October 24, 2012

The NYT attempts an anecdotal argument against the law that lets you defend yourself in your home.

The anecdote simply does not convey the message the Times obviously believes it conveys.

107 comments:

Lynn Meadows said...

Well God help the next guy who gets into an argument over beers in someone's mancave.

TWM said...

What it conveys to me is that the wife is feeling pretty damn guilty for cheating on her husband and instead of blaming herself she is blaming the guy who was forced to defend himself.

Past that, there's not enough information to judge whether he should have fired or not. Was the husband a lot bigger than him? Was he in a rage? What was the nature of the prior physical altercation? Serious? Just a tussle?

I'm not sure I agree with the law saying you don't have to fear for your life. I mean, it seems to me it's pretty damn easy to claim you were afraid for your life if someone is breaking in your house. Or even rushing you in your garage. Most juries will find for the homeowner in those cases, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Of course, this is Montana.

Lynn Meadows said...

And, by the way, if he had taken an axe to him or a butcher knife, how would that have played out?

KJE said...

The message tells me that I shouldn't go confront my wife's boyfriend in his house.

And, as to the wife that didn't really want to be married to me, I think Dan Savage would counsel: DTMFA.

Sorun said...

Of course, a drunk, jealous man who walks uninvited into your garage to confront you is no threat whatsoever.

Leo said...

Its weird that the Times' idea of flipping the burden of proof is that the prosecutor has to disprove the claims of the defendant...

Shanna said...
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Marshal said...

Lynn Meadows said...
Well God help the next guy who gets into an argument over beers in someone's mancave.


Apparently Lynn believes no men have argued in the mancave during the decade these laws have existed.

Marshal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Let the civil lawsuits begin. Winners: Lawyers.

My own opinion is that the pendulum in Montana appears to have swung too far in favor of the person with the gun, based on this anecdote.

TosaGuy said...

Since the NYT wants policy by anecdote.......

These two guys were also unarmed when they entered another person's property.

Rae said...

The whole thing is such a chain of fail that I don't think it should be used an example.

Sorun said...

The homeowner should have used a well-placed karate chop or the Vulcan stun grip to render the intruder unconscious.

Bob Boyd said...

The whole thing's tragic, but if you intrude unlawfully into someone else's home with bad intentions and things don't happen the way you imagined they would, don't expect that the law will avenge you.
We'll never know what may have transpired if Fredenberg hadn't been shot.

Shanna said...

Just finished reading this. I completely agree the wife sounds guilty. As well she should. Affairs aren't pretty.

Matthew Sablan said...

Maybe we should outlaw affairs. Then this would never have happened.

Big Mike said...

Fredenberg was drunk and apparently depressed. Was this analogous to "suicide by cop"?

Back to your original question, Professor, can we infer that it is the position of the NYT that if someone unarmed buy physically strong enters their residence that they should accept their beat-down?

Shouting Thomas said...

Well God help the next guy who gets into an argument over beers in someone's mancave.

They weren't arguing over beers. They were arguing over pussy.

That's an entirely different issue. Which is why the guy got his gun.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also: If people are arguing over beer in one of their man caves, the other person there is clearly there by invitation. That's a much different situation than this one.

Bob said...

Should have knocked on the front door. That's what it's there for.

Chuck said...

The people in Manhattan recommend a better form of security. Live in large, fortress-like buildings with a guard posted in front, and lots of electronic surveillance.

They call them "co-ops."

Sorun said...

"The people in Manhattan recommend a better form of security. Live in large, fortress-like buildings with a guard posted in front, and lots of electronic surveillance."

Exactly. The trouble with Montana is that not everyone has a doorman.

Freder Frederson said...

The anecdote simply does not convey the message the Times obviously believes it conveys.

How so? Would you mind expanding on this statement made with such certainty.

Mitchell said...

To Mr. Fredenberg’s family, the county attorney’s decision not to press charges hit like a fourth bullet.

Now that's good writing!

EMD said...

This is the problem with anecdotes.

Is this particular case an outlier in "castle-doctrine" cases?

Does the NYT care?

bagoh20 said...

"They weren't arguing over beers. They were arguing over pussy."

Which should help to educate Ms Meadows that she is the one carrying the concealed weapon that kills so many, yet regulation of that is always off limits.

Regulate the pussy!

EMD said...

