Castle Doctrine Proves Deadly

Castle Doctrine

The Castle Doctrines have allegedly allowed for a rise in homicide rates, proving how deadly some people have taken their right to protect their property from mere trespasser. A father in Houston allegedly killed a 17-year-old boy this week who was found in his daughter’s bedroom. The father was told by another house member that a boy was in his daughter’s bedroom, when he reportedly confronted the young man.

The events occurred in the early morning at 2:20 am. The father had a gun on him when he asked the teenager to identify himself. According to reports, his daughter told her father she did not know the boy and the two were not intimate.

The father reportedly told the young man not to move, but saw the boy reaching for something, thus provoking the father to fire. However, no gun was found, reports the police. The man’s daughter confessed later that the boy was someone she knew

The father was taken to a hospital for an unrelated medical problem. No arrests have been made, but detectives reported they will refer the case to a grand jury. This case could be used as proof of the deadly impact of Castle Doctrine’s within the states.

Another report from Texas confirms that the daughter snuck the 17-year-old friend into her bedroom. Her brother was the one who allegedly told the father a stranger was hiding under his sister’s bed after going into her room to say goodnight. Constables say the father appeared to have been on several medications.

Currently, the teen has not been identified, but the investigation is still ongoing.

Jim Salter with Associated Press reported late last year on a man who allegedly shot and killed a trespasser who was urinating on his property. James Crocker was reported bitter about local canoeists and rafters who were allegedly encroaching on his property along the Missouri Meramec River.

This case puts focus on a set of laws known as the castle doctrine laws, which permit the use of deadly force to protect a person’s own property. Missouri, along with 30 other states, have executed statutes enforcing this doctrine. Gun rights supporters believe it is a step gained, but others believe these laws provoke violence or “vigilantism.”

The defendant’s attorney, Michael Bert, claims he was simply defending himself and his property, though, prosecutors strongly contest this defense. Reportedly, some of the castle doctrine advocates believe the death could have been avoided.

Crocker, at the time, was a 59-year-old who lives off a gravel road, eight miles west of Steelville. Tens of thousands of people have reported coming to the region for rafting and kayaking along the Meramec and adjoining rivers. Occasionally, partying incites offensive disturbances to locals of this area; visitors sometimes leaving trash for residents to deal with.

A neighbor claimed that there was a major trespassing problem at Crocker’s property, claiming Crocker allowed his lawn to become so overgrown in an attempt to discourage people from walking through his property.

When the victim was shot, bystanders began to throw rocks to defend themselves, allegedly. Witnesses claim that Crocker was initially agitated and aggressive; while Bert claims Crocker was provoked after suffering head injuries from a dispute over whether the sand bar was public property. Missouri’s castle doctrine statute gives homeowners a legal right to defend their property from intruders.

A study conducted by A&M University in 2012 found that murders ruled justifiable rose by 8 percent in states with these doctrines, sometimes referred to as “stand-your-ground laws.”Crocker was asked if he could have called police instead. Crocker said, he could have, but it was his property and he felt that it was his duty alone to defend it. Gun control supporters believe this case is just another example of much proof supporting the deadly outcome of castle doctrines.

By Lindsey Alexander


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One Response to "Castle Doctrine Proves Deadly"

  1. John   March 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    This is a ridiculous scenario to have called the police. The criminal (as far as the father knows) is already in the same room as his daughter. By the time the police arrived, the stranger could have killed every person in the house.

    “A&M University in 2012 found that murders ruled justifiable rose by 8 percent in states with these doctrines,” that’s expected. But I don’t consider it “murder” if it is a justified means of defense (meaning the shooter would be dead otherwise). Also, how many rapes and true murders have been prevented by those “justified murders” as defined here? Also, how many rapes and murders have been prevented merely by the fact that the would-be criminal knew the homeowner is exponentially more likely to shoot them? There are no stats for these prevented crimes, which is hard for gun control advocates to realize. A gun doesn’t have to be fired to prevent a crime, but there are no stats to record in these situations.

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