Monday, June 30, 2008

Joe Horn no-billed by Grand Jury

In November of 2007, Joe Horn spotted two men breaking into his next door neighbors home. He called 911, then went out, confronted the two men and wound up shooting them.

Today, a Harris County grand jury refused to indict Mr. Horn -- in plain language, the District Attorney was not able to convince nine out of twelve "good men and true" that Mr. Horn had committed a crime.

Under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 83, Mr. Horn is now "immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from the defendant's use of force or deadly force".

Note that is Texas State Law -- I don't think Mr. Horn has a similar immunity under Federal Law.

It's a decent end to a tough and terrible set of circumstances.

LawDog

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, for once blind justice prevailed. We ought goldplate that decision and frame it.
Truthfully, I didn't believe that the Harris County DA could resist the pressure.
YAY!
LawMom

Tam said...

I am reminded of a similar case from back when I lived in GA.

Black letter of the law, the shooter was maybe wrong. Grand Jury returned a verdict of "If he hadn't been burglarizin' the man's store, he wouldna bin shot in the back of the noggin while fleein'," or however you say that in Latin...

Anonymous said...

Being a 5th-generation native-son of Texas, I have to applaud the way this has concluded. One of the messages that should have been clearly sent is not that of a "racially-motivated" act, but the fact that we as citizens are sick and tired of having the rights of criminals put before those of our own.

Both of these miscreants are not first-time offenders. In fact, they are on our soil illegaly, and as such should have no rights. I'm sure this will touch off a firestorm of indignation, but facts are facts.

We ALL have worked long and hard to amass what wealth we can achieve. You want to tell me what so-called "right" gives these two the permission to take away something that was not theirs to begin with?

They were both stupid to threaten anyone with a shotgun, even as Mr. Horn was attempting to "hold" them until police arrived.

Kudos Mr. Horn. Know that I and several others would be willing to stand beside you and tell the law-enforcement officials to strain the remains for fingerprints by the time we were through with them...

Anonymous said...

Mister Horn failed to afford the two men that he killed their right to a trial by Jury. He certainly didn't deserve one of his own.

Anonymous said...

What I think is cute is that depending on the news source, some sites mention that the two men were advancing on Mr. Horn prior to him shouldering his gun, at which point they turned - or some sites just entirely neglect to mention they were witnessed (by a police officer) advancing on Mr. Horn prior to being shot.

Oh well, that one little bit of information makes a difference to me.

I wasn't there, and don't know. But it sure sounds to me like they were advancing on him to call his bluff right up until he shouldered his 12 ga.

LawDog said...

Mister Horn failed to afford the two men that he killed their right to a trial by Jury. He certainly didn't deserve one of his own.

The grand jury found that he was justified in his actions. A grand jury which had a damned sight more information and more witnesses than you do.

In addition, a grand jury only requires that nine of the twelve members find cause -- unlike a criminal trial that you allude to, which requires 12 out of 12. The DA wasn't even able to convince 75% of the jury that the shooting wasn't justified.

Anonymous said...

A very sad day for justice and for common sense. There are so many implications behind this act and the grand jury's decision. This just shows how ignorent and stupid most people are. Instead of thinking a little bit this primate just kills two people for stilling some stuff.... wow unbeleivable. So let's all get a gun and go out there shoothing people. Why not shoot people for shop lifting too ! And if you see someone trying to still your car Kill him ! A teenager stilling someone lady's purse, hey kill him too !! it's legal in texas. Great place to leave !

Anonymous said...

That's not the point, LawDog. Mister Horn decided that these men would never be allowed a jury trial for their actions. Instead Joe Horn decided that he alone would be the arbiter of justice.

Mr. Horn received the trial that he was guaranteed, for denying the 2 men their right to theirs. Just because Texas Law let him off the hook, that doesn't make his actions right.

SpeakerTweaker said...

Mr. (or Ms./Mrs.) Anonymous,

Welcome to Texas. The Texas Penal code is available online for your reading pleasure. I'm thinking that the two individuals that got themselves shot probably wouldn't have cared much for the laws contained therein.

Furthermore, it seems that you actually do have a loose grasp of said code already. While shoplifting might not cut it, stealing my car would most certainly put an individual on the business end of a firearm. Same would apply for borrowing a purse without asking.

I have a novel idea here, in light of the fact that a jury refused to indict: Don't break the law. Do NOT think for a minute that Texas is the only place that would have let Joe Horn walk.

But it doesn't exactly bother me, either.



tweaker

clickclick-doh said...

Mr. Horn received the trial that he was guaranteed, for denying the 2 men their right to theirs.


A trail is a right protected against encroachment by the state, not private citizens. Mr. Horn was under no obligation to hold any trial for anybody, nor could he violate anybodys rights by not holding trial for them.

Don't want your "trial" to come out of the end of a shotgun, don't commit burglary. Simple enough for honest folk to understand.

Anonymous said...

There are way too many facts that many haven't discussed. For instance, this group of men were part of a larger group targeting owners of drycleaners. This was not their first job. They were after large amounts of money. They were illegal to this country with prior records. These weren't 1st time offenders out for a toaster or jewels. The threat to Mr. Horn was real. His only mistake was going outside. Kudo's to the grand jury for the no bill. May this serve a lesson to those who make a living off stealing from the hard working people of this country. WAY TO GO JOE!!!

LawDog said...

That's not the point, LawDog. Mister Horn decided that these men would never be allowed a jury trial for their actions. Instead Joe Horn decided that he alone would be the arbiter of justice.

You have asserted these things, now back up your assertations.

You think that the DA didn't present this exact same scenario to the grand jury? You think the twelve men of the grand jury, after listening to hours -- if not days -- of evidence, didn't consider this exact scenario?

Yet, they found him justified.

Anonymous said...

Well, for better or for worse, it was Joe Horn's call to make that night. None of the rest of us were there. If memory serves, back when all this was first going around, it was widely circulated that one of the burglars had a crowbar.

It's known and witnessed that both criminals advanced on Mr. Horn and came into his yard prior to him shooting them. Now why would they have come towards him if their first intent was to run away and avoid confrontation? Lots of questions there, and it certainly makes one wonder as to those 2 boys' intentions towards Mr. Horn that night prior to him shooting - and in my mind anyway lends a fair sight of credence to his claim that he was concerned for his immediate safety.

That's not vigilante behavior, that's just an old man suddenly coming to realize that 2 men half his age were advancing on him - maybe with crowbars, maybe not. I wasn't there.

Mr. Horn wasn't out patrolling the street with a shotgun looking for law-breakers. He was just a guy, sitting around in his home minding his own business when something bad happened in the world, and he just couldn't sit idly by and watch lawbreakers victimize someone and get away with it.

Frankly, If we had more men like Joe Horn in the world, we'd have less folks going around preying on innocents.

Every time someone doesn't go outside, every time someone turns a blind eye, or lets crime be "somebody else's problem", the criminals get away with one more "whatever" - and it just reinforces that behavior.

Joe gave those 2 men a choice. He told them to stop. Instead, they made a different choice - they came into his yard - towards him, and Mr. Horn took action such as he felt necessary at that point to protect himself. But he offered the two men a choice.

