Wednesday, September 2, 2009

North Carolina: Man fired to defend himself, police say

Hillsborough, North Carolina

From the News Observer of September 2, 2009
Man fired to defend himself, police say

Police do not expect to charge a 65-year-old Faucette Mill Road homeowner who shot an intruder Friday night.

"At this point we believe he was acting in self-defense," Lt. Davis Trimmer of the Hillsborough Police Department said Tuesday. "He was alone in his house. He came out and found three men in his living room."

The case will be reviewed by the district attorney's office, Trimmer said.

Christopher Jerome Williams, 19, of 626 Wildaro Court in Hillsborough, was shot in the chest at 11:34 p.m. He is doing well after surgery, Trimmer said.

Police charged Williams and Audricus Southerland, 18, of 316 Lakeshore Drive in Hillsborough, with first-degree burglary. They were found a few minutes after the incident at a relative's home, less than a mile away.

Police arrested two more suspects Monday night. Brandon Borden, 20, of 548 Homemont Ave., and Artimus Stewart, 20, of 179 Torain St., were charged with first-degree burglary. They and Southerland were being held at the Orange County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, Trimmer said.

Police are not releasing the name of the homeowner. He told police he heard the door to his residence being forced open. He got a pistol and found three people standing in his living room. He fired one shot, hitting Williams. After the shooting, he saw four men running from his home.

North Carolina law recognizes people's right to defend themselves, others or their homes.

In cases of defending one's home, the law allows the use of deadly force against an intruder to prevent entry and to terminate unlawful entry if a person thinks doing so will prevent death, injury or the commission of a felony.

"I think they are more difficult cases to prosecute," said John Rubin, professor of public law and government at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government who has written a book "The law of self-defense in North Carolina." "The law provides a lot of protection to the homeowner," he said.

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