To Mr. Fredenberg’s family, the county attorney’s decision not to press charges hit like a fourth bullet.

Every page is the op-ed page!

TWM said...

"They weren't arguing over beers. They were arguing over pussy.

That's an entirely different issue. Which is why the guy got his gun."

Pussy kills, one way or the other.

clint said...

Bizarre. It's hard to believe a single honest reporter could write in one paragraph that the "victim" wasn't violent, and in another that he physically abused his wife.


Drunk, violent, jealous husband follows you in his wife's car, then jumps out and chases you into your home, while the wife is telling you to go inside and lock the doors.

I can't imagine why the guy felt he needed to defend himself.

kcom said...

There is the disturbing possibility that you can invite someone over (who you have a known history of conflict with) to "discuss" an issue and then shoot them inside your garage or house with a neat cover story to explain it.

Shanna said...

If people are arguing over beer in one of their man caves, the other person there is clearly there by invitation.

Indeed. If someone follows me into my house when I haven't invited them, after they've been following me on the street, after an affair, etc...I would be assuming ill intent.

Scott M said...

If you think someone’s going to punch you in the nose or engage you in a fistfight, that’s sufficient grounds to engage in lethal force.”

Punching someone in the nose can break a nose permanently or shove the bone up into the brain, killing the punchee. Fistfights can likewise turn deadly very quickly.

Nobody should expect a legal protection to lay their hands violently on someone else.

RichardS said...

How the law was understood in the founding era (from the Boston Massacre trials): "if a robber meets me in the street, and commands me to surrender my purse, I have a right to kill him without asking questions; if a person8 commits a bare assault on me, this will not justify killing, but if he assaults me in such a manner, as to discover an intention, to kill me, I have a right to destroy him, that I may put it out of his power to kill me."
http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde/portia.php?id=LJA03d031

Smilin' Jack said...

The anecdote simply does not convey the message the Times obviously believes it conveys.

Maybe the Times should focus its concern closer to home. NYPD cops shoot unarmed people all the time. They get medals for it.

Shanna said...

There is the disturbing possibility that you can invite someone over (who you have a known history of conflict with) to "discuss" an issue and then shoot them inside your garage or house with a neat cover story to explain it.

But people always lie about crimes. That is up for the police to discover, right?

I think you would have to be uninvited into the home for castle doctrine to count.

Strelnikov said...

The NYT editors would not recognize a legitimate self defense if it stripped naked, painted itself blue, and danced in front of them singing, "Legitimate Self Defense is Here Again".

Nonapod said...

What determines the intent of lethal force anyway? If a big angry guy is charging at you, how are you able to determine that his intents aren't "lethal". A blow in the right location can kill a person, whether it was intentional or not.

Rocketeer said...

Exactly. The trouble with Montana is that not everyone has a doorman.

I'd flip that, and say the trouble with the NYT is that everybody that writes there does.

O2BNAZ said...

The Times, like the left needs the people to be entirely dependent on government for their safety and well being. This way government will decide who gets protection, when and where not the individual. The ideology renders the people helpless and creates a power tier where The Times and the left imagine themselves on top. A place under any other circumstance they could never achieve through Democracy.

traditionalguy said...

Since the only legal remedy for adultery is now murder, this man stealing another man's wife knew he was in danger and shot the poor guy.

That said, the law has always presumed the property owner is the one under attack. It goes back to the quasi criminal writs of trespass.

TWM said...

"What determines the intent of lethal force anyway? If a big angry guy is charging at you, how are you able to determine that his intents aren't "lethal". A blow in the right location can kill a person, whether it was intentional or not."

The facts and circumstances at the time. If you can adequately articulate that you feared for your life or were fending of serious bodily harm, then you win. It seems, though, that Montana law doesn't even require that if it happens in a residence.

Matthew Sablan said...

"How so? Would you mind expanding on this statement made with such certainty."

-- The NYTs makes it clear they think you should be able to go into someone's property, threaten and potentially maim them with impunity. Take this sentence: "Had Mr. Fredenberg been shot on the street or sidewalk, the legal outcome might have been different."

That's obvious. On the street or sidewalk, Fredenberg had not made it clear he had intent to harm the guy. You can have loud shouting on the street without people thinking you mean to hurt them. You trespass onto their property, at night, and the situation is radically different than the one the NYT compares it too. Should a woman have to wait for the rape to start before shooting her assailant?

