Colorado's 'Make My Day' law eyed in home shooting

This is a discussion on Colorado's 'Make My Day' law eyed in home shooting within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by cvhoss From conflicting reports, I haven't been able to determine if there was a "host" to this party. In post #1, the ...

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Thread: Colorado's 'Make My Day' law eyed in home shooting

  1. #46
    Senior Member Array KenInColo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvhoss View Post
    From conflicting reports, I haven't been able to determine if there was a "host" to this party. In post #1, the report says:

    In post #14, the report says:

    I'm leaning toward believing the report in post #14 as it appears to be a much more detailed, follow-up type report but I can't be certain. As far as the homeowner is concerned, where he got drunk doesn't matter. He shot someone trying to break into his home. But if a bartender served him enough alcohol for his BAC to reach over 3 times the legal limit well, in today's litigious society, I'm glad I don't own that bar.

    Hoss
    If he was drinking at a local golf course on their liquor license, the bartender had a responsibility to cut him off before he became intoxicated. I'm sure the golf course & the bartender will get a visit from the DA.
    An armed populace are called citizens.
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  3. #47
    New Member Array cnstman's Avatar
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    He worked at the golf course too.

  4. #48
    Member Array libertarian5's Avatar
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    Here is the Colorado Make My Day Law:

    18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
    The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.

    Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.
    Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
    Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.

    http://www.co.jefferson.co.us/jeffco...d_statutes.htm

    Possible problem in the case being considered is that the intruder was not yet inside the home. The law is very specific in regards to that. It does not protect someone for shooting an intruder in the yard or a detached structure.
    A veteran, whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable
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  5. #49
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenInColo View Post
    It's not at all "murky"...IMHO, this one is a good shooting.
    Agreed, and so does the as written CO law too.


    TRESPASS and CRIMINAL MISCHIEF


    FIRST DEGREE CRIMINAL TRESPASS - DWELLING

    The elements of the crime of First Degree Criminal Trespass are:

    1. That the defendant,

    2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,

    3. knowingly,

    4. unlawfully entered or remained in a dwelling of another.

    [5. without the affirmative defense in instruction number _______.]

    After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of Criminal Trespass in the First Degree.

    After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of Criminal Trespass in the First Degree.
    NOTES ON USE

    When this instruction is used the definitions of “dwelling” and “unlawfully entered or remained” must be given.

    SOURCE & AUTHORITY - 18-4-502, C.R.S.

    ---

    CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

    The elements of the crime of Criminal Mischief are:

    1. That the defendant,

    2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged.

    3. knowingly,
    4. damaged the real or personal property of one or more other persons in the course of a single criminal episode, and

    5. the aggregate damages to real or personal property were [less than one hundred dollars] [one hundred dollars or more but less than five hundred dollars] [five hundred dollars or more but less than fifteen thousand dollars] [fifteen thousand dollars or more].

    [6. without the affirmative defense in instruction number _______ .]

    After considering all of the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proved each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of Criminal Mischief.

    After considering all of the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of Criminal Mischief.
    NOTES ON USE

    When this instruction is used the definition of “property of another” must be given.

    SOURCE & AUTHORITY - 18-4-501 C.R.S.


    Source - http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfi...almischief.doc
    Clearly that guy spoke incorrectly because the law in Colorado, and most every other state, is and has had this sort of activity pretty clearly defined as being "Criminal" never mind "murky" as he states.

    - 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

  6. #50
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by libertarian5 View Post
    Possible problem in the case being considered is that the intruder was not yet inside the home. The law is very specific in regards to that. It does not protect someone for shooting an intruder in the yard or a detached structure.
    The law states very clearly per it's text that he was correct.
    To make it easier to discern I'll parse it by use of bold to identify where and how this criminal activity is relevant and covered under CO Castle Law...

    18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
    The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.

    Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, [/b]and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.[/b]

    Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
    Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.
    Items of note:
    * The drunk person physically with his person entered the home when he stuck his hand/arm (part of his physical being) through the glass he broke out toward gaining full body entry. That in and of itself is Criminal Trespass.

    * Breaking of the door glass is unlawful and to gain unlawful entry is two crimes in one.
    Criminal Mischief _and_ Breaking & Entry.

    *Physical force was used to damage his property upon effort to force entry, including beating on his front door and the rear too prior to gaining entry with intent to gain entry, unlawfully. Further after breaking the glass and gaining actual entry again by use of force it was reasonable for the homeowner to believe that the assault (!) would continue again by way of force including his hands and feet as well as voice (!) too all of which he had been doing in the immediate and were recorded as well in real time report by 911.
    Here in MA he might even be hit with a charge of Witness Intimidation as well had he survived.

    If I had an attorney who could not understand or defend my position toward as much, then I would get a new attorney ASAP.

    - 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

  7. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by libertarian5 View Post
    Possible problem in the case being considered is that the intruder was not yet inside the home. The law is very specific in regards to that. It does not protect someone for shooting an intruder in the yard or a detached structure.
    I don't really see a problem here. Once he broke the window and reached inside to unlock the deadbolt lock he was inside. His whole body was not inside, but he had entered the property. At the point his hand entered the house he was no longer in the back yard, and the homeowner was justified to defend himself.

  8. #52
    Member Array libertarian5's Avatar
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    My misgivings have been unfounded. This was published yesterday:

    http://www.examiner.com/a-1819047~No..._shooting.html

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Map, News) - A Colorado Springs resident will not be charged for fatally shooting an intruder who tried to break into a home that he apparently thought was his, prosecutors said Tuesday.

