, you guys are arguing that no one can legitimately kill a 22 year old over a 12-pack of beer. Therefore, there must have been another reason, and minus a self-defense claim, that's murder.


  2. #32
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    I don't know, and the hypothetical is irrelevant.

    And I am not arguing over the legitimacy of killing someone over beer. My sole point is that the defendant raised the affirmative defense that he reasonably believed there was no other way to recover the property.

    Whether or not his belief was reasonable is a question of fact, and is therefore the province of the trier of fact (the jury) to decide.

    Matt
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  3. #33
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    I don't know, and the hypothetical is irrelevant.

    And I am not arguing over the legitimacy of killing someone over beer. My sole point is that the defendant raised the affirmative defense that he reasonably believed there was no other way to recover the property.

    Whether or not his belief was reasonable is a question of fact, and is therefore the province of the trier of fact (the jury) to decide.

    Matt
    One, they could have found that there were other reasonable ways for him to have recovered the beer. That there were other ways that wouldn't have jeopardized the clerk's safety. Now, if you believe that was a reasonable finding of fact, just give us one credible way he could have recovered the beer.

    I think any suggestion is going to be laughable, not reasonable. Any suggestion you come up with could also just as well nullify any justification for shooting after a thief that had stolen large amounts of cash or a car thief. Basically, under this premise, you're suggesting a jury could legitimately nullify the law altogether.

    Two, they could have found, like the prosecutor argued, that he killed out of anger and vengeance, not in defense of property. If you believe that's a reasonable finding of fact, then you need to address the tangible property issue and my hypothetical substituting self defense instead of property defense into the scenario.

    The guy was running away with property at night after a convenience store robbery. That's exactly the kind of serious public safety issue the legislature was addressing when they wrote this law. They wanted to shield citizens from prosecution and thereby empower them to protect society. No matter how you spin it, you're talking about the jury nullifying this law, which is exactly what they did.

  4. #34
    Member Array AZ Infidel's Avatar
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    I am real big on personal responsibility. The theif chose to forfeit his safety when he stole in Texas.

    By the same token...the clerk chose to forfeit his freedom when he shot at the theif over something as stupid as a 12 pack of beer.

    So, shame on BOTH of them.

    Face it....not a blasted thing in that store short of the clerk's life...is worth shooting someone over no matter how pissed off you may be.

    UGH.

    Some folks just don't get it do they?

    Oh well...Austin is the strange center of TX.

  5. #35
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    From the details available, it appears it was a theft or at most a burglary, not a robbery.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  6. #36
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Infidel View Post
    I am real big on personal responsibility. The theif chose to forfeit his safety when he stole in Texas.

    By the same token...the clerk chose to forfeit his freedom when he shot at the theif over something as stupid as a 12 pack of beer.

    So, shame on BOTH of them.

    Face it....not a blasted thing in that store short of the clerk's life...is worth shooting someone over no matter how pissed off you may be.

    UGH.

    Some folks just don't get it do they?

    Oh well...Austin is the strange center of TX.
    That looks just about like what the jury decided here. Unfortunately, they just ignored the rule of law when they did it.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    From the details available, it appears it was a theft or at most a burglary, not a robbery.
    I've worked in convenience stores. I was trained that if a 10 year old girl comes in and asks for the money, it's a robbery. Our trainer backed that up with a real life scenario where the clerk didn't give the girl the money. Her father came in and shot the place up pissed off as hell the clerk didn't do what he was told. I've been in the store when beer thieves have struck. The difference between robbery and theft is in the eye of the person being "robbed." Having personally experienced this kind of brazen theft, I don't see a real big difference. That's also why I see any suggestion that he could have reasonably recovered the property in some other safe way as laughable.