I truly feel sorry for Mr. Horn in all this.

tweell said...

I am reminded of a friend in AZ, who called asking another friend for help because her house had been broken into. The perpetrator was still inside, and when directed to surrender at gunpoint, instead turned and walked backwards towards them, stating "Shoot me in the back and you're scr****." That gentleman got kneecapped instead, but can you expect to be that lucky?
What would you do, oh sanctimonious ones?
(BTW, the housebreaker was wearing nothing but a pair of the lady's teenage daughter's panties and was under her bed when found.)

Anonymous said...

I'm down in deep Southern Alabama. We had a case down here some years back where a convicted serial rapist was let out on parole.

Then either his first or second parole meeting, he didn't show. Sheriff's dept got to looking and ultimately found the guy out in the woods a couple miles or so behind his house.

Seems he'd gone out and committed suicide. Sheriff called the coroner over, they both agreed he must have somehow shot himself twice in the back of the head with a shotgun. Coroner ruled it a suicide, case closed.

Ya know - I don't recall any great public outcry over that one. I guess maybe there is a place for apathy in the world.

I guess what I'm getting at, is the trouble with laws are they're all black and white, but the world has a lot of gray in it. That's why we have people to interpret law. That's why we have an impartial grand jury to decide right from wrong, and take all available information into account, and not just a rulebook.

If it weren't for two thieves breaking and entering, the world at large would never have heard of Mr. Joe Horn. And I can't help but think that he was content with that.

Anonymous said...

"I am reminded of a friend in AZ, who called asking another friend for help because her house had been broken into. The perpetrator was still inside, and when directed to surrender at gunpoint, instead turned and walked backwards towards them, stating "Shoot me in the back and you're scr****." That gentleman got kneecapped instead, but can you expect to be that lucky?
What would you do, oh sanctimonious ones?
(BTW, the housebreaker was wearing nothing but a pair of the lady's teenage daughter's panties and was under her bed when found.)"


I probably would have just shot him in the head.

I wonder if your friend really would have been in trouble if they killed him.

I'm so happy for Mr. Horn that I just can't express it. This verdict is right & good.

Almost makes up for the fact that Mike Nifong hasn't been hanged publicly.

phlegmfatale said...

Bless Mr. Horn and bless that jury. They all did the right thing, and the world is a better place for it.

Anonymous said...

Why not shoot people for shop lifting too ! And if you see someone trying to still your car Kill him ! A teenager stilling someone lady's purse, hey kill him too !!

Somewhere, I'm sure there's a downside to this. Damned if I can see it, though.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I'm pretty sure "stilling" without permission from the Feds is a felony. Hang 'em high!

Anonymous said...

Mr Joe Horn ! God ! How can a grown man, a senior, act with such irresponsible foolishness. So you get the death penalty now for burglary !? Come on, the cop told him ! it's not worth someone's life. Put your basic instincts aside for a second and think people. Is it really ok to sit at home looking out your window, and murdering people just like that... No matter what, this man is a murderer, that used completely disproportionate force and he is going straight to hell. I'm sorry guys, you just don't kill people for stupid reasons like this. He did it for the pleasure and the thrill.

Anonymous said...

They didn't get the death penalty for burglary - they were killed because they came at him when he told them to stop and stand still.

Cybrludite said...

Note the rantings of the Anons starting at around 19:26 hours. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how the left views all cases of self defense.

The very different Anon at 21:00 fills in the details that I've been wondering about regarding this case. Namely why a plainclothes officer was on the scene and the slow reaction of the uniformed officers prior to the shooting, with a pretty heavy response almost immediately after. With it being an organized crime thing, the cops were presumably trying to follow the two Mr. Horn ended up bagging to where the rest of critters were holed up.

Gay_Cynic said...

Engaging in burglary in a state with the Castle Doctrine is merely a complicated and unusually selfish form of suicide, forcing others to be traumatized in the doing of the needful deed.

Similarly, engaging in assault or car theft in such an area is merely an obscure form of Russian Roulette.

I'm afraid my pity, to the extent it is necessary or appropriate, is with Mr. Horn, not his assailants.

Marc said...

Oh ! That makes sense then ! let's kill people who don't stand still when you tell them to. Please! I have nothing against Joe Horn, I'm sure he is a good, basic, not to educated, but very nice guy. He killed for his own satisfaction and got away with it. It's fine. Will it change anything ? No. Will there be less burglary ? No. Actually, burglaries will just become more violent, and everyone will be more paranoid. I'm an historian, an throughout the history our civilization, there has never been a single case where violence brought peace. It always, and I mean always makes it worst ! But It's human nature and people like you are celebrating the killings. So, hey, let's the slaughter continue right !

Cybrludite said...

Marc,

Did your history professors neglect to cover Carthage, or did you oversleep your class that day due to a hangover?

Kelly said...

I'm an historian, an throughout the history our civilization, there has never been a single case where violence brought peace. It always, and I mean always makes it worst !

I find myself very impressed that you know the exact circumstances and outcome of every case of violence in the history of our civilization. I'm sure we'd all like to know which book you read it all in.

marc said...

Carthage is completely irrelevant, but Ok. I'm sorry guys, don't kill me! I accept you desire to be judge and jury and to kill people. I prefer to be a person who doesn't spread more violence in this world but hey, everyone has their own preference. So I hope the blood on Mr. Horn hands makes him happy and proud. And that he sleeps well at night. I hope his grand children can be proud of him and say: my grandpa killed two people because they were stealing some stuff... I hope he's not Christian though, because I don't think he'll be getting into heaven after this. No matter how you put it, there is a huge gap between murder and burglary. And yes by the way kelly violence always brings more violence, that's just the way it goes...

Mark@Sea said...

Marc et al
Judge and jury decide innocence and guilt, no?
Are you claiming these men were innocents? Or is it that Mr. Horn didn't cower and hide that made him, in your eyes, a vigilante?
That fuzzy-headed yammering is close kin to the "you don't get the death penalty for rape, so for a woman to shoot a rapist is murder" line.
If you truly see no difference between violent aggression and violence in response to aggression, you're far beyond any argument I could make. Seek help.

Anonymous said...

===================
Will it change anything ? No. Will there be less burglary ? No.
===================

Well, as admitted your a historian. I would be curious, however, to get a 2nd opinion on the above from a statistician.

My own opinion - just dealing with the math involved, would lead me to believe that if you have x men in the world committing n crimes annually, and then you have (x-2) men in the world committing n crimes annually, your total crime before and after would be xn vs. (x-2)n, which I believe would work out to be less crime.

But that's an over-simplification because the figure x is just so large that x-2 is relatively negligible. However, referencing your comment about will it change anything?

Maybe not anything dramatically noticeable by itself. But if there were enough people willing to stand up to criminals (maybe not necessarily shoot them all if you don't believe in that), but stand up to them, and take steps as necessary to resist them, and take a stand against crime, then yes, it would change things.

It's the attitude of general apathy that it doesn't matter, and just let it go, and it's not worth bothering with it, and just hand the guy your wallet and go home that's made the problem what it is today.

So Mr. Horn's action, in a small way, did change things, and it's absolutely indesputable mathematics that because of those actions - there will be less burglaries.

