Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dad Kills Daughter's Boyfriend in Bedroom: Just Another Texas Tale?

The story came out a few days ago. A father in Spring, Texas discovered a man in his 16 year old daughter’s bedroom, and then killed him. The immediate reaction was “This is just Texas; the dad will not be prosecuted,” or “You can get away with murder in gun happy Texas.” (I actually made up these quotes as a composite of the comments of some of the sentiment on blogs). A Texas statute allowed a husband to shoot his wife’s lover: “Homicide is justifiable when committed by the husband upon one taken in the act of adultery with the wife, provided the killing take place before the parties to the act have separated.” The in flagrante delicto statute was repealed in 1974. The Texas statute did not allow the cockold husband to shoot his wife. Nor did it allow a wife to kill her cheating husband or his mistress. Thus, the instance of a wife driving her Mercedes over her cheating husband three times resulted in a criminal prosecution. This video was on the evening news one night; a similar video is on YouTube. Texas is the state where Joe Horn in Pasadena, Texas on November 14, 2007 shot in the back two burglars who had broken into his neighbor’s house. Here are the facts as we know them today. The four year old son saw two sets of legs in his 16 year old sister’s bed at 2:20 am. He woke up his father, who went upstairs to investigate. He found the man in bed with his daughter. He confronted the two. The daughter said she did not know who the guy was. The father can now reasonably believe the young man was an intruder – a trespasser in fact. The common law would allow the use of deadly force, if necessary, against the trespasser. The father could also reasonably the intruder was raping his daughter. He could also use deadly force to protect his daughter. The father pointed his gun at the intruder, who then made a sudden move in the dark. The father could now reasonably believe the father’s life and that of his daughter were at risk. Self-defense would further allow the father to use deadly force in self defense. No charges were filed against the father. The prosecutor will take the case to the grand jury, which will undoubtedly not indict the father. It was a justifiable shooting. The facts now showed the daughter lied. She snuck her 17 year old boyfriend into her bedroom. He wasn’t an intruder, but an invited lover. No matter, the father had every reason to believe a criminal invaded his house and daughter The young couple was doing what young couples with raging hormones have been doing since time immemorial. So was the dad. Young men should be careful about shacking up with a daughter living in her parents home. Some initial commentators claimed the case was another example of a white getting away with shooting a young black. All parties involved are Africa American. Let’s wait for some facts in the future before jumping to conclusions.

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