Monday, September 21, 2009

Alabama: Wetumpka man shoots alleged burglar

Birmingham, Alabama

From the Montgomery Advertiser of September 18, 2009
Wetumpka man shoots alleged burglar

A Montgomery County man is in a Birmingham hospital with life-threatening injuries after a Wetumpka homeowner shot him during an alleged burglary.

Michael Dale Roberts II, 36, of Hope Hull was in the critical care unit Thursday of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, said Jeremy Amerson, an investigator with the Elmore County Sheriff's Office. The incident occurred about 2:15 a.m. Thursday on Nancy Road in Wetumpka, police reports show.

Sheriff Bill Franklin declined to release the homeowner's name since he hasn't been charged with a crime in connection with the shooting.

The homeowner was awakened when he heard noises coming from his outside utility shed, Amerson said. The 64-year-old man told deputies he went to investigate and saw Roberts coming out of the shed carrying a grass trimmer and a chain saw.

"The two men got into a struggle, and then Roberts went to his car to try and get away, but the car wouldn't start," Amerson said. "He then got out of the car and told the homeowner he was going to shoot him."

Amerson said the homeowner went inside the house, and Roberts yelled from the yard that he was going to shoot him.

The homeowner then got a 20-gauge shotgun and shot Roberts in the chest, Amerson said.

Roberts faces three counts of theft, two counts of breaking and entering, and one count of burglary, court records show. Bond hasn't been set since he is in the hospital.

The homeowner acted within his rights, said District Attorney Randall Houston.

"The bad people need to realize that folks in Elmore County have guns and aren't afraid to use them," Houston said. "A man has the right to protect his life and his property, and all the evidence gathered in this case shows that's just what happened."

Houston said his office will present the case to a future session of the Elmore County grand jury, but he didn't expect any charges would be filed against the homeowner.

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