(With the assumption those two men wouldn't have immediately and spontaneously cleaned their lives up and never committed another crime upon finishing the one in question - which I feel is a safe assumption.)

BryanP said...

Carthage is completely irrelevant,

Oh, I don't know. I'd say violence brought peace to Carthage. If you don't agree then ask the next Carthaginian you meet.

Anonymous said...

"an throughout the history our civilization, there has never been a single case where violence brought peace. It always, and I mean always makes it worst !"

Marc, you must be one very poor historian. Violence is the ONLY thing that has EVER brought about peace.

roy in nipomo said...

I must admit that I would feel safer with Mr Horn as a neighbor than either of the two burglars.

Could he have taken different action? Of course. Would he have take different action if he had 20/20 hindsight? Probably (since court, even - or maybe especially - if you are innocent is traumatic [to say nothing about his mental anguish over having to drop the hammer on two people]). Was he wrong in what he did? Not from everything I know about the case.

Cybrludite said...

Carthage is completely irrelevant, but Ok.

Ok, then. How about Nazi Germany? They relevant? Please explain how violence directed at them made things worse, you meshungina tukhes lecher who was raised in a shandhoiz...

Kilgor said...

"I ain't going to let them get away with this. They stole something. They got a bag. I'm doing it.".

"Don't go out the house," the dispatcher cautions in a measured voice. "You're gonna get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun."

"Wanna make a bet? I'm gonna kill 'em."

"Stay in the house......"

"They, they're gettin' away!"


Looks like he went out of the house to "Kill em" and succeeded. Wihtout that 911 tape, I would have no billed him too. However, he left safety with the intention of killing. He is a murderer.

JayneCobb77 said...

The man did what's right; the burglers did wrong. You can't expect Honest folk to take this crap forever. Mr Horn made that neighborhood safer by removing some scum from the gene-pool. I'm pretty sure there weren't many home invasions in that neighborhood after that. He may, no probably prevented more crimes, and maybe serious crimes such as rape or murder by taking these scumbags down. This is a matter of a good citizen fully within the right, defending himself and his entire neighborhood from criminal acts.

Cameron said...

To Kilgor, Marc, and various anonymous type people.

Those two men would not have been killed if they had chosen to be law-abiding. They had no right to the property they stole and they had no right to threaten Mr. Horn.

Please put the blame on them since they are dead on account of their own actions.

Anonymous said...

Murderer?

I'd say that's up to a grand jury to decide.

They all heard the tape - likely over and over again, and spelled out for them line by line by a bloodthirsty DA intent on seeing Mr. Horn fry, and likely more evidence to boot, more than any of us will ever see on the sidelines.

Taking a 5 line excerpt and basing an entire hypothesis on that, is akin to describing the ecology of the ocean based on a gallon of water from Cozumel Mexico.

5 lines of transcript simply does not equal the sum of the incident.

SpeakerTweaker said...

Murderer?

I'd say that's up to a grand jury to decide.


Actually, I'd say it was up to a grand jury to decide. They did. Horn walked.

And as far as anyone who truly believes that violence never brought piece is no historian whatsoever. Now allow me to elaborate, just a little:

WWII

I think the folks in Poland, France, and England (just to name a few) saw significantly more peace after the Allies visited great violence upon the Axis powers. I'm thinking the Luftwaffe was dropping bombs on England right up until our violence got stronger than theirs.

And if you think for a minute that The Shot Heard 'Round The World didn't ultimately end in peace, then you clearly need to put down your glass of Hopeychangey and pick up a history book.

And I just KNOW there's no way you subscribe to the Col. Jeff Cooper School of Violence Management.

Anonymous said...

I think I would have told the dispatcher they were coming towards my house. It would have made it all cleaner and there would still be the same good result. Burglars are scum.

Anonymous said...

Well, all of the above notwithstanding - my personal thoughts are that Mr. Horn did make a mistake in all this. Primarily, he picked up the phone too soon.

If his phone call would have gone something like:

=============

"Hello 911 operator."

"Operator, there's been a shooting. I heard a noise outside and went out to investigate. 2 men armed with crowbars were coming out of a broken window in the house next door and when I went into the yard they rushed me and I shot them both. I do not know the current status, but please send an ambulance and the police to (address) immediately."

======================

there, wouldn't that have been a lot simpler for all involved?

- Certainly it would have been if he just wanted to be a vigilante and kill the two burglars. And frankly I wouldn't have faulted him for that either.

However, that's not what he did. He didn't choose the simple way, he tried to do the "right" thing up front, but when help didn't arrive (and it was not communicated to him at ANY time that officers were on the scene - remember that), then he went out to try and detain the men until they did arrive.

Regardless of what he said in the transcript, what he TOLD the 2 men, and was recorded of him telling them was, "stop or I'll shoot." and they tried to call his bluff and rushed him.

I'll agree with a couple of the above posters - sounds like an assisted suicide to me.

Rick R. said...

There is a key fact missing from most of the wailing and bemoaning -- something not known to me when LD originally posted the initial report.

Joe Horn AND both of the criminals were in JOE HORN'S YARD. In fact, RIGHT OUTSIDE THE FRONT DOOR OF HIS HOUSE.

The 911 tape clearly caught Joe Horn's warning to the crimninals (not the best phrased warning, but a clear and understandable one nonetheless), the sound of him racking the action (a VERY distinctive sound, that is), and only THEN did the shooting take place.

Literally at his front door.

He confronted two men, who decided to leave the yard they were in, and close on the old guy with the shotgun.

THAT is a clear nonverbal statement as to what their intentions were -- they diecided to kill Joe Horn.

Since Joe Horn was still in his own yard, I withdraw my statement from Novemeber -- Mr. Horn DID NOT escalate teh situation in any regard. It is 100% legal to sit or stand in your own yard with your legally owned shotgun, especially when you can SEE criminals in teh vicinity committing felonies. . . you have a reasonable fear that they will decide to come do it to you next. Keeping them under observation, especially when you know police are en route (if they split, you can say, "They went thataway!") is reasonable, and taking a weapon with you in case a pair of men half your age, armed with (at least) crowbars is simply common sense. (Personally, I'd have tried to do it from within the walls of my own dwelling -- but I'm a cautious fellow who prefers cover and concealment, and maybe Mr. Horn didn't have a good line of sight from his available windows.)

When they decide to charge the armed citizen, INSTEAD of running AWAY, the burglers decided to escalate a property crime into an immenent and reasonable fear for safety.

Coming AT an armed man when you know he is armed is an indication of aggressive intent. When you are the criminal being confronted by a citizen (or a cop), you don;t have any reasonable or lawful justification for such an approach -- your ONLY possible intent is to commit murder.

Joe Horn made some tactical mistakes, but in the end, he was confronted with two aggressive attackers ON HIS OWN PROPERTY who made clear their plan was to kill him -- so he blew them away. He DID NOT, as was previously thought, chase these two down outside his property and shoot them.

As the city spokesperson (Jennifer Banks) said after the no bill, "The obvious lessons that can be drawn from (the Horn case) are that criminal activities are inherently a dangerous lifestyle. . . "

Riposte3 said...

What seems to be missing from most of the discussion here is that what Joe Horn did was intervene to stop a burglary in progress. This is not just a good deed, this is a duty, one that is incumbent on all good citizens. Joe Horn met this duty.