Strelnikov said...

As to civil suits, there will be no winners there, either, including the lawyers. Why? No insurance coverage for intentional acts. It's insurance which drives civil suits, without which a successful claimant is left to try to recover his judgment against the other guy's property. Good luck with that, here and in most typical cases. Most lawyers will not take an injury case where there is no fund against which to recover.

Strelnikov said...

Sorry. I should have said "those accursed lawyers", or some such.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Heather Fredenberg, 22, said she and Dan were passionate about each other, but also bickered about child care, bills, fixing the car and other stresses amplified by having two infants and not enough time or money. The county attorney’s report said they were “mutually abusive with each other, both verbally and physically.”"

-- Yeah. Sounds like a guy you want to let walk into your house at night.

Seeing Red said...
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bagoh20 said...

I'm the defender of myself, my home and my family. I have no right to risk the safety of those things by letting you hit me, knock me out and then do what you want with me, the people, and things I'm protecting. I have a duty, and you have no rights once you choose to attack. There will be only one outcome possible.

Seeing Red said...

The Times sells to people who think car-sized containers are the future. If you're out and about most of the day & you really don't have anything to steal, you don't need to protect yourself.

Strelnikov said...

Also, if this is the best fact pattern the NYT can come up with to oppose the castle doctrine, it must be working pretty well as intended.

karrde said...

There's something really big missing from the first four paragraphs of the linked story.

Question 1: Before Mr. Harper fired on Mr. Fredenburg, what was Mr. Fredenburg's behavior? Was there a threat to life and limb?

Question 2: If Mr. Fredenburg had been on the sidewalk, and behaved in the same way, would charges be filed against Mr. Harper?

Question 3: If Mr. Fredenburg had been on the sidewalk, and behaved the same way, should charges be filed against Mr. Harper?

There's this thing called research and reporting. People who write articles for newspapers should ask questions about how people were behaving, before they write an article about the actions.

It kind of helps the reader get a sense for why the one man is dead, and what led the other man to pull the trigger.

Mitchell said...

It's a nice touch that we get to see what Fredenberg looked like, laser-etched onto a box of his remains.

Maybe the bullets are in there, too.

CWJ said...

The curious thing here is that Trayvon Martin is mentioned at all. Where is the relevance? The situations are dissimilar in nearly every particular. The locations are thousands of miles apart. The laws in each state are different. There is no racial angle as far as I can tell.

Either Martin's insertion into the story is gratuitous, or the story is considered newsworthy ONLY as a vehicle to mention Martin's name.

Kinda like a years ago when stories read "in out her news from Iraq, Abu Ghraib."

edutcher said...

An angry guy barges into your house unannounced.

Whadda ya do?

PS Cute they try to tie this to Trayvon Martin.

Scott M said...

A different scenario: What if you host a party, inviting a lot of people, and someone gets violently drunk.

You've invited him/her, but now he/she is violent.

A second twist, what if the violent party-goer isn't attacking you or a family member, but instead is attacking another guest?

Shanna said...

You've invited him/her, but now he/she is violent.

IANAL, but I would think you would default to regular self defense laws (ie, you can defend yourself on the street if someone is trying to kill you, but you can't assume they are trying to kill you, just because they're in your space at the wrong time).

PatCA said...

If you go looking for trouble you'll find it.

Something bad was bound to happen with this motley crew.

CachorroQuente said...

About those yard sign thieves:

We don't have much of a problem with that sort of thing down here in Texas as here you can probably pop an after dark yard sign thief and get away with it.

That guy who shows up at about 2am and rummages through the trash looking for aluminum cans? Blow his ass away; there is no lower limit on the value of property which justifies deadly force in Texas if it is after dark.

Gentleman Farmer said...

This story really supports the proposition that there needs to be stricter licensing and permitting rules, and the ones presently on the books need to be enforced more vigorously. In this instance, the shooting victim had been issued a Vaginal Use license by the State of Montana. The kid who shot him, and the young woman involved, were both guilty of unlicensed use of a vagina. This and similar tragedies could have been avoided if Vaginal Use permits were more strictly policed. In short, guns don't kill people, vaginas kill people.

Michael said...

Here's an idea, a passing thought. Next time you want to say something to your neighbor try walking up to his "front door" and "ringing the bell" or "knocking." I know, I know! You have been told your whole life to do as you please, but in the matter of visiting one's neighbors it might be useful to follow my suggestion.

