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View Diary: Wife Beater Killed in Act - Stepson Charged with Murder - Tx Deadly Force Law Laughs @ DV! (144 comments)

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  •  The article says the boy was charged with (39+ / 0-)

    murder. But he will have a defense----that he acted in defense of another. Same as self-defense. His mother was treated at a hospital, which means there is evidence of assault and battery. Your quotes from the law above says:

    § 9.33. DEFENSE OF THIRD PERSON.  A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect a third
    person if:
            (1)  under the circumstances as the actor reasonably
    believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.31 or 9.32 in using force or deadly force to protect himself against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force he reasonably believes to be threatening the third person he seeks to protect;  and

            (2)  the actor reasonably believes that his
    intervention is immediately necessary to protect the third person.
    I don't see a jury not finding this to be a case of self defense (protecting another).
    •  I certainly hope you're right! (19+ / 0-)

      That statute depends on the others listed in it. Statutes are like the tax code. I think they're purposely made confusing so we peons can't figure them out.

      I just think he never should have been charged in the first place. Never, ever, ever.

      Three witnesses state the same thing. The mom was being physically attacked (and had to be medically treated - so crooked cops can't say the witnesses were untrustworthy), so to me, a wife-beater arrested him. I don't know who did it, but that's what my gut tells me.

      I know how the cops made me sit out on the porch barefooted in February, no jacket, while they (4 of them) sat inside with my ex laughing and having a grand old time after I ran to a neighbor for help. She called 911, and they let him drive off. He later returned, and started his posturing & threatening before being scared off by a relative who came to get my kids and me.

      "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

      by Deja on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:27:32 PM PST

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      •  You shouldn't go there (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        River Rover, HappyinNM

        making unfounded statements like that about a cop. Accusing someone of a crime they haven't committed is  technically libel, if I am not mistaken, and could subject you to a defamation lawsuit.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:15:01 PM PST

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      •  I hate to say this but it's possible they had to (5+ / 0-)

        charge him under the circumstances as a life was taken. Not entirely sure how the law is in Texas specifically but that's a common factor in a lot of places usually.

        I wish I had stocks in aluminium these days. All that foil would be a great investment opportunity.

        by Ceri Cat on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:16:16 PM PST

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        •  Beginning to think you might be right, Ceri. . . (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HappyinNM, FloridaSNMOM, Dvalkure

          Not sure, myself. I will keep an eye on this and see what happens. I was outraged at the arrest to begin with.

          I just hope he is freed of the charge - and not charged with some other bullshit , but lesser, charge.

          He was protecting his own mother after all.

          "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas Babington Macaulay

          by Deja on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:58:56 PM PST

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          •  The reason we know so much about the (4+ / 0-)

            Zimmerman case is because he murdered someone and he wasn't arrested. He claimed self defense, and the police let him walk. Only when there were demonstrations demanding his arrest was he finally arrested. In the case you described, someone was killed. I would hope that as a society we believe enough in the sanctity of life to charge someone with murder if they kill someone. But the law makes exceptions, the primary one being self-defense, which includes defense of another. IANAL, but I listened very carefully to the lawyers on tv discussing the rules around self-defense/stand your ground. It was clearly stated many times that the law covers defense of another. If you're going to follow this case, please publish updates. I'm sorry for what you've been through. Peace.

            •  The Zimmerman case was an excellent example (0+ / 0-)

              of how not to handle a case where someone died. The police fell down badly on that one in nearly every respect (I'm not so sure it wasn't total but maybe they got crowd control right). He should have been arrested for murder, the scene secured, and the investigation begun. Now none of that according to anything I read happened, which means they never even went beyond what Zimmerman had to say upon their arrival.

              I wish I had stocks in aluminium these days. All that foil would be a great investment opportunity.

              by Ceri Cat on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 06:03:21 PM PST

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      •  never ever? (0+ / 0-)

        What if it turns out it was a slap or push from him, and the kid shot him ten minutes later?

        Are you suggesting any time a man pushes or slaps or even punches a woman it should be free reign to kill them?

        I strongly agree with much stricter punishments for abusive men.  Put em in jail, fine them severely, take away access to their kids, add all sorts of stuff, but no I think the use of deadly force rules should be the same for non-DV cases as DV cases as far as guilt or innocence.

