Thursday, July 31, 2008

CA: First suspect, then victim: shooting said self-defense: In a span of two days, Brett Nichols went from being accused of attempted murder to becoming the victim in the same incident. The 48-year-old Phillips Ranch resident was arrested Monday morning on suspicion of attempted murder. Police said he had shot a man and dumped the body in the hills near his home. But Nichols was released from jail Wednesday afternoon after police determined he was acting in self-defense when he shot David Rotela, a 22-year-old Rosemead resident who survived the ordeal, authorities said. "It was a dumb move for me to do that, to dump his body, but I didn't know what to do," said Nichols outside his Edgebrook Drive home. Sgt. Robert Baker said "The (Los Angeles County district attorney) declined to prosecute for that incident." "Nichols is no longer a suspect," Baker said. According to Nichols, the shooting evolved from a home invasion robbery about 1:30 a.m. Monday. Five people live in the house owned by Nichols, who said he was waiting for his girlfriend to come home when he heard a commotion in a bedroom. He armed himself with a gun, "just in case something got out of hand," and went to find the source of the noise, Nichols said. Nichols said he discovered a man holding a shotgun and wearing a ski mask who ordered him and three other residents to lie under a mattress. Rotela and a second man took cell phones, cameras and car keys from the residents. As the men left the room, Nichols followed them. When Rotela got to the front door, he swung around and pointed his shotgun at Nichols. Nichols fired at Rotela who then fell back onto the front walkway while the second man escaped with the stolen goods, authorities said."

Arkansas: Burglar shot while choking homeowner: "Chris Hooten, 34, of Greers Ferry, is recovering from a gunshot wound to his abdomen after a scuffle around 10:15 p.m. Friday. He reportedly entered a home without permission, fought and choked the homeowner, and was shot in the process. Hooten, and James Gadberry, 26, of Greers Ferry, reportedly went to the home of Don Brown on Shaw Road earlier in the afternoon Friday and an argument ensued. "Brown was upset over how Hooten and Gadberry reportedly treated a female," said Detective Phil Burnham with the Cleburne County Sheriff's Department. "Brown told them both to leave and they did." Hooten and Gadberry returned to the Brown home just after 10 p.m. "Brown was asleep on the couch when he heard someone beating on the door. He saw the two men outside and told them to leave." According to authorities, Gadberry and Brown said Hooten forced his way into the home, pushing the door open. "Brown fell on top of an iron stove. He got up and the two men continued to harass him. He went back to the couch where he was sleeping and pulled out a pistol." Gadberry reportedly moved toward Brown and was hit on the head. "Hooten jumped on Brown and started choking him. When he felt like he was going to pass out he fired a shot, hitting Hooten in the abdomen." Hooten made his way outside where he passed out. "Gadberry went outside too. Hooten was taken by helicopter to the White County Medical Center in Searcy. He underwent a successful surgery." The two men are being charged with residential burglary and aggravated assault.

Georgia group takes local bans down : "What began a few years ago as an online forum for gun-rights advocates has exploded into the leading group for expanding Georgia's gun laws.Since its incorporation in 2006, Georgia Carry has fired off a steady stream of lawsuits against local gun bans by leaning on a state law that bars any entity but the General Assembly from regulating the carrying and possession of firearms.Georgia Carry appears to be winning the fight against Georgia's restrictions, which it calls the most stringent in the country, according to John Monroe, the group's vice president and attorney.Restrictions on where permitted gun owners can carry weapons in public seem to be on the wane."

Fla. guns at work law upheld by federal judge : "Employees with concealed weapons permits can keep guns locked in their cars at work in Florida, but businesses are allowed to prohibit customers from bringing firearms on their property, a federal judge has ruled.The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Retail Federation, which challenged the state law that took effect July 1, huddled with their lawyers Tuesday to understand the split decision by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee and decide whether they should challenge it.Rick McAllister, president and CEO of the retail federation, said he doesn't believe his organization will appeal."

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