Friday, December 05, 2014

Someone buy the AP a clue.

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"Exchange student's death tests 'stand your ground'" trumpets the AP headline, except I looked all through the story and there was nobody standing any ground anyplace. While the defendant is claiming "Stand Your Ground" as his defense, his case seems weak in regards to the "He's Coming Right For Us" prerequisite.

The version of the events alleged in both the news story* and the charges being brought against the shooter is that Homeowner Dude, tired of a string of burglaries and petty thefts from his garage, put a purse in the garage, left the door partially open, and gunned down the little miscreant that came along and grabbed it.

Wyoming Montana law is pretty clear about a homeowner having the right to use lethal force to defend him- or herself from an intruder, but this is a tough case to paint in a self-defense light, especially when the prosecution claims that "(d)ays before, Kaarma had told a woman that his house had been burglarized twice and he had been waiting up nights to shoot an intruder." Wyoming won't even let you do that to deer unless you're legally blind, in a wheelchair, or have a special license as enumerated in W.S. § 23-3-304(d)(iv). Montana won't even let you do what he did to a deer:
• It is illegal for anyone to hunt or attempt to hunt by the aid of or with the use of any bait, salt lick, trap, snare or set gun.
• Baiting shall mean the placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of food sources or salt so as to constitute a lure or attraction.

So far, this case is shaping up to illustrate a couple of important points:
  • Your property is not a free-fire zone, Stand Your Castle or whatever to the contrary. You're going to be buying whatever that bullet hits, so you'd better make sure it's something you can afford to shoot.

  • If you run around telling everybody how eager you are to shoot those so-and-sos, you can't get all butthurt when a prosecutor is standing there telling a jury that you're a bloodthirsty kook who was just itching to shoot those so-and-sos.
[EDIT: I have no idea where the Wyoming stuff came from when this case took place in Missoula, MT. Sorry. Total brain fart on my part.)

*For the purposes of this editorial commentary, we'll pretend they bear at least a tangential relationship to the facts.