Bad in so many ways: Dad kills daughter defending home

Bad in so many ways: Dad kills daughter defending home

This is a discussion on Bad in so many ways: Dad kills daughter defending home within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=92517 DENVER - Court testimony reveals police think Leo Cisneros fired the shot that killed his daughter, Auralia, as he fought off armed robbers at ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array BlackPR's Avatar
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    Bad in so many ways: Dad kills daughter defending home

    http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=92517

    DENVER - Court testimony reveals police think Leo Cisneros fired the shot that killed his daughter, Auralia, as he fought off armed robbers at their home.


    On Tuesday, a judge ruled there is probable cause for Cisneros, 29, to stand trial on a charge of child abuse resulting in death, acknowledging that such a use of the law may be "unprecedented."

    Prosecutors argued Cisneros created a dangerous environment that led to the girl's death by dealing marijuana from the home and keeping a loaded weapon under a pillow in the living room.

    His 10-year-old daughter died November 26th when a gunfight began with armed men shooting in the front door and window of their home. Police say they were there to steal drugs and money from Cisneros.

    Prosecutors do not believe Auralia was physically abused or mistreated before her death, but they allege her father's actions precipitated the deadly confrontation.

    "He did create the environment that resulted in a tragedy," argued Chief Deputy District Attorney George Poland. "It was Mr. Cisneros' conscious decision to be a marijuana dealer and have a high-powered handgun."

    Defense attorney Laura Menninger did not dispute that Cisneros was selling marijuana from the home, but said Cisneros had every right to defend his family using a gun when they were being robbed.

    "This is an unprecedented extension of the child abuse law," Menninger said. "He {Cisneros} did nothing to place his child in that situation."

    "He knew that his marijuana was a target for criminals," Poland told the court.

    "It's very unusual, if not unprecedented, for charges to be brought in this situation," said 9NEWS legal analyst Scott Robinson. "Cisneros has a right to defend that home from an illegal intruder, but the question is, did he create a situation where that was more likely to take place because of his illegal enterprise?"

    On the stand during Tuesday's hearing, Denver Homicide Detective Michael Martinez said Cisneros fired approximately 10 shots from a Glock handgun in the direction of his front door. He testified that a bullet strike mark in a retaining wall outside the home tested positive for Auralia's blood.

    Auralia's body was found between the couch where her father was sitting and the door. She was shot in the head.

    Prosecutors did not attempt to tie the fatal shot to the charge of child abuse resulting in death, instead arguing that the environment was a result of the drug dealing and weapons in the home.

    A coroner's report said Auralia was clutching a bag of marijuana when found.

    Martinez testified that Amanda Salas, Cisneros' wife and the girl's mother, told police that Cisneros would use Auralia to deliver marijuana to customers coming to the family's home. Cisneros told detectives his wife Salas was the one using their daughter to handle drugs.

    Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree the incident last November was an armed robbery planned in advance and not a botched drug deal.

    Police have said three men came to the home to rob Cisneros, leading to the deadly firefight. The DA's office charged Trivi Trujillo, Joshua Rojas and Juvenico Hernandez, all 19, in her death. They also charged 22-year-old Manuel Talamantes with felony murder and as an accessory to the crime. Robinson said they could still be charged with first-degree murder even if they didn't fire the fatal shot.

    Judge Andrew Armatas said prosecutors upheld their burden to show probable cause that the case should go to trial.

    Armatas questioned how a family living in federally-subsidized housing could afford expensive electronics including flat-screen televisions, sound systems and computers. Cisneros told police he was unemployed, but operated a home recording studio.

    "Unless he {Cisneros} got all this stuff donated, I don't know how he purchased them," Armatas said. "What he was doing in that house and for a lot of people to know about it put his whole family in jeopardy."

    Despite pictures on the family's MySpace page that appear to show gang signs, a gun and Cisneros' criminal history of drug possession, the family has insisted the shooting was random.

    Armatas denied a defense request to reduce Cisneros' bond from $500,000 to $25,000. Armatas did agree to reduce it to $250,000.
    The main tragedy is obvious... a young girl killed by her own drug-dealer father while he was fending off burglers. Normally, I would leave it at that... but what's most interesting is this:

    "He did create the environment that resulted in a tragedy," argued Chief Deputy District Attorney George Poland. "It was Mr. Cisneros' conscious decision to be a marijuana dealer and have a high-powered handgun."
    -and-
    Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree the incident last November was an armed robbery planned in advance and not a botched drug deal.
    Now I'm all for prosecuting the guy for dealing drugs. That's one thing. But when they start prosecuting people for "creating an environment" that might draw criminals to rob you... that seems a bit too much and although appropriate in this case, could lead to a precedent where "created an environment" becomes a way to circumvent the castle doctrine.