Ctmom4 said...

@ Gentleman Farmer - That made me laugh! It seems to me that this manipulative woman got herself a quickie divorce from a loser husband. Did she tell her husband that the boyfriend was packing to move out of town? I think maybe the dope was an innocent dupe, and the woman should be going to jail.

Crimso said...

Well Scott M, in Tennessee it isn't castle, it's stand your ground. In your hypothetical about threatening another guest, in Tennessee, it wouldn't matter. The law as written states that under circumstances where you can use deadly force if you are being threatened (this includes the street, the sidewalk, or any place you have a legal right to be), you can also do so if you are present when a third party is the one being threatened. As you know, IANAL, so don't base any decisions on whether to kill somebody on anything I write. And good to see you again. Here and there.

Rick said...
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Rick said...

Here is another anecdote for the NYT. In this case the shooting took place outside, and the intruder was unarmed(as far as we know from the story.

link

mikee said...

The Montana "anecdote" is a perfect example of why the Castle Doctrine laws were put in place. A violent, drunk attacker invaded a home and charged to within the Tueller distance of the homeowner, who rightly defended himself from the imminent attack.

Montana prosecutors have no case to try: this was a clear case of self defense and defense of others from imminent violent attack, and the law puts the burden on the prosecution to prove otherwise. The family of the deceased violent criminal attacker now have no legal avenue to pursue in suing the homeowner in civil court, because the homeowner acted in a fully lawful manner.

That is what the Castle Doctrine does: it stops malicious prosecution by the state for self defense in the home, and stops malicious civil lawsuits by families of deceased criminal attackers. The NY Times does not like those outcomes, because the NY Times does not like the principle of an individual right to self defense.

That the NY Times does not understand this anecdote is exactly why nobody cares what the NY Times thinks about gun control or self defense laws any more. The NY Times is on the side of criminals and malicious state prosecution, and against those who would defend themselves from both.

And as the Brazilian Hot Dog wrote above, here in Texas there is a legal presumption of violent intent to harm occupants when a dwelling is entered illegally after dark, because it must be presumed by the prosecution, by law, that the criminal knew the home likely would be occupied and entered it anyway. I would guess the NY Times would argue with this, too.

karrde said...

@mikee,

I'd not seen the phrase "Tueller distance" before, but it reminded me of the 21-ft circle, and the attacker running across it to knife the defender in less than 1.5 seconds.

Turns out that we're both thinking about The Tueller Drill.

PETER V. BELLA said...

The NYT picked one of the poorest stories to document their agenda. This reads like a sit-com and soap opera all wrapped into one.

James Pawlak said...

The People of Montana (As those in Wisconsin) passed a "castle doctrine" law by democratic process. AS usual the New York Times is against democracy.
As to Mr. Martin, he was an adult-size thug who violently attacked a praise-worthy citizen.

TWM said...

"I'd not seen the phrase "Tueller distance" before, but it reminded me of the 21-ft circle, and the attacker running across it to knife the defender in less than 1.5 seconds.

Turns out that we're both thinking about The Tueller Drill."

Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

Cosmic Conservative said...

I have taken concealed carry training classes. They teach you to shoot the intruder in exactly this situation. An angry, drunk man charging into your garage in a jealous rage is a deadly threat.

I can guarantee you any cop in the country would have shot anyone in the same situation.

Here's a thought. If you don't want to get shot, don't invade another man's house with intent to confront the home owner.

Seems pretty simple to me.

DADvocate said...

So, the article supposedly protests laws where you can protect yourself with lethal force in your own home without believing your life to be in danger. But, the NYT uses an example where the defender felt his life was in danger, and had had a physical altercation in the recent past. Not very convincing.

Plus, it all sounds like a story from a B-grade soap opera.

Big Mike said...

I hadn't heard of the "Tueller distance" before this thread, but it does remind me of a Mythbusters episode on Discovery Channel where Jamie demonstrated that from a dead start he could cross 20 feet of distance and deliver (what would be) a fatal knife thrust to Adam before Adam could draw and fire a gun.

Rob said...

Everything relates to the evil nature of the "castle doctrine" and Trayvon Martin. The New York Times would like to go the way of Great Britain and have no right to self-defense at all.

Anthony said...

