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No Charges in MWC Home Invasion Shooting

24-Jul-2017

The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office has announced that no charges will be filed in the home invasion shooting death of a 16-year-old intruder in Midwest City.

In the early morning hours of June 24, a Midwest City homeowner awakened to noises outside his home. The 62-year-old man armed himself with a shotgun as he heard someone trying to gain entrance to the home.

The homeowner then went to the front door and opened it, finding a person wearing dark clothing trying to break in. The suspect reportedly lunged at the homeowner with a framing hammer, and the homeowner fired at the intruder.

The injured assailant ran a short way before collapsing and dying in the homeowner's driveway. At 3:41 a.m., the homeowner called police to report that he had shot someone trying to break into his home. 

Police identified the fatally injured assailant as a 16-year-old boy.

Investigators also determined that the deceased suspect had also been involved in a burglary and theft at a nearby church. The teen was found with a backpack containing items from the church and a sledgehammer taken from a truck bed across the street from the homeowner's house.

Late last week--nearly a month after the shooting--Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater announced that he would not be filing charges against the homeowner. After the announcement, Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said, "Any person who makes a conscious decision to commit this type of crime should take note that homeowners have the legal right to protect themselves.That’s what happened in this event and the law saved an innocent victim."

Oklahoma law supports both the Castle Doctrine and "Stand Your Ground" laws. Both of these laws refer to a person's right to self defense and legal authority to use lethal force against the threat of violence. State law considers a death occurring from one of the following situations to be justifiable homicide:

 

  • When resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to commit any felony upon him, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is; or,
  • When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, when there is a reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or,
  • When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed; or in lawfully suppressing any riot; or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.

Because in this case the suspect was trying to unlawfully gain entrance into the home, and because he lunged at the homeowner in a threatening manner with an offensive weapon, the law considered the homeowner to be justified in using lethal force against the threat of violence and home invasion.



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