  8. #38
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Most robbery statutes indicate force or fear as necessary elements. The ten your old did not commit robbery unless she indicated that her father would come in and shoot the place up if the money was not given to her. The father would have commited robbery if he took the money after shoting the place up or threatening the clerk. There is no indication that there was either force or fear to obtain the property in the incident in question.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  9. #39
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Under Texas law it does not have to be a robbery. Remeber this happened around midnight. This meets the standard of "theft during the nighttime" specified in P.C. 9.42 (2) (A) and (B)
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  10. #40
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Not disputing that, just whether it was a robbery or a theft.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  11. #41
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    There is an update to the story. It seems the judge and jury feeling the defendant is such a clear and present threat to the citizens of their fair city they gave him eight years. Probation! That is for both the evidence tampering and the murder conviction.
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  12. #42
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Wow. Whatever else might have been said about the legitimacy of the defense against theft at the store, the subsequent fouling of evidence, failure to call police and several incriminating statements to police seem to seal this guy's fate. One dead criminal, and then a defender making a very good impression of a criminal .. Texas or not, nighttime or not. A "reasonable man" surely wouldn't be swiping spent cases and video evidence.

    Remember the video that warns about the risks of speaking to police after such an event? For those in the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network, there are also articles that warn about the dangers inherent in speaking of certain things with police and prosecutors.

    One thing we call can learn from this situation. The defendant was quoted as later thinking to himself that "I (expletive) someone over over $12" but that "it was his decision." That last part, about it being his decision? Well, yes and no. Regarding the legitimacy and justifiability, that's the point: it's the People's decision as to whether a person's choice to shoot (kill) another is justifiable, ultimately. Something to keep in mind, as we read our own states' statutes and mull over the intention of phrases such as "reasonable man standard."
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  13. #43
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    There is an update to the story. It seems the judge and jury feeling the defendant is such a clear and present threat to the citizens of their fair city they gave him eight years. Probation! That is for both the evidence tampering and the murder conviction.

    Update: Murder conviction, 8 years' probation.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  14. #44
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    From the story listed above, the defense attorney: "After the trial, one of Romero's lawyers, Thomas Fagerberg, said that the guilty verdict would confuse Travis County residents because they would not know whether they might face a murder charge while defending property."

    Like I said before, which is a worse deed in society, shooting a thief, or convicting a man of murder with no respect for the rule of law?

    The jury convicts him of murder then gives him probation? If they truly believed he murdered out of anger and vengeance, I find it difficult to believe they wouldn't have given him jail time. I wonder how many murderers in Texas get probation?

  15. #45
    Senior Member Array dldeuce's Avatar
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    Here's another story.

    There's a couple of interesting points mentioned. One of the defense attorneys said "He also said the jury also needed to consider that the friend who was with Vielma after he was shot, David Campos, could have driven Vielma to the hospital a block away instead of leaving him in the car to die. Campos was not charged in the case." So, the thief's "friend" drives him off and leaves him to die, rather than driving him one block away to a hospital. Some "friend" this guy is.

    Prosecutor to the jury: "Your verdict is about the importance of life, and if someone is going to take a life for property it better be something that is absolutely reasonable and necessary,” he said. “Your verdict is about the value of all our lives.” This is important. Was it about the value of a life, or was it about killing a man over anger and vengeance? Did they nullify the law in the former, or did they find he wasn't protecting property in the latter?

    Then this "Romero had acted in a dangerous way before he killed Vielma because other videos at the store where he worked showed him waving his gun at customers, Drummond said." I don't know if that came out in the trial, but obviously the defendant isn't exactly the good samaritan here to say the least.

    In defense of the jury, I read the video didn't show the actual shooting, so we'll never know whether the guy dropped the beer before or after the shooting. That's the only wiggle room I can see for the jury. Had he not tampered with the evidence and blabbed his mouth negatively to the police, maybe the jury would have given him the benefit of the doubt. I can understand giving the jury the benefit of the doubt, but personally, I believe they just ignored the law and decided that a man's life was more valuable than a 12-pack of beer.

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