Homeowner, on guard, kills intruder

Discussion in 'In the News' started by VolGrad, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Article - FYI, this is just a few miles NE of Athens

    Homeowner, on guard, kills intruder
    By Benjamin Price | [email protected] | Story updated at 10:58 PM on Sunday, September 9, 2007

    A Carlton man was fatally shot early Sunday after he allegedly broke into a home near downtown Comer, officials with the Madison County sheriff's office said.

    William Keith Parks, 41, entered the home at 25 Sims St. about 12:30 a.m. Sunday and was shot and killed by the homeowner, according to Madison County Sheriff Clayton Lowe.

    Lowe would not confirm the name of the shooter Sunday, and few details of the incident were released.

    Madison County Coroner Michelle Cleveland said Parks was shot in the chest with a shotgun at close range as he entered the house through the door of a rear porch.

    There was no altercation prior to the shooting, she said, and the homeowner's wife called 911 immediately after the incident.

    "It was dark and he just fired," Cleveland said. "We're still investigating, and an autopsy is scheduled (this) morning."

    The homeowner and his wife live next door to the house where the shooting occurred, Cleveland said. The owner had contacted police Friday to report a burglary at the house at 25 Sims St., and he was staying there with his wife Saturday night.

    An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
  2. merlock

    merlock Active Member

    He sure made sure that the BG wouldn't be a burden on society! :cool:

  3. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

    "It was dark and he just fired"...

    What on the corpse would indicate how much light was around at time of death? I know it was at night time, but that quote just seems a little misleading to me or something, like he shot without knowing what was there for sure.
  4. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Maybe I am jumping to conclusions.........but, it appears the cause of death was the shotgun blast to the chest.
  5. budder

    budder Moderator Staff Member

    The autopsy could find useful things for the homeowner, like suspicious puncture wounds near the elbows.
  6. jgullock

    jgullock Active Member

    Yikes! I hope they don't have that expensive berber carpet anywhere nearby. :twisted:
  7. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    Obvious Cause of Death?

    Well, an autopsy isn't done just to show the cause and manner of death. It will certainly include a check for controlled substances or alcohol in the intruder's blood. This is relevant information in trying to understand why the bad guy made such a poor choice as to burglarize an occupied house, and why he was not successful in doing it undetected.

    But plenty of autopsies ARE done just to prove the cause of death, even though it's plainly obvious due to the circumstances. And many ballistics comparisons are done when they don't need to be. If two guys get into an argument in the parking lot of a bar, and one pulls a knife and the other pulls a gun, and the guy with the knife gets shot, and before he dies he says "That guy did it" and that other guy says "Damn right I did it-- but it was self-defense" and 5 witnesses tell the police "That guy did it." Oh, and the shooter remains at the scene and is arrested minutes later. Guess what happens to the gun and the bullet?

    They are both sent to the GBI crime lab where much valuable time and your taxpayer money is wasted doing scientific comparison of the bullet dug out of the victim's chest to test-fired bullets shot through the gun. It's standard procedure. Everyone involved in the legal system expects it and demands it.
  8. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    I do realize that autopsies are often required/mandated due to the nature of the death. I was mostly making a joke. Sucks though, since it really doesn't matter why he broke in the house. OK, so he was on drugs. He still did the crime, now he is doing the time - 6 ft under. Like you stated, a tremendous waste of resources.
  9. jeepsterwannabe

    jeepsterwannabe New Member

    durn those drug users
  10. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Follow-up on story

    GBI: Comer shooting likely justified

    By Joe Johnson | [email protected] | Story updated at 10:52 PM on Monday, September 10, 2007

    COMER - James "Dink" Hendricks' home sat unoccupied since the 82-year-old widower died in June, and on Friday, someone took the opportunity to break into the house on the fringe of downtown Comer to steal cash, jewelry and other valuables.

    Hendricks' son moved in the next day to guard the house at the corner of Sims and Gholston streets, and shortly after midnight Sunday, Jerry Hendricks shot and killed a burglar who broke in again, state and local officials said.

    It appears the shooting death of 41-year-old William Keith Parks will be ruled a justifiable homicide, according to officials, who said a final determination won't be made until after investigators review results from an autopsy performed Monday at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's State Crime Lab in Decatur.

    "That's kind of the way we're looking at it," said Mike Ayers, assistant special agent in charge of the GBI's Athens field office.

    Violent crime is rare in the Madison County community, which was abuzz Monday as news of the shooting spread.

    "It took us all by surprise," said Hendricks' neighbor. Barbara Bendzunas. "My phone has been ringing off the hook all morning from people calling wanting to know what happened."

    Bendzunas and her husband, Paul, own Bendzunas Glass Studio and Gallery located in front of their sprawling Double Creek Farm, adjacent to Jerry and Kathy Hendricks' property.

    "The Hendricks' pretty much keep to themselves, but they're real nice folks," said Barbara Bendzunas, who also raises horses and years earlier gave riding lessons to Jerry Hendricks' son.

