May 30, 2007

"I fired three warning shots and they kept coming at me."

So said David Kelly, according to the criminal complaint in the State Street murder case:
[Austin Bodahl, 23] and Kelly began arguing, according to a witnesses. Then Bodahl approached Kelly as Kelly was seated on a concrete flowerbed, and tried to punch him in the head, but missed.

Kelly, a familiar presence on State Street who wore a green kilt, got to his feet and walked backward as Bodahl pursued, throwing numerous punches. Witnesses reported hearing two popping noises, and Bodahl continued advancing on Kelly as Kelly walked backward onto State Street.

One witness said Bodahl delivered so many punches that he tired out, then gave up and walked to the curb. Kelly could have left at that point, witnesses said, but he walked toward Bodahl. They talked for a time in a casual tone of voice, then Bodahl threw several punches. Kelly fell on his back and Bodahl punched him several more times as Kelly tried to block the blows with his feet and arms.

Then came another shot. Bodahl walked to the curb, and he laid down.
Kelly -- who Assistant District Attorney Mike Verveer said is schizophrenic off his medication -- is charged with first-degree reckless homicide.

28 comments:

Pogo said...

Thank God, again, that the severely mentally ill no longer can be segregated from society, but are free to roam the streets, and shoot at other citizens at Madison and Virginia Tech.

Ann Althouse said...

Pogo, what about the extent of the beating he took before using his gun and the fact that he fired two warning shots before hitting the man?

nick danger said...

I suppose it will all depend on whether a duty to retreat existed and wether a reasonable opportunity presented itself that Kelly failed to exercise.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann,

I think the DA doesn't like the advance and re-engagement after the warning shot. However, given the case, I'd go with 2nd recless myself.

I don't know how you convince a jury that the accused didn't feel threatened, given the facts and his mental state.

Pogo said...

It's impossible to tell what happened yet. But here you have a schizophrenic off his meds who concerned Canadian authorities enough they wouldn't let him in (he thought someone was going to kill him). Me? I wouldn't doubt he started it in the bar, maybe by accusing the man of something.

Just 2 weeks ago in my town, the Lone Homeless Guy, a schizophrenic on the streets for at least 10 years, walked by a house where 3 young black men were sitting. He yelled, "Hey, you n****** should get a job!" And they promptly beat the tar out of him. No, they didn't have a right to beat him. But crazy people aren't unknown to use fightin' words.

And I don't believe we have a duty to retreat, nor should we create one. But most sciziophrenics feel threatened all the time.

paul a'barge said...

Shouldn't they get a job?

Pogo said...

No doubt. But the man is in current parlance a "vulnerable adult". Not smart enough to watch out for himself and literally doesn't come in out of the rain.

The next day, he walked by the same house, and the same 3 guys beat him up. He said to the cops, but this time I didn't say anything!

GeorgeH said...

What does schizophrenia have to do with it?

I will not be hit.
It makes me fear for my life, and I will kill you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Considering the deceased continued to try and assualt someone who had a gun and fired warning shots makes me question who really was mentally ill.

Pogo said...

I expect the man doing the beating was drunk, stupid, and dangerous himself.

But the families of schizophrenics fear exactly this outcome. And it happens too often. Beat up and left for dead, or in the news for a violent crime. And there's not a damn thing they can do for them. It's a horrible tragedy, a real waste.

Bissage said...

It's quite the mystery how a guy wearing a kilt could have squeezed off so many shots using one of these.

Freder Frederson said...

Thank God we live in a society where the right to bear arms is sacrosanct and a schizophrenic and a drunk can turn a fistfight into a deadly incident.

Michael said...

I would say that Kelly is in lots of legal trouble. You can't fire warning shots in Wisconsin, nor carry a concealed weapon. Furthermore, you can't in any way provoke an attack and claim self defense - you must be a reluctant participant. Kelly should have walked away when he had the chance, but didn't.

You learn these things when you take a concealed carry class.

GeorgeH said...

Freder Frederson said...

Thank God we live in a society where the right to bear arms is sacrosanct and a schizophrenic and a drunk can turn a fistfight into a deadly incident.


A fight is a fight.
If you escalate an argument into a fight why should anyone let you live?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Thank God we live in a society where the right to bear arms is sacrosanct and a schizophrenic and a drunk can turn a fistfight into a deadly incident.

Well for someone who has defended himself with a firearm I like the idea of sancrosanct gun ownership.

If the schizo just stabbed him or beat him to death instead, would it have been a better reflection on society?

Kirk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk said...

Michael,

Thanks for doing the research--I wouldn't have expected Wisconsin to differ from most other states in these matters, but it's nice to know for sure.

What about Duty to Retreat? (Not that it's material to this case if the shooter was a willing participant or--worse yet--the one who started it.)

Freder Frederson said...

If you escalate an argument into a fight why should anyone let you live?

No wonder I am so against concealed carry with an attitude like this.

Michael said...

Kirk: What about Duty to Retreat?

What I found:

939.48 - ANNOT.
While there is no statutory duty to retreat , whether the opportunity to retreat was available goes to whether the defendant reasonably believed the force used was necessary to prevent an interference with his or her person. A jury instruction to that effect was proper. State v. Wenger, 225 Wis. 2d 495, 593 N.W.2d 467 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-1739.

blake said...

If you escalate an argument into a fight why should anyone let you live?

No wonder I am so against concealed carry with an attitude like this.


You pick a lot of fights in real life, too?

GeorgeH said...

blake said...

If you escalate an argument into a fight why should anyone let you live?

No wonder I am so against concealed carry with an attitude like this.