Of course, a drunk, jealous man who walks uninvited into your garage to confront you is no threat whatsoever.

A drunk, jealous man who has previously engaged you in an altercation who walks into your garage...

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

According to TFA, "as he walked through Mr. Harper’s open garage door... in a doorway at the back of his garage, Mr. Harper aimed a gun at the unarmed Mr. Fredenberg, fired and struck him three times. Mr. Fredenberg crumpled to the garage floor, a few feet from Mr. Harper.

So Fredenberg covered the distance of the garage while a gun was being aimed and fired at him. Hmmm.

theBuckWheat said...

The Times would have us all be unable to defend ourselves and forced to call the authorities, whom the Times trusts will always act professionally and only use force as a last resort and certainly only in proportion to the threat.

Of course, earlier editions of the Times are full of abuses of citizens at the hands of the NYC Police, starting with the massive violation of the civil rights of minorities via the Stop and Frisk program. Then there are the homeless people who have been shot what, about a dozen times?

And then there is the legal truth that no less than the Supreme Court has ruled in a home invasion case that the police cannot be required to protect an individual citizen and cannot be liable when they fail to respond to cries for help fast enough.

No, the hard truth is that the Times has a double standard. They do not complain when elites, or the beautiful people protect themselves, but the when the little people do, their actions are always suspect.

Happily, the Times no longer controls what is news and what is not. Glenn Beck has more readers of his newsletter than the Times has subscribers.

hdhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
junyo said...

This wasn't some random dude walking into the garage. It was a person known to Brice, whom he had every reason to believe meant to cause him personal harm. When asked by Det. Zeb Dobis if Dan ever got violent, Heather stated yes. When asked
what she thought would have happened had Dan been able to get a hold of Brice, Heather stated
she thought “he would have tried to kill him.”
Fredenberg was apparently warned by Brice before he entered the garage that Brice was armed and yet continued to advance. Fredenberg's wife herself confirmed that. He continued to advance after the ultimately fatal shot struck him in the abdomen, causing the two follow-up shots.

Brice shouldn't have been messing around with another man's wife, and maybe deserved a good smack in the mouth, but this appears to be a good shot, castle doctrine or not.

Rob said...

hdhouse, why do you create an imagined situation rather than look at the anecdote provided by the NYT? Because you know the NYT dropped the ball and is not making the case you wish made, correct?

hdhouse said...

How hard would it be to come up with the perfect crime/murder script with laws like this?

hdhouse said...

Rob,

You are right and I took it down. In rethinking the NYT, it is clearly "the spirit" being overcome by "bad writing".

MB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerome said...

“The community has not been well-served by either the law or the legal process in this case,” the local newspaper, The Daily Inter-Lake, wrote in a recent editorial.

Well, there. Someone who owns (or rents) a printing press has published an opinion on the matter. I should think that settles it!

MB said...

When one is being assaulted, how do you verify the the person assaulting you is unarmed? Sure if it is a nice sunny day and they are totally naked, but then they might eat your face.

the wolf said...

Live in large, fortress-like buildings with a guard posted in front, and lots of electronic surveillance.

Or become mayor, who has 24/7 armed guard service, but doesn't think the little people have a reasonable expectation to protect themselves.

Paul said...

The NYT simple feels the citizen has no rights to their safety.

For them when trouble is seconds away, the cops can take minutes.

BTW, SCOTUS has ruled the cops have no duty to protect any one citizen (except Obama...) And thus if you are raped or murdered or tortured that is well, tough luck.

But here in Texas, don't go barging into peoples houses... you will be shot and neither you, nor your relatives, nor shyster lawyers can do a dang thing about it.

God Bless Texas!

Revenant said...

Sounds like a legitimate shooting to me.

Rob Crawford said...

The facts and circumstances at the time. If you can adequately articulate that you feared for your life or were fending of serious bodily harm, then you win. It seems, though, that Montana law doesn't even require that if it happens in a residence.

That's the norm in any state that has a "castle doctrine". Or, as they used to call it, "the right to defend my life".

Rob Crawford said...

The New York Times would like to go the way of Great Britain and have no right to self-defense at all.

That way their favored thugs would be able to keep people in line with impunity.

Crimso said...

"How hard would it be to come up with the perfect crime/murder script with laws like this?"