Regardless of what he said to the dispatcher, when he actually confronted the criminals he gave them fair warning and an opportunity to surrender. They chose to ignore his warning, and at least one of them charged Mr. Horn. This fact was witnessed and reported by a police detective, who apparently saw the entire confrontation. At that point, it became self defense. Had they instead surrendered, they would be alive today to face trial.

Mr. Horn did his duty. As a result, he was attacked. Shooting was self defense.

Anonymous said...

There's another mistake here I don't think anyone's hit on yet ...

Perhaps Mr. Horn should have yelled:

"Alto, para sus muerte!"

instead ...

But then that poses the question of who's fault is it when criminals potentially can't understand simple directions in English, on American soil.

Anonymous said...

So, what about the War of Northern Aggession? Apparently anonymous is saying that the destruction of the financial and social fabric of the South and the freeing of the slaves accomplished nothing? Or perhaps one of the bloodiest events in his fabled 'history' is discounted by him as being non-violent?
Who wrote that history book?
LawMom

Vin said...

To all the people who cry that this was murder:

Yes, yes it was. Killing is a very, very bad thing, we all know. I'm sure Mr. Horn still goes through his fair share of hell dealing with the slayings. But in the end, from what I've researched of this case, what the man did was not wrong.

There are two logical "cause and effect" type deals that the two dead guys needed to think about before they did what they did.

The first part's quite simple, really, at least to most people in society. Whether in the long run or short run, if you act with aggression towards others, expect harm to eventually fall towards you. Push around enough, expect to get shoved right back. Breaking and entering/robbery is inherently an aggressive act. These two men should have expected this type of thing to happen eventually, both when they decided to approach Mr. Horn and ignore his command AND when they decided to take the criminal route in the first place.

The second part is even more simple. Man with gun says "stop". You stop. If you don't stop, you get shot.

Simultaneously ignoring both parts 1 and 2 led to their demise. They should have seen it coming.

All the people that say violence doesn't solve anything, that he used excessive force... did you think about what was going through Mr. Horn's head at the moment he ran out to his yard? I'd say if I were him... I would have been scared. Terrified. I'm outnumbered, two to one. They're approaching me, when I told them to stop. These men clearly have no consideration for the law, so I might end up being zipped in bodybag before the night's over. And I have a gun.

What would you have done? Fired a warning shot? Pffft... only in the movies. If brandishing a firearm doesn't show your assailant that you mean business, nothing will. I'd have pulled the trigger too.

I applaud Mr. Horn for his bravery in stepping outside to confront those men. To all you who say he should have stayed inside and hided... I pity you. Marc, you say that violence never solved anything. That's debateable, but I'll tell you what definitely never solved anything. Running and hiding. Evil cannot stopped by running or hiding. Evil only understands force or a show of force. The US has always known that, from the Great White Fleets to the Atomic Bomb. And that's why ever since our nation's independence we've never had an attack on our soil (except that one time with the Canadians...0_o). Remember that now, Mr. Historian man.

CDH said...

Open and shut case to me. Critters are breaking into my neighbors home. He tries to get police involved and they are too slow to respond. Critters are about to (apparently, to him) escape and we all know that very few robberies are ever punished, so he gets backup to even the odds (elderly and alone vs two and young) and goes out to stop them FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOLDING THEM UNTIL THE POLICE ARRIVE!!! They resist and (feint? who knows, not really relevant) approach in a aggressive manner.

Boom. My legal attempt to stop and hold robbery suspects has changed to a legal effort to protect myself. Once the adrenaline starts flowing really hard as they begin their attack they can turn away at the last second but the die is cast and the shots will be fired.

Tough situation for Joe Horn, but good shoot.

Violence begets violence and all that...a violent lifestyle begets a violent end and the sooner the better for all involved.

Anonymous said...

I think what bothers me most about this case is that the take home lesson is shoot before you call 911.

Anonymous said...

Given the fabled efficiency of our 911 system, damn right!
LM

Anonymous said...

I think what bothers me most about this case is that the take home lesson is shoot before you call 911.

=========================

Interesting viewpoint - granted.

What bothers me most about the case is a national media that neglects to openly tell people Mr. Horn was on his porch, and the two men were in his yard rushing him, and almost on top of him when he shot them, etc.

Anonymous said...

What's the old adage:

When seconds count, the police are just minutes away?

Anonymous said...

It seems the anonymous cowards who are decrying that a couple of thieves got shot must be thieves themselves.

A note to those anonymous coward thieves: If you don't come around my place trying to steal my stuff or physically threaten me, then I won't have any reason to shoot you.

But if you think you can come and take my stuff with impunity, I WILL shoot you if I catch you in the act! In other words, my desire to protect my stuff by using deadly force should be apparent to you as a deterrent. If you are undeterred, however, you will get the justice you deserve.

-- chicopanther

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of comments here are missing the point. Joe Horn didn't need a self defence element to legally use deadly force to stop those guys. Reading Texas Penal Code 9.41 through 9.43. http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.002.00.000009.00.htm

Looks to me like he had about three good legasl defenses if we count the self defense one too.

Best, wes

fuzzys dad said...

I Thank God for brave men like Mr.Horn. If in the spot he was I would do the same thing.

Vin said...

I will be honest on one matter here, and I want to hear Lawdog's take on this one too...

I don't believe shooting first and calling 911 after is such a good idea. First off, shooting should never, ever be the primary objective in such an encounter. [i]Stopping[/i] should be. If you run outside without calling 911 first, what the hell are you going to do even if you have the bad guys at gunpoint? Whip out your cell phone one handed and try thumbing 911? If I were in that position, I wouldn't want to make myself vulnerable to the aggressors in any way, even for a second. I'd call first, deal with the criminals, and if I have to pull the trigger, wait for the police to arrive and hope for the best in court. Oh yeah, I wouldn't say anything like "I'ma kill these suckers" on the phone either, because that wouldn't be my intention in the first place.

I'm sure in hindsight Mr. Horn probably knows all of this now. And the rest of us can learn from his ordeal and (hopefully not) apply our learnings if necessary.

Does anyone see something wrong with just going outside without calling 911 and shooting two people in cold blood? If Mr. Horn did that, THEN I'd say he did commit a crime and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But since he wasn't really out for blood (as evident by his verbal warning and shooting only AFTER he was approached by his assailants), he was completely justified. He did almost everything right.

I don't know if I could live with myself after shooting two people in the back, even if they just robbed my neighbor's house.

Anonymous said...

The overwhelming majority of the time, the noises outside my house at night are coyotes - and I do go out with a gun, and without calling 911 and bothering anyone over a noise.

No way to know until you walk out there.

'course, I live in the country too - my nearest neighbor's a 1/4 mile away, at least.

Last time I called the police to come to my house it took 'em approx. 45 minutes to get here.

vin said...

Sorry, Anon. I was talking about in the specific scenario that Mr. Horn faced, in which you already know that there are two criminals out and about doing bad things. In this scenario, calling the cops BEFORE you go outside like Galahad would be advisable, no?