You pick a lot of fights in real life, too?


Haven't been in a fight in 45 years.

If you don't assault people, you have no reason at all to worry, now do you?

Daryl said...

Freder: Thank God we live in a society where the right to bear arms is sacrosanct and a schizophrenic and a drunk can turn a fistfight into a deadly incident.

A one-sided street fight where three men gang up on one man is not a deadly incident? The victim was being punched repeatedly--that's not deadly or dangerous?

Three men went up against one guy. The three men attacked him. Only one (Bodahl) actually threw punches, but the others could have intervened at any time. By all accounts the fistfight was extremely one-sided. We have no reason to believe Bodahl's friends would not have joined in if Kelly started to get the upper hand.

Warning shots did not deter Bodahl. Talking to him casually did not resolve the situation. He was dangerous--deadly, even. Who knew how far he was going to go in attacking Kelly? How far was Kelly supposed to let him go before Kelly could defend himself? How was Kelly supposed to know how long he had to defend himself before the situation was completely out of his control?

The idea that a street fight is not a deadly incident is a joke. I wouldn't let someone beat me like that. If you beat someone like that because of their race, that's a very serious hate crime.

If I was in Kelly's situation I would not have bothered with warning shots. I don't owe anyone that much. I don't care what your motivation is.

I don't think rape victims have to wait until penetration starts before they're allowed to fight back.

Maybe the guy just wants to fondle your boobs--are you really going to shoot him before you're sure he's going to rape you? Of course. Because once he starts hitting you you're not going to have much chance of fighting back at all.

You have to make decisions about self-defense before you're unable to fight back.

Kelly's behavior was, at least as far as we can tell from the facts of the article, 100% sane.

What happened before Bodahl tried to punch Kelly? What was said after Kelly fired the warning shots? Those two questions need to be answered before we know the full picture.

Daryl said...

Bissage: It's quite the mystery how a guy wearing a kilt could have squeezed off so many shots using one of these.

Most derringers have only one or two barrels (and thus, only one or two shots before you must reload--derringers by definition can only hold as many bullets as they have barrels)

Derringers with four barrels do exist. That would explain how Kelly fired two warning shots, and then had two more left. It would also explain why he fired two warning shots--if I had only 2 bullets in my gun, I would not use them both to warn the other guy!

Why did Bodahl think he could get the better of a gunman? Why would he choose to try? It's bizarre. What was said between the two of them might explain it, but the only person who knows that now is apparently Kelly. Unless Bodahl's friends could hear what was said, and it makes Bodahl look bad, so they're keeping quiet.

Bissage said...

Daryl, thank you for the response and the info.

I was joking, though. Our hostess made it a theme that the perp was wearing a kilt, so I imagined that made him a Scotsman, so that meant he had a flintlock pistol. That's why I linked to the photo.

That was not a joke about the actual incident. It was a joke about kilts and clich├ęs. Think kilt salesman Angus Podgorny. Throw in some early Woody Allen doing Charlie Chaplin. Something along those lines.

I was originally going to joke about the perp stabbing the victim with a sgian dubh, but thought the better of it.

That’s too much graphic violence and not enough ironic connectedness, even for those of us silly persons who go regularly to Robbie Burns night and the Scots/Irish festival.

Hoosier Daddy said...

No wonder I am so against concealed carry with an attitude like this.

You go under the assumption that someone who is going to beat you up on the street will kindly stop before doing irreparable damage or death.

But to each thier own. Some people chose not to be victims.

j.smithey said...

We all know that there are 2 sides to any story. So far, we've only heard one. Let's talk about Bodahl a bit since there hasn't been much said. What's his side of how the incident panned out? His two buddies are staying quiet. Isn't it a moral and legal duty to come forth as a witness?

As far as we know, Bodahl,leaves his job in MN (or was he fired?) wants to visit Madison. He CHOOSES to be homeless, that's real noble, NOT! There is a hostel here, FYI.
He drops out of high school. Hmm. Even his papa, Larry, honestly informs the media (Waconia Patriot) that his son is "no question was pulling his own chain up hill." What does that mean?

And let's remember Austin's phone call to his mom on Mother's Day, that "all the women in Madison are beautiful." SPOOOKY

Perhaps we can take the time to hear the truth from Bodahl's buddies, and what skeletons HE was fleeing from.

digging deeper for the truth....

j.smithey said...

good point written by daryl.

important inquiries posted by daryl are def. in need of answers.

the rape analogy also brings light to the incident. 3 people to 1

Kelly could have fired ALL three shots or four to Bodahl, but only he only shot one, the 'get away from me' shot.

My friend was jumped by 3 guys outside a hotel last year. He was hospitalized for 2 months and amazing he is alive. The guys were not to be found.

Look into your life, this icky stuff that happens out there is real.

sammy said...

i only knew him for 9 minutes and i can tell YOU, you're way of pal. btw kelly had no opportunity to flee. not that he needed it. Wisconsin’s self defense law is one of the original stand your ground laws. kelly wasn’t required to flee as 1 he didn’t do anything to provoke the attack 2 even tho he wasn't required, his first and second attempt to flee was thwarted. kelly fired the single shot into bodahl as kelly was pinned to the ground and being punched, kicked, and having his head slammed into the pavement. all of this was only barely able to beat the prejudice against his purported schizophrenia diagnosis and the political influence of bodahl’s father, the only two reasons kelly was charged in the first place. if bodahl had been required to face the consequences of his actions earlier in his life maybe he wouldn’t have died from the hunger of just one. bodahl will never suffer the consequences of his deeds, for this i weep. Dirty Bastard!