Friday, August 04, 2006

CO: Charge tossed in Funky Buddha case: "After watching surveillance tapes from the Funky Buddha restaurant, a Denver judge orders the co-owner to stand trial for first-degree assault. A Denver businessman who said he shot a burglar in self-defense inside his restaurant won a crucial victory Monday when a judge threw out an attempted-murder charge against him. County Judge Aleene Ortiz-White said that Dwayne Stepp, 44, who broke into the Funky Buddha bar at 3:11 a.m. on Jan. 3, repeatedly advanced toward co-owner Christakes Christou. The judge, who twice watched surveillance-camera tapes of the encounter, said Stepp and Christou were in close contact during the confrontation. Although armed with a pistol, Christou, 60, did not fire, she said. Instead, Ortiz-White said, Christou pushed Stepp back twice. Only on the third occasion, when Stepp again was right in his face, did Christou shoot, wounding Stepp in the abdomen. The judge, however, did order Christou to stand trial for first-degree assault, leaving it up to a jury to decide whether Christou intended to 'cause serious bodily injury' to Stepp by shooting him."

PA: Man claims self-defense in shooting: "A Third Avenue man who shot another man in the leg Friday night using a rifle said he did it to protect himself and his family from two men, one of whom was armed, who burst in through the open side door together. 'I did what I had to do,' said the 39-year-old resident of 419 Third Ave., who said he shot the first man who came in by using .30-30 rifle shortly after 11 p.m. ... Asked what reason two men had for bursting into his residence, the man said a few minutes before his wife was outside with their 4-year-old daughter walking the dog. His wife, who also did not want to be identified, said a man came up to her and pointed a gun at her. He said, ''I'm going to kill your ... dog,'' she said. The woman said she didn't know the assailant. She said she then saw another man, whom she believed to be her neighbor, grab the gun and wrestle it away from him. Just then, a second gunman fired several gunshots."

Australia: The jury refused to convict guard who shot fleeing robber "More than two years after shooting dead a man who had beaten and robbed her, Sydney security guard Karen Brown today walked away from court a free woman. A NSW Supreme Court jury took almost three hours to acquit Ms Brown, 42, of both the murder, and the alternative charge of manslaughter, of William Aquilina in a stolen car outside the Moorebank Hotel on the morning of July 26, 2004. Mr Aquilina, 26, had seconds earlier repeatedly beaten Brown with a knuckle-duster and dragged her along the ground, before stealing a backpack containing about $43,000 in takings from the hotel and a nearby restaurant".

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