Rather, I think the best move would be to use a windowsill or some ledge for cover and THEN announce your presence with a longarm aimed square at them in case one or both of them have guns. And if they run off before the cops get there, well that's not so bad. At least you're unharmed. That's just me though. I wonder what Lawdog has to say about that.

Anonymous said...

Y'all know what would be real nice in this discussion? Facts. No one here knows them. CNN doesn't. Fox News doesn't. The Grand Jury might. I see two possibilities:

One version of the tale says Joe Horn left his house and confronted two robbers in the act. In this version, to my mind, Joe escalated the situation and, since I'm not a fan of deadly force to protect property, committed premeditated murder. Yes, premeditated since he had both time to think about what he was doing and the dispatcher discouraged his course of action. Under Texas code 9.43(2)(b), his state of mind, which is awfully hard to prove, would seem to be a get out of jail free card. Nothing I've read indicates that 9.43(2)(a) or 9.43(2)(c) applied, and in this version 9.41 and 9.42 are irrelevant.

In version two, Joe was approached in an aggressive manner while standing just outside his house. In this case, no matter how Joe came to be standing on his porch interacting with the robbers, it is a pretty simple a case of self defense since the robbers had to enter his yard and approach him instead of slinking off into the night.

My conclusion? I have no idea what _really_ happened. Neither does anyone else here. Just because the alleged facts you choose to believe were stated in an allegedly reputable news source that aligns with your point of view does not make them true. As the adage says "If you ask ten people, expect eleven versions." I'll stop now before this gets (more) philosophical.

Anonymous said...

Well, by a preponderance of the evidence, seems like a good shoot. Perps were obviously witnessed & caught red-handed, threatened Mr. Horn, and caught fire. Oh, well, occupational hazard.

While I understand a certain amount of legal safeguards & rules of evidence, these turds were caught flat-footed & dirty, and I understand the need for proper documentation, this case isn't too hard, post facto.

God Bless Texas. IMO, the more scummies that get shot in the act, the sooner the scummies will start to figure out they need to find another way of making a living . . . .

History indicates that they were not law-abiding 'citizens', had no reason to be here, were engaged in felonious behavior, and were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time by someone inclined to take action against thier criminal ways. Too bad the 'authorities' couldn't/wouldn't respond in a timely manner (not that they had any obligation to do so -), and the scumbags reaped the consequenses of their actions. Gee. too bad.

I hope their families will be deported, too, assuming that they are also illegally here.)

Randy in Arizona said...

Without commenting directly on the legality or morality of his actions, I will say that I would be proud and happy to have Joe Horn as my neighbor rather than some of the liberal welfare rats and thieves that I have had as neighbors in the past and present.

Rick R. said...

For teh anonymous chap who says we lack "facts".

Actually, teh key fact is no in public record, testified to by the poilice.

The shoot took place on Jow Horn's property, right outside his own door.

That makes it Scenario #2 -- however the evening started, Joe Horn was confronted with two bad guys who came on to HIS property and failed to heed the visual and verbal warnings. Mr. Horn (twice the age of these two chaps, and unaware of what they might have in ADDITION to crowbars -- which are lethal weapons in their own right) blew them away, as the actions of teh bad guys is impossible to interpret as anything other than "aggressive" and "unlawful".

A person, lawfully armed on his own property, was confronted by a pair of aggressive criminals with teh capacity to kill him at very close range. He offered them an opportunity to cease being aggressive, yet they continued to approach. He blew them away. End of story.

Rick R. said...

Good Lord, I should try and type while listening to a conference call. . .

Long story short, for those who insist we don't "have all the facts".

The ONLY fact neceesary to determine which of the two scenarios (one presented IMMEDIATELY after the incident, before the police had even released a reprot or the prosecutor had decided to idict, the other version presented after the information -- including the fact that the police witnessed the shoot and where the shots were fired) is now in.

Mr. Horn shot two aggressive criminals in his OWN yard at his OWN front door when they failed to comply with his warnings and other basic clues that he was ready to fire. They CONTINUED to approach, indicating by their own actions they intended to do him immediate and grieviuos harm (you don't close with an old guy pointing a shotgun at you to give him cookies).

ben said...

Shame. The man should not have been tried I am from shooting a burgular killing one maiming another after reporting many previous incidents results in life sentence, a civil suit and basically 24 hour monitoring from the police on the grounds of preventing the man who sued from being murdered.

Less scumbags profit from crime due to increased hazards Fine. That works.

Enforce medival idea of if you burgle me with a friend I kill your friend you live, you go down for burgalry and murder.

clickclick-doh said...

Joe escalated the situation and, since I'm not a fan of deadly force to protect property, committed premeditated murder.

That's mighty impressive of Mr. Horn.. commiting a crime that is not defined in the Texas penal code.

KIlgor said...

Mr. Horn said "Wanna make a bet? I'm gonna kill 'em." and then he went outside and killed them.

That's premeditation.

He wasn't a good citizen investigating a noise while armed. He went outside with a purpose as he stated in his own words. He said that he was going to kill them, then he left the safety of his home and did that.

The guy a lot of you are describing doesn't mesh with...

"Wanna make a bet? I'm gonna kill 'em."


Stop and think about this people.

Cameron said...

Kilgor, once again:

Those two men had no right to rob the man's neighbor.

They had no right to commit a crime.

According to the Detective who was there, Mr. Horn ordered them to stop. They chose to resist.

If they had obeyed the law, they would not be dead. Yes, it is that simple.

Anonymous said...

kilgor, you should stop and think about this:

If the two perps hadn't decided to go burglarize someone's property, they would still be alive today. In other words, it was the consequences of their own actions that cost them their lives.

You lefties need to stop trying to blame the victims of crimes and instead start blaming the perpetrators of crimes. The burglars were the perps, and they were intending to commit a crime of violence on Mr. Horn when he ordered them to stop. Horn was fully justified in shooting them.

Maybe this will give the kilgore's of the world pause before they decide to go out committing crimes against innocent property owners? Or maybe it's just that most lefties don't like it when other folks actually own property and will use force to protect it? After all, if lefties don't own anything worth protecting, I guess they can't understand why other folks would want to protect anything, eh?

-- chicopanther

Anonymous said...

The stuff I have, I've worked damn hard to get. I don't have a lot of use for thieves, and yes, to me property theft is a violation of my person and security as surely as any other physical violation.

To me, pre-meditated murder involves someone plotting to kill another innocent person. Then going over to their house, or wherever one may expect to find them, when that person has done nothing wrong and minding their own business, and killing them in cold blood.

Killing two armed criminals caught in the act of committing a crime, who then rushed the homeowner next door after he TOLD them to stop and freeze, is most assuredly not pre-mediated murder.

The phone conversation is heat of the moment, spur of the moment, anxiety, stress, and panic at watching a crime go unpunished. What Mr. Horn told the criminals was "Stop".

Mr. Horn is innocent of wrongdoing, and I'm exceedingly glad that a grand jury found him so.


Remember also - in a grand jury trial, Mr. Horn's side does NOT get to present any case in it's defense. It's all prosecution trying to convince a jury he was in the wrong. Presented with the facts, the prosecution was unable to convince 9/12 of wrongdoing even with NO defense from Mr. Horn's side.

That speaks volumes. And I'm proud.

jimbob86 said...