    The expansive art studio was wide open and unattended Monday morning as Bendzunas looked after horses in stables near her house, down a dirt road about a quarter of a mile behind the art gallery.

    "We're going to be locking our doors now," said Bendzunas, who admitted to cocking her own shotgun "many a night" upon hearing noises that usually turned out to have been made by a dog or other animal.

    "The Comer Police Department has only two officers," she said. "It's not like you can call the a beat officer and they'll be here right away."

    Deborah Brewster knows the dangers of city living, having stayed in Roswell and Sandy Springs, and it was the "bohemian" atmosphere of downtown Comer combined with the rural outskirts that brought her to open Funky Junction antiques on North Avenue two years ago.

    But she's had to call on Madison County authorities to report "shady" characters she's seen climbing the stairs past her shop to the apartments above, people she said bear the hallmarks of methamphetamine addicts.

    "I'm telling you, it's the meth," Brewster said. "You look into their eyes, and you're looking at death. Comer is changing. The city is moving out here, and the crime is following."

    Comer Police Chief Brent Zellner couldn't recall the last time there was a homicide within the city limits, but he said burglaries and property crimes are on the rise, in large part due to drug addicts looking to finance their habits.

    "I'm sure that could have had something to do with it," Zellner said of the break-in that resulted in Parks' death. "Meth is here; it's everywhere. (Parks) may have been associated with something to that effect."

    Madison County Sheriff Clayton Lowe said Jerry Hendricks, who lived next door to his father's house, was sleeping on a living room couch when awakened at about 12:30 a.m. by the sound of breaking glass in a back door.

    Hendricks opened fire on the intruder, who was killed by a single shotgun blast to his chest from close range, Lowe said.

    "He fired pretty much to protect his own interests," the sheriff said.

    Lowe said he didn't know if Parks was responsible for Friday night's burglary, and he said Parks and Hendricks did not know each other.

    Hendricks was staying in his father's house with his wife, who called 911, officials said, and Parks was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Parks, of Carlton, had an extensive criminal history that included arrests for burglaries and drug possession, officials said.

    Parks was released from jail just last month after he was arrested for allegedly burglarizing a commercial building down the block from Hendricks' house, Platoon Uniforms & Sportswear Inc., according to Lowe.

    "He was wanted on an auto theft warrant when he was shot and killed," the sheriff said.

    Ayers said the GBI will present its report of the shooting to Madison County District Attorney Bob Lavender, who will decide whether to bring charges or not.

    Ayers said the fatal shooting appeared to have been justified "on the face of it," as Parks broke into the house and refused Hendricks' order to leave.

    "Our understanding is there was a verbal challenge that was not complied with," the agent said.

    Jerry and Kathy Hendricks were not at home and could not be reached Monday.

    Lowe said Jerry Hendricks was "laying low" after what happened because he was deeply disturbed that he took someone's life.

    "He's broke down about it," the sheriff said.

    Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 091107
  11. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    Yet another fine upstanding citizen bites the dust! How will society survive without him? Yeah, right! Once again, the manufacturers of 00Buck should be proud.
  12. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Intruder, a vet, was troubled

  13. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    With all due respect to our veterans, the "demons" this fellow was fighting were external.

    Sadly this is true, but I've yet to learn of a crack head who wasn't "emotionally disturbed". He did go in there to sleep......only it's a long, long dirt nap. I don't care if he's a former state senator or president of the United States.....if he's now an emotionally disturbed crackhead who breaks into my house at 3:00am, he's gonna get the same kind of rest this fellow got.
  14. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Agree with Bulldawg. Whenever I meet a vet who is an a-hole, a drunk, or a drug addict, I try to cut them some slack out of respect for what they have done for my freedoms. However, when they become a danger to me and mine then the slack is pulled.

    I sincerely hope he is at peace now.
  15. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired Active Member

    Being a Veteran IN NO WAY gives anyone the right to break the law or become a burden to society. I would give a crackhead vet no more pity or understanding than any other criminal. If this guy was indeed suffering from some sort of mental illness the VA would have identified it and treated it. No, this guy was just another loser who happened to be a vet (would like to see some confirmation that he actually was). You don't do an addict any favors by excusing thier behavour for any reason, all you do is give them an excuse to continue on the same path.

    Vol, while I appriciate your desire to do the right thing for veterans, I think you may need to take another look at what you are really doing...
  16. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Don't get me wrong - I am not trying to be an enabler (I think that is what you mean).

    I am simply stating that I might not tell the homeless vet to go f^c# himself when he begs for money (like I might tell the healthy looking twenty something homeless kid). Rather, I might suggest the vet seek assistance from one of the local resources available to "townies" such as himself. I would be more likely to try to hold my temper with a vet. Same thing for slow, old-man drivers. I get frustrated some times with them on the road then think - this guy could have stormed the beaches at Normandy and try to not get so pissed. SERENITY NOW!!!

    There is no excuse for committing crimes or abusing drugs and then blaming your troubles on something else.
  17. M249

    M249 New Member

    USMC is right on the money.

    Being a vet does NOT give you an absolute moral authority card, despite what John Murthaf***** would have you believe.