    Prosecutors said: ""He knew that his marijuana was a target for criminals".... well, I have a lot of things in my home (all legal) that are definitely major targets for criminals. Am I "creating an environment" that endangers my family by simply having lots of cash on hand and guns in the same house?

    This guy was a scumbag, but all too often peoples outrage is leveraged against scumbags to create precedents that are later used against good men and women.
    The facts are indisputable. There is more data supporting the benefits of Conceal Carry than there is supporting global warming. If you choose ignorance, in light of all the evidence, in order to bolster your irrational fear of guns, you are a greater threat to society than any gun owner.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    A terrible shame.

    No hiding behind the "Castle Doctrine" in Florida in a case like this. The statute specifically states that even the protections afforded someone under the statute do not apply if "The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity.....".

    I hope this idiot goes to jail for a long, long time.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array BlackPR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    A terrible shame.

    No hiding behind the "Castle Doctrine" in Florida in a case like this. The statute specifically states that even the protections afforded someone under the statute do not apply if "The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity.....".

    I hope this idiot goes to jail for a long, long time.
    Well THAT makes sense! The distinction here is that there is no such wording in the law, and their specific argument to the judge was that "he knew marijuana was a target for criminals"... that's pretty weak reasoning IMHO.
    The facts are indisputable. There is more data supporting the benefits of Conceal Carry than there is supporting global warming. If you choose ignorance, in light of all the evidence, in order to bolster your irrational fear of guns, you are a greater threat to society than any gun owner.

  4. #4
    Member Array Texian's Avatar
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    IIRC, in many states you can be charged with murder if someone dies during the commission of a felony. Question is: Is possession with intent to sell pot in the quantities involved here considered a felony in the state of Colorado?

    It appears possible that the attempted robbery was originally set up as a drug buy and then buyers decided to rob Cisneros instead. The news story said:
    A coroner's report said Auralia was clutching a bag of marijuana when found. Martinez testified that Amanda Salas, Cisneros' wife and the girl's mother, told police that Cisneros would use Auralia to deliver marijuana to customers coming to the family's home. Cisneros told detectives his wife Salas was the one using their daughter to handle drugs.
    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." G.K. Chesterton

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    This is yet another example, and a very good one at that, of what I was speaking to before in that other thread toward what the law refers to and has long been established as a concept toward wrongfulness...

    Proximate Cause
    n. A happening which results in an event, particularly injury due to negligence or an intentional wrongful act. In order to prevail (win) in a lawsuit for damages due to negligence or some other wrong, it is essential to claim (plead) proximate cause in the complaint and to prove in trial that the negligent act of the defendant was the proximate cause (and not some other reason) of the damages to the plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit).
    Sometimes there is an intervening cause which comes between the original negligence of the defendant and the injured plaintiff, which will either reduce the amount of responsibility or, if this intervening cause is the substantial reason for the injury, then the defendant will not be liable at all.
    In criminal law, the defendant's act must have been the proximate cause of the death of a victim to prove murder or manslaughter.

    Source - law.com Law Dictionary
    The judge in this case is correct.

    Cisneros used the residence of a minor, a _child_, to create a drug den and place of illegal substance storage, transfer, and sale. Further he exposed her directly to criminals and _potential_ for crime and criminal victimization, which in fact is exactly what occurred.

    Beyond that the reason the residence was attacked was not for random selection theft but specifically for purpose by criminals to assault, do harm, and victimize all occupants inside the home toward securing illegal goods as known to be stored inside as well as any ill gotten gains they could get their hands on.

    As to child endangerment that is directly applicable in this case considering the above facts, as stated in the article.

    In CO the statutes toward child endangerment as in most every other state are quite specific...

    Colo. Rev. Stat. 18-6-401 (2006)

    18-6-401.

    Child Abuse

    (1)(a) A person commits child abuse if such person causes an injury to a child's life or health, or permits a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that poses a threat of injury to the child's life or health, or engages in a continued pattern of conduct that results in malnourishment, lack of proper medical care, cruel punishment, mistreatment, or an accumulation of injuries that ultimately results in the death of a child or serious bodily injury to a child.

    (2) In this section, "child" means a person under the age of sixteen years

    ...