The script would be easy. Actually doing it would not be. People like to think they're smarter than the average homicide detective. They're not. It wouldn't take very long at all for your side of the story to unravel (it's remarkably easy to contradict yourself when telling a made-up story, and their questioning strategies are formulated to sternly test the consistency of your account; most suspects don't even realize the trap they're being lured into).

PaulV said...

Incoming NYTimes CEO is invilved In Penn ST type coverup of sexual abuse at BBC.
http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/192744/incoming-new-york-times-ceo-drawn-into-u-k-scandal-before-his-tenure-begins/

Rabel said...

Most of the questions raised here are answered in the county attorney's letter which is linked in the Times article.

That letter also exposes the slant in the Times version of the story.

Only question I have is whether an incident in an open garage should be covered by castle doctrine or stand your ground law - or in the absence of either, self-defense. County attorney said castle doctrine.

gregq said...

"I'm not sure I agree with the law saying you don't have to fear for your life. I mean, it seems to me it's pretty damn easy to claim you were afraid for your life if someone is breaking in your house. Or even rushing you in your garage. Most juries will find for the homeowner in those cases, giving them the benefit of the doubt."

After you've paid tens of thousands of dollars for an attorney to defend you, and had a ton of your life eaten up by court time.

The point of this law is to take that power away from prosecutors. That's why prosecutors don't like it.

traditionalguy said...

But he just acting neighborly and-+strolled over to ask if he could borrow his wife back.

The trespass was vis et armis because he wanted his wife back out of the guy's armis.

We need duels back again.

joeshmo99 said...

"No, the hard truth is that the Times has a double standard."

A more nuanced way of describing this is that they understand nuance.

Freder Frederson said...

If a big angry guy is charging at you, how are you able to determine that his intents aren't "lethal".

Assumes facts not in evidence. The size of either man is not mentioned in the article. Also in dispute is whether Fredenberg was charging (according to Harper) or standing still (according to Fredenberg's wife).

whoresoftheinternet said...

Sad attempt to bring up Trayvon Martin, the violent attempted murderer and thief who attacked a neighborhood watch guy who followed him whilst Trayvon was casing houses to robbed. And to make Trayvon seem sympathetic, since Zimmerman's about to find out a whole bunch of stuff about the guilty little fucker.

Heading off the anti-Trayvon facts at the pass.

Oh, and btw, a drunk, angry, violent, immature man within a love triangle marching over to his rival's home uninvited is the beginning of a Hollywood movie. It was called "Anatomy of a Murder." And in that version, the drunk, angry, violent, immature man murders the other guy in cold blood.

Great argument, lefties.

K Parsons said...

What part of "Permission to come aboard, sir", or "Hello the camp" do these people not understand. "came into his garage to confront....." seems pretty clear this man had mischief in his eyes.

DCS said...

Pretty typical of the mental deficiency that passes for intelligence in East Coast liberal publications.Apparently they never heard of people being killed by blunt force trauma, strangulation or concealed weapons.It would never happen in well tended upper West Side Manhattan. After all, New Yorker editor William Shawn was boinking an employee for 42 years with the knowledge of his wife. What's the big deal about infidelity?

gregq said...

"Assumes facts not in evidence. The size of either man is not mentioned in the article. Also in dispute is whether Fredenberg was charging (according to Harper) or standing still (according to Fredenberg's wife)."

Unless it's a really small garage, if he'd been standing still his body would not have been "a few feet" from the shooter.

MaxedOutMama said...

Freder Frederson - The wife's exculpatory statement has to be taken very seriously, because she is now angry at the shooter.

The wife thought that her husband intended to assault her "emotional lover". She says that she told him to go inside and lock the doors, thus implying that she feared her husband had an intent to physically attack.

Obviously she is now racked with guilt and misery, but how do you take a case like that to a jury?

The shooter was told by the wife that the husband intended to kill or assault him. The garage door was open (and all the doors unlocked), because the man was moving out of the house and they were cleaning it that day. The husband's appearance was unexpected.

Running into the house and running around to all the doors to lock them probably wasn't physically possible in the time frame. It must have been reasonable for the shooter to get the gun.

So now we end up with a drunk, enraged man having intruded into the garage. The shooter probably waved the gun and told him to leave, and he didn't, and may have made what looked like a move forward, or even a statement of refusal.

It's no good. You can't get a conviction from a jury with a case like that. There there is the prior confrontation.

