Man receives light sentence for killing burglar

Discussion in 'Georgia In the News' started by streetriots, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. XshootX

    XshootX New Member

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    Makes me wonder if we know all the facts - on the surface (burglary confirmed, potential threat to companion) this is justified and shouldn't have been prosecuted, imo.
     

  2. atltech

    atltech New Member

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    Was the bad guy armed? The story goes on to talk about the judge's personal experience with his home being burglarized.What does that have to do with this case? The question here is under Georgia law did Mr Washington have the right to use deadly force to kill the bad guy when he ( Mr Washington) perceived his female companion was being threatened?
    Mr Washington deserves another trail with a different lawyer... I.M.H.O.
     
  3. AzB

    AzB Well-Known Member

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    First off, it wasn't even his house. Secondly, he shot the guy as he was running away.

    Personally, I'd let him go, but there are some interesting circumstances in this case.

    Az
     
  4. streetriots

    streetriots Clueless

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    Running away? Did you read the article? It said that the perp was running towards Washington's female friend.
     
  5. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    I wonder if there are other facts that we don't get from the article.

    I also wonder why he would enter someone else's (even a friend's) home, knowing there are a burglar in there. He inserted himself into a situation, the situation did not come to him. He wasn't "standing his ground", he was advancing his ground.

    Did he call the police before calling his friend? Did he call the police before he attempted to detain a suspect? Was his attempted detention legal? Whas it a propper citizens arrest? Did he wait to call the police after he shot the suspect?


    I'm not th ejudge, I'm not on the jury, but I also have not seen the facts of the case. I have just read a short, poorly written newspaper article, and am in no position to judge.
     
  6. mountainman444

    mountainman444 Active Member

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    The DA snookered this man. He should have never pleaded guilty. I'm guessing his lawyer wasn't much either, IMO.

    On a side note, if you ever serve on a jury you don't have to convict just because they charge him with it (even if all the evidence says he did it). The jury can nullify the charges by finding not guilty and thus justify his actions.
     
  7. RickN

    RickN New Member

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    Some important details are missing. 'Toward' means anything from 'imminent contact' to 'in the general direction'. The article doesn't say whether she was next to the burglar or waiting at the far end of the block for the cops.

    Someone convinced the defendant that this was not clear cut self-defense and to plead-out. I'm curious about the details behind this.
     
  8. TippinTaco

    TippinTaco New Member

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    I 100% agree with Adam5 on this one. This guy put himself into danger the danger didnt come to him. To me it sounds like he went looking for trouble which doesn't count as stand your ground. I cant just drive up and down the block looking for a house being broken into. If this had been this guys house and a robber came in then I'd be certain this judge would let him walk away unscathed of charges.

    Gotta remember people, we aren't the police, FBI, SWAT, ATF. We can defend ourselves when we're faced with a life threating situation, not searching for one. Stand your ground, but don't go looking for the fight, this will put you on the opposite side of the law and thats where none of us EVER want to be. This guy got off fairly easy, no harm no foul. Someone needs to send him a GCO card and tell him to read up on some laws.
     
  9. robfromga

    robfromga New Member

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    Part of what non locals are missing is the judge, judge overstreet is the judge that just killed the guy in his own home. The very same judge known for his very very light sentences of criminals. Not implying that the shooter was a criminal, that he panders to a certain peoples "background"
     
  10. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Police officers do this all the time. Should they be prosecuted?

    Yes, you can.

    No, he would not. The guy plead guilty. Read the article. At that point, the best the judge could do would be to give him the minimum.

    Tippin Taco, I most certainly CAN go and arrest a felon, particularly one in the act of burglary. Sorry, but you are just wrong. This is not the reason why this man is going to prison. You have completely missed the lesson to be learned from his situation.

    It appears to me that he was prosecuted for shooting a man that it was not NECESSARY to shoot. I believe I have posted about this word "necessary" before, upsetting some here. Had he not plead guilty, he may have still walked free, but we will never know.

    Had he gone into the home to detain the burglar and found it "necessary" to shoot the man for one of the reasons indicated in the statute, I have no doubt that there would be no prosecution whatsoever.

    For those of you who advocate sitting on your hands when your neighbor is being victimized, I have two comments:
    • (1) this is NOT why he was prosecuted; and
      (2) I hope you do not live in MY neighborhood.
     
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you claiming that this man deserved a harsher sentence? Why? What about this man's "background" (what does that mean, anyway?) caused the judge to give him a light sentence? Enlighten us. What do your comments have to do with the article in the original post?
     
  12. robfromga

    robfromga New Member

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    Mp, the man deserved a pat on the back and good steak dinner. Overstreet is a hack!
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    :rotfl2: Seriously, though, the judge is bound by the law. What is the judge permitted to do in GA when a person pleads guilty and there is a minimum sentence? Maybe one of our criminal attorneys will chime in and inform us.
     