    (7)(a) Where death or injury results, the following shall apply:
    (I) When a person acts knowingly or recklessly and the child abuse results in death to the
    child, it is a class 2 felony except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection (7).
    (II) When a person acts with criminal negligence and the child abuse results in death to the
    child, it is a class 3 felony.
    (III) When a person acts knowingly or recklessly and the child abuse results in serious bodily
    injury to the child, it is a class 3 felony.
    (IV) When a person acts with criminal negligence and the child abuse results in serious
    bodily injury to the child, it is a class 4 felony.
    (V) When a person acts knowingly or recklessly and the child abuse results in any injury
    other than serious bodily injury, it is a class 1 misdemeanor; except that, if the underlying
    factual basis of the child abuse, which would constitute a misdemeanor, has been found by
    the trier of fact to include one of the acts described in paragraph (e) of this subsection (7),
    subsequent to a prior conviction under this section, then it is a class 5 felony.
    (VI) When a person acts with criminal negligence and the child abuse results in any injury
    other than serious bodily injury to the child, it is a class 2 misdemeanor; except that, if the
    underlying factual basis of the child abuse, which would constitute a misdemeanor, has been
    found by the trier of fact to include one of the acts described in paragraph (e) of this
    subsection (7), subsequent to a prior conviction under this section, then it is a class 5 felony.

    (I) An act of child abuse when a person acts knowingly or recklessly is a class 2
    misdemeanor; except that, if the underlying factual basis of the child abuse, which would
    constitute a misdemeanor, has been found by the trier of fact to include one of the acts
    described in paragraph (e) of this subsection (7), subsequent to a prior conviction under this
    section, then it is a class 5 felony.
    (II) An act of child abuse when a person acts with criminal negligence is a class 3
    misdemeanor; except that, if the underlying factual basis of the child abuse, which would
    constitute a misdemeanor, has been found by the trier of fact to include one of the acts
    described in paragraph (e) of this subsection (7), subsequent to a prior conviction under this
    section, then it is a class 5 felony.
    (7.3) Felony child abuse is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified
    presumptive sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-401 (10). Misdemeanor child abuse
    is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in
    section 18-1.3-501 (3).
    (7.5) If a defendant is convicted of the class 2 or class 3 felony of child abuse under
    subparagraph (I) or (III) of paragraph (a) of subsection (7) of this section, the court shall
    sentence the defendant in accordance with section 18-1.3-401 (8) (d) (Habitual child
    abusers).
    (9) If a parent is charged with permitting a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that
    poses a threat of injury to the child's life or health, pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection (1)
    of this section, and the child was seventy-two hours old or younger at the time of the alleged
    offense, it shall be an affirmative defense to such charge that the parent safely, reasonably,
    and knowingly handed the child over to a firefighter, as defined in section 18-3-201 (1), or to
    a hospital staff member who engages in the admission, care, or treatment of patients, when
    such firefighter is at a fire station or such hospital staff member is at a hospital.
    This provision is from the Title 18 Criminal Code, Article VI. Offenses Against
    Children. There is not separate statute for child endangerment.
    Colo. Rev. Stat. 18-3-208 (2006).
    18-3-208. Reckless endangerment
    A person who recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious bodily
    injury to another person commits reckless endangerment, which is a class 3 misdemeanor.
    This pertains to Article III. Offenses Against Person in the Colorado Criminal Code.
    It is a general endangerment statute that is not specific to minors.

    Source - http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/ncpca_statut...rment_2007.pdf
    This case is horrible and again the judge is very much correct in his judgment _and_ he is following the law to the letter.
    It is not some case of back door gun control and such nor will it be a precedent, unless of course you are a parent who has guns and sells dope out of the home where your children sleep, eat, and play.

    - Janq

    P.S. - Agreed Davd, the Castle Law does not apply in this case at all.
    Dude is an idiot and he has earned the right to be charged to the fullest extent of CO law.
    Additionally the mother needs to be charged as an accessory and as per CO law statute could also be charged same per the letter of the law.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPR View Post
    Well THAT makes sense! The distinction here is that there is no such wording in the law, and their specific argument to the judge was that "he knew marijuana was a target for criminals"... that's pretty weak reasoning IMHO.

    I agree. It is pretty weak.


    Prosecutors said: ""He knew that his marijuana was a target for criminals".... well, I have a lot of things in my home (all legal) that are definitely major targets for criminals. Am I "creating an environment" that endangers my family by simply having lots of cash on hand and guns in the same house?
    +1 Everything in my house could be classified as a target for criminals. There are other charges they could get this guy on without getting on this slippery slope.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    I don't think so. All of the things you list in your post, deadeye are legal items to own or sell. marijuana, on the other hand is not. You decide to become any kind of a drug dealer and the law will flat throw the book at you if you get caught and convicted, so I feel no sympathy for that fool. It is just sad that the mans innocent daughter had to pay the price for his stupidity.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    Sorry, but if this sorry waste of air and resources was using his home for illegal activity, and said illegal activity became a magnet for even more illegal activity, I hope they execute him gruesomely and in public.

