Pasadena, Texas man cleared in shooting of burglars

I have had two previous postings about this well known case here and here. Several people over the last week wrote me about it and I should have posted this earlier. Both of the burglars were illegal immigrants, one of them had already been deported once. Houston's Channel 2 reports this:

A Pasadena homeowner who fatally shot two men suspected of burglarizing his neighbor's house was cleared by a Harris County grand jury on Monday, KPRC Local 2 reported.
Joe Horn's attorney, Tom Lambright, said that his 62-year-old client "acted in self-defense and had no choice."
Grand jurors announced the decision to not have charges filed against Horn after gathering evidence for two weeks, including hearing testimony from Horn.
Pasadena police said Horn killed burglary suspects Hernando Torres, 38, and Diego Ortiz, 30, by shooting them in the back at about 2 p.m. on Nov. 14 as they ran from Horn's neighbor's house in the 7400 block of Timberline Drive.
"Today, having heard and considered all the evidence, the grand jury no-billed Joe Horn. I can tell you the grand jury conducted a thorough review of the evidence and the testimony," Harris County District Attorney Ken Magidson said. . . .

Horn called 911 and told a dispatcher he witnessed two men break into his neighbor's house and that he would shoot if he stepped outside.
Horn told a 911 operator to hurry police because he was not going to let the men get away.
Horn: "I can't take a chance on getting killed over this, OK?"
911: "No."
Horn: "I'm going to shoot."
911: "Stay inside the house and don't go out there, OK?"
A few minutes later, Torres and Ortiz, both illegal immigrants, were dead.

Coverage from the Houston Chronicle is available here.

Thanks to Scott Davis for sending me these and many other links to the story. Sonya Jones provided this link from CNS here.

Here is a report of a similar defensive gun use in San Antonio.

San Antonio police said Stevens likely would not be charged in the 9:30 p.m. shooting of Stephen C. Garcia Jr. at Stevens' home in the 6500 block of Arrid Pass. Garcia survived a gunshot wound to his abdomen and was charged with burglary of a habitation. He was taken to University Hospital, where he remained in critical condition Tuesday. His bail was set at $75,000.

“It appears it was in self-defense, and that the homeowner protected his family,” said San Antonio Police Department spokesman Joe Rios.

Texas law has permitted residents to use deadly force to protect themselves and their personal property for many years. Last year, the Legislature broadened the law to include a “castle doctrine,” allowing a person to use deadly force in self-defense against an intruder without having to retreat into a home.



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