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June 30, 2008

Wow. Grand Jury No Bills Joe Horn

Me and the Man of Substance been watching this one. I sure didn't think it would fall this way.

To recap: Joe Horn, a resident of Pasadena Texas observed two men (illegal aliens as it happens), burglarizing a neighbor's home, and he called 911.

He spent some time on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, waiting for law enforcement to arrive.

They didn't, and he grabbed a shotgun and went out to confront them.

According to the transcript, the 911 operator repeatedly urged Joe to stay inside and wait for law enforcement. Joe waited a while, then said 'he did not believe it would be right to let the burglars get away'.

"Well, here it goes, buddy," Horn can be heard telling the operator. "You hear the shotgun clicking and I'm going."

He went out, told em to stop. They didn't. And he shot both of them, in the back.

I pause to mention that I have taken the training required for a Texas CHL. This was stressed as a huge no-no, although I did take the class before the "Castle Doctrine" law passed. Allah calls this a huge migraine. Can't argue, but I got some Excedrine.

The lawyer for Joe did his lawyerly duty, talked about how Joe wishes he had stayed inside, it's "affected him", and the other bullshit you offer up in defense of your client (gotta be PR, you go before the grand jury in Texas by yourself, if I recall correctly it's been a few years, ahem).

Now, the interesting part to me, and something we won't get out of secret grand jury testimony (I have that correct, don't I? I'm not a lawyer, but I think the proceedings are not public, so put me some knowledge. Are there records I need to fret over?), is that a plainclothes detective watched the whole thing go down.

I have to think he mighta testified.

This is the statement that persuaded me the most:

"The detective confirmed that this suspect was actually closer to Horn after he initiated his run than at the time when first confronted," said Corbett. "Horn said he felt in jeopardy."

If he felt threatened.

It sounds like that's where the grand jury came down on this.


UPDATED: Commenter jmarsh added this: "I think the grand jury effort, if there's the same forcible felony "out", was actually more of an effort to indemnify Joe Horn."

Yup. The Castle Doctrine law in Texas provides for something called Affirmative Defense, protection from civil litigation if the shooter's actions were justifiable under the law. jmarsh might be right.


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posted by Dave In Texas at 08:17 PM

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