  14. mountainman444

    mountainman444 Active Member

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    The judge could only follow the sentencing guide lines. No other choice. He pleaded guilty.
    I'm sticking with my the man was snookered by the prosecutor and his defense attorney defense. He was scared by facing possible murder charges so he pleaded out to lesser charges instead of taking his chances in trial. I might have done the same thing but I don't think I would. The prosecutor only wants to close the case with a conviction (that's his job). The jury (common folk, we hope) may see it differently. Only my opinion. No facts in the report to back up my theory. IANAL
     
  15. RecoveringYankee

    RecoveringYankee New Member

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    MP, WHile I can't speak for robfromga . . .

    As he said, Judge Overstreet is the judge that killed the burglar in his (the judge's) home a month ago. He received great praise in Augusta and on this site. Some even said we need more judges like this. Some of us in/around Augusta said Not so fast with that. While we praised the action he took, he has a well-earned reputation as a defendant's judge. He tends to give lighter sentences, even for egregious sexual crimes. Not exactly a law and order, hang 'em high judge.

    In light of the fact that 1) the judge just shot someone committing a crime on his property and 2) he is not known for giving stiff sentences, it seems somewhat hypocritical for him to hit this guy with a hard sentence.

    I cannot get the article to open, so I do not know the details of this case. Maybe the circumstances call for jail time. But at first glance at least, it seems wrong.
     
  16. Sovietak474u

    Sovietak474u New Member

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    What a world we live in. Crazy stuff.
     
  17. TippinTaco

    TippinTaco New Member

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    lol MP... I had typed out this whole question and answer thing but decided that I'm not as familiar with the laws as you may be. I know my place in this discussion. I'm just saying I find it hard to believe that any court would side with a citizen that fights crime thats not POST certified and under the control of a LEA.

    In this situation, this person (NON LEO) went into a house KNOWING it was being robbed and that no resident as in the house. So he took it into his hands to defend the property of another which is great I don't argue that, but unfortunately he tapped the trigger and shot a man that seemed to to be attempting to hurt a bystandard.

    Does stand your ground mean that I can stand the ground of someone elses home? These are serious questions by the way, not trying to stir up anymore mud. When entering a home being robbed, it's an automatic assumption that the robber is armed and dangerous, so you go in to clear the house. The guy comes running towards you, at what point do you decide to pull the trigger? The moment he gets right in your face? The moment he tries taking your gun? The law states the moment you feel your life is in iminant danger.. This guy who is a criminal, thats robbing this house, jsut may kill me to get away, to me that was enough for me to pull the trigger, but this guy goes to jail and pleads guilty because his defense lawyer sucks. This guy broke into his house forcefully. Isn't that enough to shoot him? Or did he have to be in the house while the guy was breaking in?

    PS- I do appreciate the work you do MP. You create situations to make people think :D
     
  18. ET.

    ET. Active Member

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    That's the point, we are not police officers. We are not allowed to go into other peoples homes and shoot people who are there only because they are running away from us towards someone else. We call the police so they can handle it. This guy had no business in the house knowing that someone was in there. If it was his own house then he might have been OK, but it wasn't. Plus the gray area, if it was his own home, is that he shot the guy while the guy was running away outside of the home. We have the right to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property. When we go into someone elses home our right to protect diminishes greatly. This shooter wasn't in danger since the burglar was running away. If you think he shot to protect the woman, it is a rare day when a burgler is chased at gun point and he decides on the run to attack a woman on the way by. Get real. We are not the police. We do not have the right to be vigilantes.

    Yes you can, but you can't shoot them. If you are going to plead that you shot this guy because he was running toward the woman, then you are going to have to overcome the fact that you were chasing him. The question is "how did you know that the burglar was running to attacking the woman instead of merely running from you?" It would not be a slam dunk acquittal.
     
  19. AV8R

    AV8R Banned

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    That's the point, we are not police officers. We are not allowed to go into other peoples homes and shoot people who are there only because they are running away from us towards someone else. We call the police so they can handle it. This guy had no business in the house knowing that someone was in there. If it was his own house then he might have been OK, but it wasn't. Plus the gray area, if it was his own home, is that he shot the guy while the guy was running away outside of the home. We have the right to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property. When we go into someone elses home our right to protect diminishes greatly. This shooter wasn't in danger since the burglar was running away. If you think he shot to protect the woman, it is a rare day when a burgler is chased at gun point and he decides on the run to attack a woman on the way by. Get real. We are not the police. We do not have the right to be vigilantes.[/quote:26pflut8]
    You are perfectly OK by not getting involved. But, can I just go ahead and quote this...
    I agree, therefore I quote.