"Instead of thinking a little bit this primate just kills two people for stilling some stuff.... wow unbeleivable. So let's all get a gun and go out there shoothing people. Why not shoot people for shop lifting too ! And if you see someone trying to still your car Kill him ! A teenager stilling someone lady's purse, hey kill him too !! it's legal in texas. Great place to leave !"
-Anonymous

Nope. Joe Horn killed two critters in defense of himself on HIS OWN PROPERTY. Kudos to Mr. Horn. These critters were not shot for "stilling", though they COULD have been shot for STEALING, according to Texas Law, as I understand it. Same for car theives. (Shoplifting doesn't rate getting shot- just a severe whipping!)

I think you have described the desired effect of the Texas laws, exactly, in your last line: "(If you are a THEIF) Texas: GREAT PLACE TO LEAVE!"
----------------------------------
Oh ! That makes sense then ! let's kill people who don't stand still when you tell them to. Please! I have nothing against Joe Horn, I'm sure he is a good, basic, not to educated, but very nice guy. He killed for his own satisfaction and got away with it. It's fine. Will it change anything ? No. Will there be less burglary ? No. Actually, burglaries will just become more violent, and everyone will be more paranoid. I'm an historian, an throughout the history our civilization, there has never been a single case where violence brought peace. It always, and I mean always makes it worst ! But It's human nature and people like you are celebrating the killings. So, hey, let's the slaughter continue right !
-marc

marc- Where to begin? ..... You denigrate Mr. Horn as being "not to educated" when whatever diploma mill you paid good money to didn't see fit to offer an effective English Comp class. You must have had the same caliber of English teacher anonymous above did.
As for violence not solving anything: PIFFLE. Greater violence is the ONLY thing that stops violence immediately. Appeasement and accomodation encourage more predation, in the long term. As proof in this case, I offer 2 examples:

1)Neither of the two critters Joe Horn ended have stolen anything or threatened anyone since. If the victims of their 1st violent crimes had dispatched them with similar alacrity, hundreds of crimes would have been prevented.

2)The net effect of the "deadly force in defense of property" flavor of Texas Law, as explained to anonymouse above.

In a much larger sense, how can you say that violence (or the threat of same)solves nothing? Did you not cover WW II in your journey to become "an historian" at TouchyFeely DiplomaMill University? Do policemen carry guns to balance the load on their belts? Violence IS often the answer, and often the ONLY answer when the stakes are high and time is short (like when two critters with crowbars are rushing an old man on his porch....).

Anonymous said...

It would appear that shooting 2 men in the commission of a burglary is allowed, and well within Texas state statues. There's no mention anywhere of any other sort of intent, or shooting in the front or back, or anything else. Burglars = ok to shoot.

Seems pretty simple to me. And it makes for some nice common sense legislation. Who wants burglars and thugs running loose on the streets or wasting tax dollars in prison.

These two men were obviously criminals, caught red-handed, and dispatched in accordance with state regulations.

What's the problem here?

9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the
other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of
arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or
recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to
protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Kim du Toit said...

Let's hope the takeaway for prospective burglars is: "You try to rob someone's house, you could get shot. Nothing will happen to the shooter, and you'll most likely be dead. Ergo, don't break into houses."

Of course, most criminals have sub-zero IQs, so this little lesson may pass them by -- to the general benefit.

Mike Van Pelt said...

It's quite a telling point that the people who insist Joe Horn committed murder continue to ignore the police testimony in the case, that the critters were charging Joe Horn on his own doorstep, in spite of the fact that he was armed.

Oh, and thank you jimbob86 for pointing out the sub-literate grammar and spelling of so many of the people accusing Joe Horn of murder. That seems to me to signify something, also.

Kilgor said...

I'm a lefty because I think declaring intent to kill someone from a safe location and then leaving said location and killing them is murder?

You don't know me and your assertions that I am a "lefty" are laughable. I am as libertarian as they come.

Your defamation of my character that I steal people's property is less than amusing.

KD5NRH said...

Could someone please point out to me just exactly where in the Penal Code it says that you shall not want to use deadly force when authorized by the statutes? To my reading, it says that you can use deadly force when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary...to prevent the other's imminent commission of...burglary.

There's no mention in there of having to not want to or not plan to, or not express an intent to. Justified is justified, whether you cry or cheer about it.

Mike Van Pelt said...

Kilgor -- Regardless of what Horn said in the heat of the moment on the telephone, what he actually did, confirmed by the testimony of the police officers on the scene, was not murder.

Anonymous said...

You can't defame character when there is none present.

Anonymous said...

kilgore, you said, "You don't know me and your assertions that I am a "lefty" are laughable. I am as libertarian as they come."

Um, if you were *really* a libertarian (and not a lefty) you would believe in *property rights* and the right of property owners to use force, even deadly force, to defend that property.

Unfortunately, it seems the modern USA so-called "Libertarian" party has been totally wussified as they wouldn't even respond to the terrorist attack on the USA on 9/11/01.

And if you weren't a thief at heart, why are you so adamant about defending the supposed "rights" of thieves? Using projection, perhaps?

After all, if you never plan to steal from someone else or to physically threaten someone else, why would you have to worry about being shot by a law-abiding citizen?

You do sound like a typical lefty as lefties don't believe in *personal responsibilty* which means things like if you get caught in the act commiting a crime then you will get punished for your actions. Instead, lefties don't want to punish people for their transgressions as it's always someone else's fault why someone commits a crime. "He stole that car because he was poor!" "He had to steal to live because he couldn't get a job under the Bush regime!"

Of course, offering excuses for why criminals commit crimes is el toro poopoo. As President Reagan once pointed out, "If someone is hungry they're not out stealing food to eat!" Reagan also pointed out that most poor people do not feel the need to steal from others.

-- chicopanther

Vinnie said...

Mister Horn failed to afford the two men that he killed their right to a trial by Jury. He certainly didn't deserve one of his own.


The grand jury agreed and didn't give him one. Case closed.

Vin said...

Kilgor, I see where you're coming from. I think I understand your definition of premeditated murder, but it's kinda off.

It's way too simplistic to call premeditated murder "killing with prior expressed intent." People say things that they don't necessarily mean all the time. Mr. Horn was under the influence of rushing adrenaline. It affected his judgment in the way he spoke to 911. But it did not cloud his judgment in his actions.

As a wiser man than I once said if you want to measure a man's worth, forget everything they say and just look at what they *do*. Mr. Horn left the safety of his house, yes. But he left it without the intent to commit murder. How do we know this? Because if he wanted to kill them so badly, he would have shot them in the back, no warning given. Instead he took the time to go outside and tell them to stop, alerting the criminals to his presence in the process and exposing himself to danger. That's what he did, and it contrasts heavily with what he said he would do, no?

From there, the situation escalated. He did not determine the events that followed after he gave the warning. The dead guys did.

Think about this for a second, kilgor. Ask yourself once again why those two men died. And then ask yourself who is responsible for their deaths.

Answers: Those men died because they were in the middle of a criminal activity and made aggressive gestures to an armed individual. They were responsible for their own actions up to and including their demises.

I tried to explain all this as civilly and as simply as I could. If you still disagree, I'd like to hear why. Because frankly, that recording doesn't mean squat. Words are words. Actions are actions.

