Tuesday, July 7, 2009

North Carolina: No charges filed against Sneads Ferry man who shot intruder

Jacksonville, North Carolina

From the Jacksonville Daily News of July 7, 2009
No charges filed against Sneads Ferry man who shot intruder

A Sneads Ferry man who shot a teenager charged with trying to break into the man's home Monday will not be charged, authorities said.

Landon Crews, of Crows Nest Lane, shot 18-year-old Cyle Norris early Monday morning. Detectives with the Onslow County Sheriff's Department said Norris was trying to crawl through a broken window when Crews shot him in the right forearm with No. 7 shot from a 12-gauge shotgun.

Norris and three other local men were charged with first-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy.

North Carolina state law says that Crews was within his rights to shoot an intruder breaking into his home. General Statute 14-51.1 states, "A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence."

The law also states that a lawful occupant has no duty to retreat from an intruder.

"The long and the short of it is he didn't break the law," Sheriff Ed Brown said.

Attempts by The Daily News to reach Crews were unsuccessful.

Authorities said Norris, Trevor Sturgis, 21, and David Sonye, 21, tried to break into Crews' house after Joseph Michael Greene III, 16, who is also accused of attempting to break in, was forcefully put out of the home 20 minutes prior.

The four men tried to break down the front door, break out windows and climb through, authorities said.

Crews - who was at home with his mother - told investigators that he warned them several times before shooting. The four accused intruders were given a bond of $50,000 each.

The Sheriff's Department is seeking to talk with James Austin Boone, who authorities believe was at the residence around the time of the shooting.

Anyone with information concerning Boone's whereabouts can contact the Jacksonville/Onslow Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273 or Sheriff's Sgt. David South at 910-455-3113. Callers do not have to reveal their identities.

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