The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Self defense is a pretty good reason


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Dec. 10, 2016 - 1:40 AM

Clay Neely's crime reports of "alleged" burglars returning to the scene of the crime in an effort to once again burglarize a business on Welcome Road merely proves that the stupidity of choosing burglary as a profession. It is duped by the insanity of returning to the same location twice, as if there weren't other, less likely places to find a more pistol-happy victim ready to end their repetitive crime spree.

Wasn't it Einstein who said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"? Were these bumbling idiots hoping to get caught, or even better, get shot prior to their capture? Stop us before we become gainfully employed.

Not all burglars merely creep around your property stealing your stuff for drug money. Some break in while you are there and aren't satisfied until their beatings and torture yield the payload that they think you are worth, as in the case with Dorothy Dow in Meriwether County. Those "suspects" broke the arms and fingers of an 83-year-old lady after beating her and ultimately setting her on fire. No modern day justice could satisfy the torment inflicted on that poor lady short of like-kind punishment, which would require sledge hammers and blow torches.

I remember a case involving a homeowner on Emerson Avenue in Atlanta who was at home recovering from chin surgery. He was awoken by someone ringing the front doorbell about 40 times. He slowly parted the horizontal blinds to see two young men, who all of a sudden ran around to the back door.

The homeowner said he grabbed his Glock .40 caliber handgun while standing at the edge of his kitchen and readied his aim. One of the suspects began kicking on the back kitchen door in an apparent burglary/home invasion attempt. The homeowner fired one round through the door, and the suspects scattered. The call came in, and we set up a three-block perimeter patrol, catching two suspects and throwing them in jail for burglary (attempted is as good as committed).

My sergeant and I interviewed the homeowner, assuring him his actions resulted from fearing for his life against serious bodily injury or death. A responding investigator queried as to whether we had "coached" the victim. But our position was more about the proper assimilation of facts and fears than dishonest motives. No point in the victim being a victim… twice.

The next day the body of a young man was found behind the homeowner’s shed, killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest. It was later determined the deceased was part of the three-man robbing crew that had threatened the homeowner the previous day and had committed over 30 burglaries in the area. There was no need to interview the homeowner again. Self defense yesterday… justifiable homicide today.

Some would say the homeowner in this case could have shot the wrong person, shot too soon, or should have fired the famous "warning-shot" above their heads. But does a victim have to wait until the perpetrator has them in a strangle-hold before exercising lethal force?

Georgia law states: A person is justified in using force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or a third party or to prevent a forcible felony.

I applaud the lady that acted in self defense, firing into a burglar-operated stolen truck attempting to run her over. I also salute the Coweta County Sheriff's Office supporting the victim's right of self-defense.