On a side note, I read the comments to a NY Times editorial regarding the Heller decision. "Lock and Load", I believe it was called. Although the editorial was extremely biased, it was actually the comments made by my fellow NYers that gave me the most ire. I don't think more than half of the commenters even did their own research on the topic before spouting absolute nonsense.

"I am normally a very calm, conscientious person. However, I remember one time, when I was in despair and had lost my temper, that I would have used a gun if it had been available.

It defies rationality for the Supreme Court to interpret the Second Amendment as meaning that a person has a right to possess a gun, other than for the purpose of being in a well-regulated militia. This undoubtedly was a political decision."

Wow. So the reason why this fella wanted to ban all guns was because he couldn't trust himself with one. Sure, let's fix society because of your own personal problems.

OR MAYBE YOU CAN SEE A THERAPIST ABOUT THAT.

I'm honestly afraid this is why liberals want to ban firearms. Because they can't trust themselves, because they fear they can't control their own emotions and anger... because they see themselves in the spree shooters in the news. That thought sickens me. I hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

WE have become a nation of excusers, blamers and compromisers. No one wants to take responsibility for any action. Road rage is just a name for indulging in a bad temper secure in the knowledge that some liberal psychiatrist will provide an excuse for it. Self-indulgence of this kind has become the mean these days, and self-discipline is in the toilet.
Mr. Horn was justified in what he did. IF the perpetrators had come to trial, some jury would have let them go because they had deprived childhoods, or they didn't have a color t.v. (which appears to make it all right to steal one which has been honestly acquired), OR, best of all, they just don't understand the American way.
No, they understand it all too well. They understand that the bleeding hearts of American society will stretch beyond all imagination to find an excuse for them.
Yes, they probably would have killed Mr. Horn, secure in the knowledge that somehow the American justice system would shift the blame off onto him. Maybe because he was white, or actually spoke English, or he had a better house than they did, or he had a pickup and they were only stealing things so they could have one too, and he was preventing them from getting what they deserved.
Well, they deserved what they got.
Rock on, Joe Horn!

Mike W. said...

to quote from "Liar, Liar"

"Quit breakin' the law asshole!"

Had these two guys not been burgling homes they wouldn't be dead. Had they stopped when Mr. Horn pointed a shotgun at them and said "don't move or I'll shoot" they wouldn't be dead.

On the subject of shooting over property well...

Aren't your possessions an extension of your life? You spent time working (time that could have been spent doing something else) in order to acquire those possessions and now some thief has taken them from you by force. Property rights are fundamental to ones life, liberty, and happiness. To say that defense of ones property is not worth using deadly force is to empower societies most immoral thugs who are willing to use force to get what they want. We should all be legally free to make our own moral choices regarding the use of deadly force in defense of property. What authority does the government have to tell me I must hand over my property to the 1st asshole who decides I have something he wants?

Unfortunately the law in most states doesn't agree with me. In Texas however, it does.

tcsmpsi said...

Were it not for the fact that the Joe Horn case is a significant use of force example, I would discount it to be just another one of many.

I have been fundamentally aware of the Horn case since its 'debut'. Unfortunately, as there was an investigation, there has been little official information available until after the grand jury made its decision on the matter, as it was presented.

Though I've been able to corroborate most of the facts, the plainclothes officer witness, and the actual case presented by the district attorney's office have yet remained elusive.

Though the general procession of the DA's office is rather aggressive, in certain cases public sentimentality does tend to have a bearing.
Certainly, there has been notable public sentimentality in the Joe Horn case. Unfortunately, the general scope of this sentamentality has largely been based on incorrect and/or incomplete information.

It wasn't until the grand jury had made its decision that I began research into the case. I could get a lot more cooperative informaton once a decision was made.

Primarily, I entered the case as basic procedure.
Studying the initial interviews/statements to law enforcement, one of the things which struck me as questionable, was Mr. Horn's multiple examples of how he brought the shotgun to his shoulder, when several other matters seemed so vague.
According to Mr Horn, his initial awareness began while he was upstairs, checking email on his computer, and hearing something that he described as 'rather like breaking glass'. (studying that room, layout of the grounds, neighbor's house, etc., bring that as questionable). Mr Horn went to his window, looked through the blinds, and saw "two black guys" doing something at a window. He then saw them break into (go into) the house. Upon seeing this, he went downstairs, through the kitchen, kitchen door, out to the driveway, to his pickup and retreived his shotgun from its case behind the seat. (Mr. Horn later produced a receipt for the shotgun, Winchester 1300 Defender, from his wallet, to the officer doing the walk-thru). Mr. Horn came back the same path and went back upstairs to his room.

It wasn't until after that, that Mr Horn made the 911 call. (there are a lot of questions in my mind about that whole procedure, and what else Mr. Horn may have accomplished in the interim)

From the use of force statements that I've been required to give in the past, Mr. Horn's Q & A were very...expedient.
In summary, there were a lot of things in Mr. Horn's statements that just didn't add up.

Studying Mr. Horn's 911 transcript and recording, it became evident why many of the things did not add up.
Early in Mr Horn's 911 conversation with the dispatcher, the dispatcher became aware of Mr Horn's intent and alerted officers that he was going to "shoot their ass". The complete and clear recording and transcript of the 911 call, leave no doubt as to Mr Horn's intent before he made the 911 call.

Mr. Horn stated to law enforcement that he went out, the subjects came toward him, he said, "Stop. I've called the police.", one or both of them jumped at him and he shot.
The 911 recording and transcript show that Mr. Horn, walked out, said, "Boom. You're dead.", fired two consecutive shots, then a few seconds later, a third shot. The time between Mr. Horn's verbalization and the first shot is negligible and almost simultaneous.

According to the autopsy reports I have from the Harris County Medical Examiner's office on Ortiz and Torres, both subjects received entry wounds in the back, left to right and upward. Torres had entry wound in the left wrist, and Ortiz had re-entry wound to the upper neck, following the path of an exit from one of the pellets (further showing the upward trajectory.

Studying the layout of the neighborhood, neighbor's house, Mr. Horn's house, it would be a 'normal' route to the street to momentarily cross Mr. Horn's property.

The evidence corroborates my initial concern with Mr. Horn's statements to law enforcement.

From the autopsy reports, Mr. Horn's 911 call and transcript, it would appear that the subjects were making their way toward the street, and as Mr. Horn exited his front door, walked out enough for clear view, the subjects were just walking past him as he stated, "Boom. You're dead.", and fired the shotgun, hitting both subjects primarily in the left side of the back.

The upward trajectory of the pellets would follow the path initiated from a shotgun fired 'from the hip' of the shooter, rather than held up to the shoulder.

Ultimately, Mr Horn will have to face his own morality and spirituality in the matter. That fact finding mission is not one that can be manipulated for long.

My only specific concern in Mr. Horn's case is that of use of force issue.
Whether the deceased were "illegal, scumbags, criminals, etc." are matters of thier own device.

There are questions yet in my mind of deeper considerations of Mr. Horn's case (how could he hear 'glass breaking' under the circumstances, how did the suspects manage to choose that particular house at that particular time, etc.)
Even challenged burglars would make some attempt at quietness in that particular neighborhood in the early afternoon, and Mr. Horn's hearing would have to be very keen, due to the logistics and circumstances.

