Saturday, May 03, 2008

Michigan: Fatal shooting ruled self-defense; other charges filed: "A man accused of shooting another man to death has been cleared of pulling the trigger, but is facing other charges related to the incident. Kenneth Lee Rodriguez, 18, was one of two people shot April 7 in the 100 block of Carrier Street NE. Patrick Batshon, 17, was arrested the next day and told investigators the shooting was in self-defense. He was later released pending further investigation, according to the prosecutor's office. Investigators say Rodriguez another person in the incident, Salko Durmic, 17, agreed to meet Batshon to buy some marijuana from him, and in turn sell him a gun. But it is alleged there was never a gun in the deal, and Durmic and Rodriguez conspired to buy the drugs and then rob Batshon. The prosecutor's office says Durmic and Rodriguez choked and punched Batshon during the robbery. That is when Batshon shot the two men. Rodriguez died and Durmic survived. Now the prosecutor's office says the shooting was in self-defense. But Batshon and Durmic have been arraigned on charges that led up to the shooting. Batshon is facing charges of delivering marijuana"

Minnesota: Gunman shot at liquor store had a prison record: "The armed gunman who was shot and killed with his own gun after he tried to rob a liquor store in Inver Grove Heights was identified Friday as a St. Paul man with a long rap sheet. Dwayne A. Curry, 42, died a few hours after the liquor store manager shot him at Trail Liquors on Thursday morning. Curry demanded cash, the manager grabbed the gun and the two scuffled, authorities said. The manager, Matt Huerta, also was shot. He was reported in good condition Friday morning at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. State records show Curry has served prison time for nine burglary and theft-related felonies since 1986. He served six years for a 1994 armed robbery in Washington County and was released in 2000, records show. He was booked last fall in connection with burglary and stolen property in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Inver Grove Heights police expect to wrap up the case next week and forward it to the Dakota County attorney's office for review, said Lt. Jerry Salmey. He said police have surveillance video from the store that will be reviewed. He said the county attorney could bring charges against Huerta, decline to charge him because he acted in self-defense or ask a grand jury to consider charges. "It looks like self-defense," he said. "This appears to have been a robbery that went terribly bad. Somebody died that didn't have to." He said only the suspect's gun was involved. He said it was fortunate the clerk, who had a minor gunshot wound, didn't get more seriously hurt. "He obviously felt he had to do something, and he did it," Salmey said.

DC: No Federal Charges after cops shoot black teen: "Federal prosecutors said yesterday that no criminal charges will be filed against two off-duty D.C. police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 14-year-old DeOnte Rawlings, saying they concluded that the youth fired the first shots. The U.S. attorney's office and FBI based their findings on gunshot sensor technology, shell casings found at the scene and the accounts provided by police. The gun that DeOnte allegedly fired has yet to be found, authorities said. Authorities spent months trying to reconstruct the chaotic events last Sept. 17 on a Southeast Washington street -- a sequence that began with two off-duty officers venturing out, on their own, to find a stolen minibike. They spotted DeOnte on what one officer said was his bike, confronted him, and the violence unfolded within just six seconds, including a running gun battle that ended with the youth's death, prosecutors said. As many as 12 shots were fired, including three or four aimed toward police by DeOnte, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor said. The investigation found that the officers acted in self-defense, he said. [The kid fired a gun and then it suddenly vanished?? VERY dubious]

A right to reasonable self-defense with an appropriate weapon: "Some time before the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to declare that Americans have an individual right to own guns. When the story comes out, the thing to look for is how strongly the court says it. Oral arguments on the case, District of Columbia v. Heller, were heard March 18. The tone of questioning indicated that the court is leaning toward protecting the gun owner. It's the first real gun-rights case since 1939, when a suspected moonshiner challenged the federal law against sawed-off shotguns. The moonshiner had argued that he was protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." In 1939, the court said the moonshiner wasn't protected because his sawed-off shotgun wasn't a militia weapon. It was a dumb answer that has been the last word in American jurisprudence for 69 years - dumb because if militia (National Guard) weapons are protected, then Americans are free to own machine guns. Some of the anti-gun people would say Americans don't have a right to any private weapons. There are places in the world with that policy, and some that have far less gun violence than the United States. But that isn't the issue here. We have the Second Amendment; it is part of our Constitution and is not about to be repealed. The issue is: What does it mean? And it won't do to argue that it is only about serving in the militia. That is what the District of Columbia argued in defense of its ban on handguns, and the court wasn't buying it"

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