        I would support getting rid of any mandatory minimums in DV cases to give the jury/judge the opportunity to sentence to low punishments.

        •  Nobody needs to push, slap, or punch anyone. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snoopydawg, samddobermann, mamamedusa

          I think the saying is---your rights end at my nose. It's battery, possibly with assault, in any case. And it's against the law. In cases of domestic violence, man battering a woman, typically it doesn't just happen once. And typically the man is stronger than the woman. You're making assumptions not in evidence, like a time lapse or a minor dust up. Like you're looking for excuses for the batterer. The boy made a decision based on his understanding of the circumstances. The Court will decide whether his actions were justified. And your last statement about a lower punishment for domestic violence cases makes no sense to me at all. Just because people are related doesn't change anything. Unless you mean it makes it worse.

          •  of course they don't (0+ / 0-)

            not advocating that they do, but the question is, when do you forfeit your life by an assault?

            I think the line as it is drawn is correct, it has to be farther than a simple assault, it requires something threatening grievous bodily injury.

            I'm not making assumptions, I'm responding to someone making a broad claim with hypothetical examples that belie that claim.

            Lower punishment for DV cases is meant to say that those who murder an abuser in a DV case should be eligible for a lower sentence.

            •  From all the commentary re: Zimmerman and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Dunn, it seems the law is subjective in regard to the killer. There has to be a reasonable fear of grievous bodily injury or death in order to justify killing. Zimmerman had some boo boos, and he walked. Dunn had his word (no evidence of a weapon or threat), and the jury hung. All we know about this case is that the woman was treated for injuries at a hospital, and her son made the decision to kill the batterer. Assumedly, we will get additional information.

              Personally, I have stopped two men from beating on women by yelling at them to stop. In both cases I didn't know the people and they were in public. And I yelled from a distance. In both cases I startled the men, and the women were able to get away to safety. In the case being discussed, maybe yelling wasn't an option.

              •  zimmerman wasn't the fault of the law (0+ / 0-)

                but the individual members (or at least some of them) on the panel, and IMO a rather poor prosecution team (at least on that case).

                Dunn again I think goes on the jury.  The law was sufficient, and in that case I think the prosecution sufficient but the jury process, while democratic, is not always accurate and sometimes in individual cases not even sufficient.

                Maybe yelling wasn't an option, maybe killing was the only recourse, time and the facts will tell, but free reign to kill abusers isn't the answer either, as emotionally satisfying or even quasi-kharmic as it may seem.

    •  depends (0+ / 0-)

      when did he shoot? During the beating or after it was done? What was the level of treatment/injury? The more injury, the more objective evidence that she was in danger of death or grievous bodily injury...a simple assault isn't going to do it.

      Self-defense, and self-defense using deadly force are not the same thing.  Understandably, and I think correctly, the latter requires more threat of a greater harm than the former.

      It's not enough to be protecting someone from assault to kill the assaulter, you need to be protecting someone from a grievous threat (which the son very well may have been doing).

      I will say that I would treat the son as a juvenile, not an adult.  It's harder for someone his age to assess the situation and know how to react than an adult, so even if he did violate the law, he should be treated in the juvenile system, not the adult prison system.

      •  It's complicated by being a repeated (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean, HappyinNM, mamamedusa

        event.  The man probably beat on his wife regularly, and likely the beatings were punctuated by threats, possibly even death threats.  So even if the woman's life wasn't in danger during that last beating, the son may have had reason to believe his dad wanted to kill her.  

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 11:43:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  certainly true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          repeated behavior will factor into this.

          For example, let's say that an objective observe who saw only this event might say, not enough to warrant killing, but then add in the info that two other recent times, he beat her so bad that she was seriously injured...

          now it changes the objective nature to one where the son said, he's about to seriously injure her again, and this time he might not stop til she's dead.

          Definitely a lot of ways this could be seen that result in the right course being no indictment.

    •  And also (0+ / 0-)

      The diarist's findings of other cases that received a "no bill" are all cases in which there was initially a police action (presumably arrest, charges filed). Otherwise, it would never have been reviewed to determine whether to drop the charges.

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