Summarily, though Mr. Horn's use of force may, by a very lenient interpretation, meet the letter of law, it does not meet the test of reasonable or necessary, and the intent was not the spirit in which the law was founded or in which can be morally justified.

Anonymous said...

Too many modern day people (a)don't understand the concept of "Some people just need killing.", (b) count on people not calling them on their rudeness, much less their criminality and (c) consider shame, civility and morality to be quaint archaisms.

Anonymous said...

tcsmpsi, you are really grasping at straws. Some folks are still trying to make Mr. Horn out to be the bad guy, instead of the good guy who did what needed to be done.

Have you analzyed the behavior of the burglars in such meticulous detail? Since you have analyzed how Mr. Horn didn't need to shoot the perps, how about an analysis of how the burglars didn't need to burgle?

Folks are always looking at the wrong things, even when the answers are right in front of them as plain as day.

As I've said to others... don't mess with other folks stuff, and you won't get shot!

-- chicopanther

tcsmpsi said...

In some cases, it is not so much that one does not understand the concept, "Some people just need killing".

Some understand that concept all too well, and work diligently to keep that process in check.

Frankly, some consider there aren't that many people worth living.

As I mentioned, anonymous, I wasn't speculating on the criminal aspect of Mr Horn's actions, nor of those of the deceased.

It is not that I do not have clear and concise understanding of all the aspects of that situation and similar situations.

I've been teaching different disciplines of force and deadly force for many years.

I also know firsthand with intimate familiarity the implications of its applications both within and without the criminal justice system.

From all I've been able to ascertain, this will be Mr. Horn's first glimpse into the realities that surround such actions.

Which is, frankly, more than that of most of the arm chair pilots I have heard thusfar 'woo-hooing!' Mr. Horn's actions.

From Mr. Horn's own publicly released statements, Life isn't all that good and his regrets have become overwhelming.

So now, who has become the victim by their own hand, over a bag of trinkets and a misguided sense of self-righteousness?

Right, wrong or indifferent, there are realities.

Rick R. said...

tcsmpsi:

There is one fact you've not addressed.

A POLICE OFFICER WITNESSED THE SHOOT.

He apparantly backed up Mr. Horn's testimony.

So, both the accused AND a witness (professional observer, in fact, trained in use of force and other matters) who has no reason to lie for him agree with Mr. Horn's testimony that it was a clean shoot.

Either the cop decided to become an accomplice after the fact in MURDER (by covering up the crime), or the chances are it was a justifiable shoot.

Anonymous said...

You know, I once had a friend with whom I'd grown up, and who worked overseas with us. He was the most mild-mannered, no-trouble person in the world, I think.
Well, he was home on vacation when another friend of his was passing through town. He arranged to meet the man at a local bar for a drink.
When he and the man were leaving, a Mexican came over and stabbed my friend to death right there in the parking lot.
Despite that the jury was told repeatedly by the bartender and the man who my friend met that there was nothing said to the Mexican at all, and in fact, the he hadn't even been near my friend, the attacker said that he'd stabbed him to death because he'd said a racial ephitet.
No, he stabbed him to death because he was white and handy. Something the jury decided to ignore when they freed the murderer.
Yeah, tcsmpsi, woo-hoo-hoo.

tcsmpsi said...

anonymous

I really do not correlate your 'example' to the case of discussion.

Rick R

If you will go back and read what I posted, you will notice (maybe) that I did mention the plainclothes officer you mention.

What that alleged officer could or could not ascertain from the situation, is an unknown. Most especially, if, as has been noted, he was 'ducked down' in the vehicle to keep from being considered the 'wheel man'.

I can tell you quite a lot about "trained professionals", that does not necessarily create credence to their considerations.


Ultimately, my concern is for the possible future 'Mr. Horns'.
Honestly, sure enough, bona fide criminals are not my persons of concern.

Am I critical of Mr. Horn's actions? Adamantly so. Why?
Ask Mr. Horn.

No matter what spin others may give the situation, or what Mr Horn's attorney prescribes for his client, Mr Horn is the sole responsible person for his actions.

This is why the aspect of necessary is completely important in the use of deadly force. Once committed, it can never be undone, and the inherent responsibility of it is adamant of its awareness.

If Mr Horn were not basically a 'good person', its effect would not be devastating.

Situations are very specific. A yellow situation is not a red situation. Each one completely specific to its own nature.

Mr. Horn's situation was not a general situation. Each minute detail has its own bearing.

There was an exclusive radio interview with Mr Horn a few days ago, in which he left no doubt as to his present mental/emotional state. He admitted he had already suffered one breakdown.

His life has become a very fragile shell. How could I condone that for a good person?

Bad persons are a dime a dozen, and I'm not really concerned with their well being, one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

What is really frightening about all this is the way the lefties keep trying to spin Mr. Horn's actions as something bad. They also would like to destroy Horn's life after the fact as a deterrent to other folks who would follow Horn's example and do the right thing when situations such as Horn's happen.

That makes me even madder at the lefties who try that stuff. EVERYONE should applaud Horn's actions so it will possibly deter other CRIMINALS from engaging in criminal behavior! Law-abiding citizens (such as Mr. Horn) should not be discouraged from acting appropriately.

Like I said before, don't mess with other folks or their stuff, and you won't get shot by them. However, you may still get robbed/murdered by other criminals who still won't abide by any rules of civilization, therefore, you still need to be armed so you can defend yourself if needed.

-- chicopanther

Anonymous said...

It has everything to do with it.
There is prejudice rampant, with judgment served according to the leanings of judge and jury. There will always be someone ready to yell 'racist' in the case of 'white versus color.' Miscarriages of justice are not peculiar to the State of Texas nor to white versus color.
Judgment must and should be based upon the testimony of witnesses, particularly qualified ones, and not upon racial slant, or your non-eye-witness point of view.
As to poor Joe Horn, had there not been the racial question, he very likely would have been given a quick and quiet trial, IF there was a trial at all, and he could go on living his life. As it is, despite the decision of the court, people like you will continue to try and make his life miserable.

Rick R. said...

tcsmpsi:

The ONLY mention of the officer on site that I recall from your previous statemenst was FOUR WORDS:

". . . the plainclothes officer witness. . . "

THAT'S IT -- you never even discussed him other than those four words, mentioned once.

I would say that certainly qualifies as:

"There is one fact you've not addressed.

A POLICE OFFICER WITNESSED THE SHOOT.

He apparantly backed up Mr. Horn's testimony.
"

The way you breezed over the plainsclothes officer's presense as if he didn't have ANY input to make (funny, he had enough input that teh prosecutor decided to call him before the Grand Jury AFTER having vetted his testimony) was not addressing the fact.

Even if the officer didn't see the shoot clearly, he had to have heard SOMETHING, and had SOME CLUE as to where the shots were fired from.

I'll bet he could fill in the garbled 911 tape and teh relative positions of teh participants as of the moments the shots were fired.

Which would be enough -- if Mr. Horn fired on people who were IN HIS OWN YARD, especially after giving a loud warning -- it's self-defense.