Ugly, Austin shopkeeper charged w murder - Page 2

Ugly, Austin shopkeeper charged w murder

This is a discussion on Ugly, Austin shopkeeper charged w murder within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; AUSTIN Police: Store clerk killed beer thief Juan Romero was charged Sunday with murder. By Jeremy Schwartz, Andrea Lorenz AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF Tuesday, August 18, 2009 ...

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  1. #16
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    AUSTIN

    Police: Store clerk killed beer thief
    Juan Romero was charged Sunday with murder.
    By Jeremy Schwartz, Andrea Lorenz

    AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF


    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    A clerk at a Ben White Boulevard convenience store has been charged with murder after police say he shot and killed a man who was stealing a 12-pack of Budweiser early Sunday morning.

    Jorge Luis Vielma, 22, and another man were on a "beer run," according to police, and attempted to flee after taking the beer. Police say Juan Romero, 23, a clerk at the Shell gasoline station at Ben White and South First Street, fired about a dozen shots at Vielma outside the store as he ran for a friend's waiting Mitsubishi Eclipse.

    Vielma later died inside the car; his body was found early Sunday in the 1000 block of Mansell Avenue in East Austin.

    Romero was charged Sunday with first-degree murder and was being held Monday at the Travis County Jail. His bail has been set at $250,000. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

    According to an arrest affidavit, Vielma and a friend, David Campos, 30, were looking for a store to take beer from and settled on the Shell station. Campos told police that he parked the car while Vielma went inside for the beer. Campos said he then saw Vielma emerge running from the store and a short man with a limp in pursuit firing at him.

    After Vielma made it back to the car, Campos said that he went "into shock" and drove mindlessly to Mansell Avenue, abandoned the car and fled. He later called 911 to anonymously report the shooting, according to the affidavit.

    Police found the car, which was registered to Campos, shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday. When police arrived at Campos' apartment on East Oltorf Street, he was in the process of reporting his car as stolen, according to the arrest affidavit, but police said he soon admitted his role in the incident. Police didn't say whether Campos would be charged.

    Police said they later interviewed Romero, who said he fired a pistol about 12 times at Vielma, picked up the shell casings and put them in his vehicle.

    He also told police that he picked up the beer dropped by Vielma and threw it into a trash bin, and he deleted images of the incident from the store's video surveillance system.

    Sgt. Joseph Chacon said that although Texas law allows residents to take reasonable measures to defend their property, officials determined that, "at least on the face of it," the shooting was not reasonable.

    He said it did not appear that Vielma was armed at the time of the theft.

    Chacon said police are still trying to determine who owned the gun used in the shooting. The store's owner, Josť Carranza, told police that he had not authorized Romero to use deadly force to protect the store's property.

    Carranza said Monday that he did not know where Romero got the gun and that firearms are not kept in the store.

    Theft, however, has been a constant problem for Carranza and his clerks, he said.

    A sign taped to the door of the store addresses beer theft: "Due to the high number of dishonest people grabbing and running away (and) stealing our beer, we must require prepayment for beer."

    Carranza said that people have stolen from the store at least 10 times this year and that store clerks were robbed at gunpoint four times in the past two years.

    Each time, Carranza said, he was unable to get the attention of police, even though his workers were being threatened.

    "I'm frustrated with police," Carranza said. "They told us that's not our priority. Now it's a priority because somebody got hurt."

    Statistics from police on incident reports at that address were not immediately available.

    Consulting police records, Cpl. Scott Perry said there have been several thefts, but only one report of a robbery at the store in the past two years — in November — and that the suspect in that case was not armed. A robbery is defined as threatening or causing injury in the course of committing a theft.

    j
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .


  2. #17
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    First off, the thieves were not teens. They were 22 and 30.

    While I think the store clerk over reacted and was stupid for trying to "get rid of the evidence". I don't think first degree murder charges are appropriate. Of course the DA may have filed for first degree with intentions of a plea bargain to lesser charges.

    Hopefully Mr. Campos will be charged with the murder also. The death occurred while in commission of a felony he was involved in.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Array Mardet65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    First off, the thieves were not teens. They were 22 and 30.

    While I think the store clerk over reacted and was stupid for trying to "get rid of the evidence". I don't think first degree murder charges are appropriate. Of course the DA may have filed for first degree with intentions of a plea bargain to lesser charges.

    Hopefully Mr. Campos will be charged with the murder also. The death occurred while in commission of a felony he was involved in.
    With all respect, I don't see where the fact that they weren't teens has any bearing here and saying the clerk over reacted might be juuuuust a bit of an understatement. Shooting at someone 12 times certainly may constitute premeditation. I'm not saying your idea that Campos should be charged with murder as well is a bad one, but being unfamilier with Texas law, I'm not sure whether or not they have a stipulation that a co-defendant is presumed guilty if a death results from the commission of a felony. However, I feel safe in saying the theft of a 12 pack of beer certainly would not be classified as a felony.
    "Kimbers are the guns you show your friends, Glocks are the guns you show your enemies."

  4. #19
    Member Array KralBlbec's Avatar
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    I think he would have been okay had he not tried to hide the evidence. That is what makes it sticky IMO.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KralBlbec View Post
    I think he would have been okay had he not tried to hide the evidence. That is what makes it sticky IMO.
    That makes the whole case. If you know what you did was right your lip won't quiver. I can't believe that he actually thought that erasing it was a good idea. Space cadet...

  6. #21
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Maybe he thought that since he lives in Texas he could get away with murdering people.

