A Texas man, Raul Rodriguez 47, was found guilty of murdering his neighbor Kelly Danaher in 2010. Rodriguez killed Danaher during a confrontation over loud music coming from Danaher's house during a birthday party being held for his wife and daughter. Rodriguez, approached Danaher's houseas shown during a 22 minute video recorded by Rodriguez, and argued with Danaher and two others. Rodriguez claimed that he was within his rights under Texas' version of SYG.
During the video you can hear Rodriguez claiming that his life was in danger and that "these people are going to kill me". He then said "I'm standing my ground here," and shot Danaher after it looked like someone grabbed his camera.
The reference to standing his ground is similar to the claim made by George Zimmerman, the accused killer of Trayvon Martin. The Texas self defense doctrine is different than that of Florida.
Texas' version of the law, which is known as the Castle Doctrine, was revised in 2007 to expand the right to use deadly force. It allows people to defend themselves not only in their homes but also in their workplaces or vehicles. Legal experts say the expansion also gave people wider latitude on the use of deadly force.To me, the most damning evidence is the video that Rodriguez attempted to use as a part of his defense. You can clearly hear and see that Rodriguez provoked the confrontation and then brandished his weapon.
The law also says a person using force can't provoke the attacker or be involved in criminal activity at the time.
(prosecutor Kelli) Johnson told jurors prosecutors don't have any problems with guns in Texas.TRIGGER WARNING: Video is graphic
"But with that comes a lot of responsibility. It has to be used as a last resort," she said.
This is a perfect example of what SYG is not supposed to be used for. I believe in the Second Amendment and the right of citizens to keep and bear arms, but what Rodriguez did was not right. He started the confrontation, escalated it and then killed Danaher. Hopefully the prosecution in the Zimmerman case has enough evidence to show that Zimmerman provoked and escalated the killing.