    James Parsons is protected under Colorado's "Make My Day" law, which allows people to use deadly force in self-defense in their home against intruders, according a statement from the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

    Parsons shot 22-year-old Sean Kennedy, an assistant golf pro at a Colorado Springs golf course, on Dec. 28. Kennedy had been drinking that night and apparently thought he was breaking into his own house, which was a block away.

    Police handed over the case to the district attorney's office, which determined Parsons had "reasonable belief" that he and his girlfriend were in danger.

    Prosecutors said Kennedy broke a window in the back door and was reaching inside to unlock it. Two dogs inside barked persistently as the couple shouted for him to leave. The ordeal lasted more than four minutes.

    "A reasonable person in those circumstances would have believed that (Kennedy) was going to do a crime against them or property," said newly elected District Attorney Dan May, who oversaw the review of the shooting.

    Kennedy had been drinking at a Colorado Springs golf course, and his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit for driving in Colorado when he pulled up to the Parsons' house in his pickup truck, The Gazette newspaper reported.

    Friends and family members believe Kennedy thought he had arrived at his own home, which he shared with roommates.

    He got out of his pickup and began shouting and beating on Parsons' door.

    "(Kennedy) continued to beat and pound on the door, during which time the resident told his girlfriend to call 911, and he went into the bedroom to get his gun, a revolver," the DA's office said.

    Kennedy went to the back of the house, forced open a screen door, smashed a window and was reaching to unlock the deadbolt, investigators said. Parsons then shot at him three times.

    Two bullets went through Kennedy's arm and into his torso, May said.
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  9. #53
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    Tragic, but not a bad shoot. That latest account really clears things up. Hopefully in the future, people will be more responsible about their drinking.

    It also disturbs me that if he was THAT drunk, that he managed to drive himself home in his truck... who knows how many people he put in danger on his drive home.

  10. #54
    Member Array Wuchak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    What I would like to see now is a nice civil action brought against his drinking buddies ( or at least the host of that shin dig) by both the home owner and the family of the deceased.
    He was of legal drinking age. He chose to drink. He chose to get drunk. Unless they held him down and poured the booze down his throat then his actions are his own responsibility and nobody else's. He made bad choices and he paid for them.

    The bartender and co-worker probably wasn't worried because he knew the guy wasn't driving.

    The notion that an adult is responsible for their own actions unless they drink and that somehow everyone around them is now responsible for the drunk's actions is nuts. I know it's popular but that doesn't mean that holds up to any measure of logic.
    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.-H. L. Mencken

  11. #55
    Ex Member Array rube's Avatar
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    So if some one breaks the glass in your lock door you are suppose to now let them kick it in or unlock it to gain entry, give up your position by calling out, call 911 and wait until they perhaps shoot you before you engage? So the same logic says that you can not discharge in self defense unless a person have only pull a weapon on you but needs to fire before you can do so. Sounds more like a Ruin my Day rule. If someone breaks the glass of a lock door in your home that in it self creates alarm and a feeling of threat, what person wouldn't be ready to fire upon the person trying to gain entry especially if there is no one in your life that normally enter as such. Bad both ways for those involve, but the blame rest upon the drunk youngster. Had it been my home and most others the outcome would have been the same. How are you to know he not armed.

  12. #56
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    The story also says that the family shouted multiple times to the guy to leave before firing, so there's that, as well.

  13. #57
    Senior Member Array KenInColo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rube View Post
    So if some one breaks the glass in your lock door you are suppose to now let them kick it in or unlock it to gain entry, give up your position by calling out, call 911 and wait until they perhaps shoot you before you engage?...
    No, not at all. The second he broke the glass he was guilty of B&E, just like the second that he would have used any implement to open the door.

    The occupants of the house shouting many times for him to go away (and he didn't) only made their case [for fear of death or great bodily harm] stronger.
    An armed populace are called citizens.
    An unarmed populace are called subjects.

  14. #58
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PcMakr View Post
    Sad situation all the way around. The young man, due to his drinking and subsequent loss of his facilities, paid the ultimate price for his error. Couple at home will pay the price financially and emotionally for protecting themselves and their home. Parents suffer the loss of a son. Partygoers lose a friend.

    However, society overall loses due to the bias of the press. Their use of the phrase, "Make my day law" is blatantly used to make what I presume to be the Castle Doctrine Law look bad, which affects the way the readers perceive the right of persons to protect themselves and their household.

    Only until all the facts are reviewed and presented can a determination be made as to whether the shooting was justified or not. I darn sure would not go by what the press says. JMHO!
    Excellent way to put it. I totally agree

  15. #59
    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    O'Reilly came out in favor of Castle Doctrine on his show tonight. On his "Is it Legal?" segment, they discussed this case (even though he and Megyn Kelly kept calling it Make My Day Law). I was dissappointed but not surprised to hear Megyn come out saying every state should have a law like this BUT the home resident should be required to attempt all routes of escape first. Sorry, no link available yet so I wasn't able to quote her.
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

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  16. #60
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    O'Reilly came out in favor of Castle Doctrine on his show tonight. On his "Is it Legal?" segment, they discussed this case (even though he and Megyn Kelly kept calling it Make My Day Law). I was dissappointed but not surprised to hear Megyn come out saying every state should have a law like this BUT the home resident should be required to attempt all routes of escape first. Sorry, no link available yet so I wasn't able to quote her.
    She said her problem that the law allowed you to shoot to kill even if you believed they were only trying to breakin to steal your TV?
    Only a lawyer could believe you should be able to read the perps mind.

    Michael

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