  7. #22
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    From KHOU
    "Are there going to be instances say, for instance, where a person would use deadly force in this situation and it would be justified, and I would say yes, there would be some cases," said Homicide Sgt. Joseph Chacon, Austin Police Department. "I don't know that this is necessarily one of those cases."

    He says police consulted with the district attorney's office before deciding to file charges against the clerk. The key question is whether the shooting was reasonable.

    "I think that ultimately is going to be decided by possibly a grand jury or a jury as to whether the means he used were reasonable -- as to whether it is reasonable to shoot and kill somebody over some beer," Chacon said.

    Police say the clerk did not call police to report the theft or the shooting. In an arrest affidavit, police say that after the shooting, Romero admitted picking up shell casings from the parking lot and putting them in his car; picking up the beer from the parking lot and throwing it in a trash bin; tampering with the store's video surveillance system; and deleting images of the incident from the store's computer.
    So the lesson here is call the cops and don't destroy evidence.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  8. #23
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    Let's just wait until all the facts are in. With the information available now, everybody including the man in the moon is a big screwup.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

  9. #24
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    Personally, I agree with what he did because those guys were adults, aged 22 & 30 from what I read so they knew darn well what they were getting into.

    I do believe however, the clerk and possibly the store owner are both in for some serious prison time; I say this because if what I read is correct, they altered the scene of a homicide; this is a bad thing, remember Border patrol agents Ramos and Campeon were convicted of the very same thing when they did as the clerk did and picked up shell casings, therefore altering the scene of a homicide. Couple that with an erased surveillance tape, and that is a sure recipe for disaster. How many times have we all read articles by Massad Ayoob and others advising us to not touch anything on the crime scene until police investigators arrive and process the evidence? Processing that could corroborate your story of the events that occurred.

    Unfortunately for the clerk, he is in deeeeepppp kimshee.....
    "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

  10. #25
    Senior Member Array Mardet65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDKnow View Post
    That makes the whole case. If you know what you did was right your lip won't quiver. I can't believe that he actually thought that erasing it was a good idea. Space cadet...
    KralBlbec
    I think he would have been okay had he not tried to hide the evidence. That is what makes it sticky IMO.


    Guys, the clerk erasing the tape and cleaning up the scene obviously points out that even he was aware that shooting someone (adult or juvenile) running away while stealing beer is murder pure and simple. Even if the clerk hadn't tampered with evidence, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS DESCRIBED there isn't a prosecutor or Grand Jury that wouldn't agree this warrants a charge of murder. Granted it may be plead down or reduced through court proceedings later. But, this guy will face murder charges.
    "Kimbers are the guns you show your friends, Glocks are the guns you show your enemies."

  11. #26
    Senior Member Array Mardet65's Avatar
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    I'm just wondering, did anyone notice that this 12 pack of beer this clerk placed so much value on that he was willing to shoot someone for stealing, he eventually ended up throwing in a dumpster.
    "Kimbers are the guns you show your friends, Glocks are the guns you show your enemies."

  12. #27
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mardet65 View Post
    Even if the clerk hadn't tampered with evidence, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS DESCRIBED there isn't a prosecutor or Grand Jury that wouldn't agree this warrants a charge of murder.
    You aren't from Texas are you?

    If this guy had just locked the door and called 9-1-1 immediately after the shooting he might never have been charged with anything.
    The deceased was stealing beer (doesn't matter what the value is of the property being stolen) at one in the morning. That is theft during the nighttime, and under Texas Penal Code chapter nine he could get a walk. He still might.
    The erasing the video is his biggest problem. If he didn't believe he hit the bad guy, the sweeping up of the casings could be argued as a customer safety issue. If one of his rounds hit the beer, he can't sell it so that explains tossing it in the dumpster. He figures the police are busy enough and no need for them to come out if no one was hit..... But how does he rationalize erasing the video? Oh yeah, employer has a no weapons policy and if the boss sees this on the tape he will be fired!
    In Harris county he would probably still get a walk on this. In Travis, I don't know. I give him 50/50 odds.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  13. #28
    Senior Member Array Mardet65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    You aren't from Texas are you?

    If this guy had just locked the door and called 9-1-1 immediately after the shooting he might never have been charged with anything.
    The deceased was stealing beer (doesn't matter what the value is of the property being stolen) at one in the morning. That is theft during the nighttime, and under Texas Penal Code chapter nine he could get a walk. He still might.
    The erasing the video is his biggest problem. If he didn't believe he hit the bad guy, the sweeping up of the casings could be argued as a customer safety issue. If one of his rounds hit the beer, he can't sell it so that explains tossing it in the dumpster. He figures the police are busy enough and no need for them to come out if no one was hit..... But how does he rationalize erasing the video? Oh yeah, employer has a no weapons policy and if the boss sees this on the tape he will be fired!
    In Harris county he would probably still get a walk on this. In Travis, I don't know. I give him 50/50 odds.
    Man, that scares me. Thanks for the information, now that I'm retired my wife and I are thinking about relocating to a warmer climate . . . but I doubt it will be in Texas.
    "Kimbers are the guns you show your friends, Glocks are the guns you show your enemies."

  14. #29
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mardet65 View Post
    Man, that scares me. Thanks for the information, now that I'm retired my wife and I are thinking about relocating to a warmer climate . . . but I doubt it will be in Texas.
    Nothing to be scared about, as long as you stay on the right side of the law. I moved the family down here two and a half years ago and LOVE it. Give it a chance, you might like it!
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  15. #30
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Only criminals need fear Texas law,oh and utility workers waking up sleepy 79 year olds
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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