How does any prosecutor stand in front of a jury with a straight face and say that the shooter should not have reasonably feared for his physical safety?

MaxedOutMama said...

PS: Freder - Men can be dumb as rocks. Read the attorney's letter.

It is blindingly clear that the shooter was attempting to escape the wife's attentions - he was moving out of state.

So poor bereaved wifey sets up this confrontation - she is trying to retain the guy's interest, apparently by telling him all about the terrible abuse. "Defend me!" Wifey is the one who took the call, and then found a pretext to delay her departure. She wanted her husband to come and confront the shooter, so that it would give credibility to her claims and keep the shooter involved.

When the husband arrived, she instigates again by telling the shooter that he is about to be attacked, and that he should run in and lock himself in. One suspects that she egged on the husband as well.

She did not probably intend for the husband to be shot, although I hope the cops have checked for life insurance policies.

Anyway, the shooter was genuinely afraid, and the shootee was shot a couple feet from the door into the house from the garage. According to the statement, the shootee continued to approach after being told of the gun, and continued to approach after being shot for the first time.

Getting a jury conviction would be impossible, regardless of the law.

Sam L. said...

I'm not buying anything the NYT wants to sell me. Especially after bringing up Trayvon.

Alex said...

Respect the cock and tame the cunt.

Bruce Hayden said...

A bit cynical here. Sitting right now in MT, a couple hours away from Kalispell. And, in much of the state, a lot of people don't lock their doors, because of just this - if someone enters their house with ill intent, they are somewhat unlikely to leave alive. Much of the state is well armed - talked to a woman today on the plane from nearby Idaho, who told me she doesn't lock her door, because she has a gun by each door in the the house.

What the NYT doesn't seem to understand here is that they are really talking about the difference between individualism and individual responsibility versus communitarianism. There is a saying that when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Well, in much of Montana, when seconds counts, the sheriff maybe a half an hour or more away. Depending on police is not practical. Depending on yourself to protect you and yours is. And, has been since the state was first settled, when the law was days away.

Keep in mind the distances involved in much of the state. For example, the nearest Wallmart to me right now is almost 100 miles in either direction, and this is one of the bigger towns between, with a population of a couple thousand. Guy at the pump the other day wondered how I could live with that many people so close - his nearest neighbor is a mile away. (BTW - I think that most of Nevada is even worse).

Lest you think that guns are not needed any more, we had black bear on the porch last summer, the summer before there were grizzly attacks 40 miles down the road towards Idaho (feds had relocated the problem bears, without telling anyone in the area), and wolves are now being hunted again because of their numbers.

Kalispell is apparently a bit more liberal than much of the state, but one reason that the prosecutor likely didn't bring charges is that he was unlikely to get a conviction, regardless of merit. For a lot of people in Montana, the question would have ended in their mind after finding out that the deceased had entered the shooter's house with ill intent. That he was shot was entirely foreseeable. That he did it anyway earned him the Darwin award.

Bruce Hayden said...

That the NYT article mentioned Treyvon Martin is, I think, highly indicative of the paper's liberal orthodoxy and inability to understand how much of this country lives. We don't live in a city of 8 million people closely packed together.

As has been pointed out above, the Martin/Zimmerman case was most likely a justified self-defense shooting. It had no relationship really with the shooting in Kalispell, which was legally justified through the Montana Castle doctrine.

The commonality though, in my mind, is that in both cases transgressed societal norms in such a way that the use of deadly force was legally justified under relevant state law. The level of individualism and individual self-protection involved in both cases may be impractical in a city with so many millions living so close together. But, is entirely practical and justifiable throughout most of the rest of this country. So, in the end, the biggest takeaway from the article is how out of touch that paper is with most of this country.

Rusty said...

Lynn Meadows said...
And, by the way, if he had taken an axe to him or a butcher knife, how would that have played out?

Same, same.
I know you wrote that trying to score liberal points, but the right not to be harmed or killed is an inherent right.

" Should a man come into your house to kill you, arise and kill him first."
From the Talmud or some such crap.

Leland said...

So Mr. Fredenberg isn't violent, he just has a record of being verbally and physically abusive with his wife. Ok, it was mutual abuse between Mr. and Mrs. Fredenberg, but Mr. Harper, who was in his own garage had nothing to worry about with an upset and drunk husband walking in to accuse him of adultery.