Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Jackson, Mississippi

From the Jackson Clarion-Ledger of April 20, 2004:

Homeowner not indicted in killing

A Jackson homeowner who fatally shot a man who broke into his home last year should not be prosecuted, a Hinds County grand jury has determined.

"The grand jury didn't indict," said Hinds County Chief Assistant District Attorney Robert Taylor.

Tommy Christian, 53, of 5933 Floral Drive, shot and killed Christopher Stiff, 31, of 3811 Mosley Ave., after finding Stiff inside his back door on Oct. 21, police said.

Christian couldn't be reached for comment Monday. He has said he shot Stiff because he didn't know what Stiff's intentions were after he broke into his home.

Christian's neighbor, James E. Bibbs, said he feels good knowing Christian won't face charges.

"Maybe it will send a message," Bibbs said, adding a person should be able to protect his home.

The grand jury considered the case earlier this year, Taylor said. He revealed the grand jury's decision when asked about the case Monday.

Stiff had been arrested more than 30 times since his first arrest on a burglary charge on July 26, 1990.

A different grand jury in December opted against indicting another Jackson homeowner who shot and killed a man after hearing glass shattering in one of his bedrooms. Sinartha Bradfield, 31, of 1807 Linda Lane, shot Anthony Mayers, 31, of 304 Jennings St., on Sept. 3. Mayers also had an extensive criminal record.

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