    Cruel and unusual punishment my hairy brown...

    -JT

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    I don't think so. All of the things you list in your post, deadeye are legal items to own or sell. marijuana, on the other hand is not. You decide to become any kind of a drug dealer and the law will flat throw the book at you if you get caught and convicted, so I feel no sympathy for that fool. It is just sad that the mans innocent daughter had to pay the price for his stupidity.

    I have no sympathy for him either. I do hope he goes to prison for a long time. I believe they could bust him on plenty of other charges including involuntary manslaughter or something, however, what they are charging him with opens the door for law abiding people to get caught up in this legal precedent.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPR View Post

    Am I "creating an environment" that endangers my family by simply having lots of cash on hand and guns in the same house?
    I duno, are you running an illegal enterprise out of your house, the nature of which is inherently risky and exposes your family to an increased risk of robbery by customers, rivals, or raids by the police?

    If not, you don't have anything to worry about.

    If you are merely a successful person who happens to have lots of cash on hand because, well, you want to keep cash on hand...and get targeted & hit by criminals, and in the course of fighting they off one of your family members is killed by your bullet, the liability for that bullet falls on the criminals who forced you into defending yourself, not on you.

    Intent follows the bullet...but the intent in a case like this reaches back to what initiated the use of force encounter.

    Was it a criminal enterprise in the home that exposed the kids to risk, or was it a criminal attempting to do a home invasion on a person who was successful in life that caused the kids to be inujured?

    They are not the same and will not in all likelyhood be treated the same.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    100% correct. ^^

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  12. #12
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    Sometimes when a person is a total loser their destiny and (sadly) also the fate of those around them is "written in the stars" and the ultimate conclusion can never be a good or happy occurrence.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
    Sorry, but if this sorry waste of air and resources was using his home for illegal activity, and said illegal activity became a magnet for even more illegal activity, I hope they execute him gruesomely and in public.

    Cruel and unusual punishment my hairy brown...

    -JT
    I apologize to anyone offended by this but from the sounds of this every one of those involved from the parents to the buyers/robbers should be wiped from the face of the earth and not allowed to even breathe the same air as decent people.

    I am not aguing the legalities of drug dealing, castle doctrine or whatever just get rid of the lowlifes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPR View Post
    Now I'm all for prosecuting the guy for dealing drugs. That's one thing. But when they start prosecuting people for "creating an environment" that might draw criminals to rob you... that seems a bit too much and although appropriate in this case, could lead to a precedent where "created an environment" becomes a way to circumvent the castle doctrine.

    Prosecutors said: ""He knew that his marijuana was a target for criminals".... well, I have a lot of things in my home (all legal) that are definitely major targets for criminals. Am I "creating an environment" that endangers my family by simply having lots of cash on hand and guns in the same house?
    I agree. Red flags went up immediately when I read this article. Another example of big government setting precedents that would allow them to eat away at more of our liberties. Good call on that one BlackPR.
    The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. 'Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?' 'No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.'

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array BlackPR's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, this guy is a scumbag who deserves to be held accountable. I just worry about leveraging peoples popular outrage in a way that comes back and bites legitimate folks later on.

    In a similar fashion, the Patriot Act was put in place to help protect Americans from terrorists -- we all wanted that, right? But it was later used against a fellow named Adam McGaughey, the webmaster of a fan site for the TV show Stargate SG-1, in a copyright infringement case. -- That was not an application that anyone anticipated, and had someone raised the possibility during the passage of the law, people would've said, "it'll never happen."

    So again, it's not that I think the guy is worth the space he's consuming on this planet -- he's not. It's bad future applications from short-sighted precedents that are made based on anger and outrage that, frankly, just kind of scare me.

    What's important is not "death caused during commission of felony" or any of that, because that's not what's being argued. What's being argued is that he "created an environment that prompted criminals to target his house". That's a scary argument once there's precedent set. Once it's set, the only argument left is, "what constitutes creating an environment that prompts criminals to target your house?" That's just vague enough to be used by any decent prosecutor to paint a picture of their choosing.
    The facts are indisputable. There is more data supporting the benefits of Conceal Carry than there is supporting global warming. If you choose ignorance, in light of all the evidence, in order to bolster your irrational fear of guns, you are a greater threat to society than any gun owner.

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