Thursday, March 12, 2009

A British rarity: "A homeowner has been cleared of murder after he shot and killed a bodybuilder at point-blank range when he tried to break into his house. Kenneth Batchelor, 51, fired a shotgun at "very close quarters" at 42-year-old Matthew Clements, who had climbed the scaffolding of his home to try to force open an upstairs window. Mr Batchelor had received a barrage of threatening phone calls from Mr Clements, a 20-stone nightclub bouncer, who was demanding maintenance money from the Batchelor family following a former relationship between his girlfriend and Mr Batchelor's brother Gary, which produced three children. The jury at Maidstone Crown Court took just one hour unanimously to acquit Mr Batchelor of the murder of Mr Clements who, the court heard, had an "explosive temper" and had become "fixated" with demanding money from the Batchelor family. Mr Batchelor wept as the jury returned their verdict. During his trial, they heard that Mr Clements started to "demand money with menaces" and had begun to make threatening phone calls in November 2007 after drinking heavily and smoking cannabis. The court also heard that Mr Clements, from Ashford in Kent, was "well known" to police, settled disputes by violence and had once turned up at a garage to threaten the manager with an Uzi submachine gun. Mr Batchelor, a mechanic, legally owned the shotgun which killed Mr Clements with one shot to the chest, and told the court that it had discharged accidentally as he stood terrified at a top floor window which Mr Clements was trying to open...."

NH: No charges against Brinks guard in shooting: "There will be no criminal charges against a Brinks guard who shot at two teenagers driving away from an attempted unarmed robbery, District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. Blodgett said after discussing the matter with his office's lawyers, he made the decision not to prosecute the armored truck guard, who police said was the victim of the attempted robbery. "We reviewed all the facts and circumstances and felt that it would not be in the interest of justice to bring any action against the guard," Blodgett said yesterday.... Police said that late on the morning of Jan. 14, Isaac Sosa, 18, of 100 Berkeley St., second floor, Lawrence, and Christopher Delarosa, 19, of 275 Andover Road, Billerica, tried to rob a Brinks armored truck guard who was about to replenish an ATM in a Bank of America kiosk at Riversedge Plaza. Police said the Brinks guard fired his handgun at the car as Sosa and Delarosa drove away and that the bullet struck the rear of their car. Sosa and Delarosa were arraigned in Haverhill District Court on unarmed robbery charges while Delarosa also was charged with assault and battery. During their initial arraignment in Haverhill, prosecutor John DePaulo said Sosa had waited nearby in his father's car while Delarosa tried to rob the guard. DePaulo said Delarosa punched the guard in the face, made an unsuccessful grab for the bag of money, then fled in Sosa's car. The men were captured minutes later by police on Route 125 in Plaistow, N.H."

Deadly commotion in South Africa: "Former Big Brother housemate and security specialist "Bad Brad" Wood has helped police arrest robbers after a shootout that left one robber dead, another injured and a policeman shot in the arm. Gunshots ripped across Louis Botha Avenue in Orange Grove at noon on Wednesday after three robbers attacked a supermarket just as a patrolling police car drove by and spotted them. The main road was cordoned off. "I pulled in and heard a whole commotion going on. There were a lot of taxis and people running around and I saw a policeman get shot," said Wood, who happened to be driving to a venue nearby. One robber tried to leave the shop and was shot in the doorway, where he died. Wood said he joined up with an inspector and a constable, and together they entered the supermarket, where they found two suspects hiding in the roof. Wood said he climbed into the roof and managed to get the suspects down, and they were arrested on the scene - one of them having sustained a flesh wound to his buttocks. Asked whether he had shot anyone, Wood declined to comment, on advice of his lawyer, but said that his gun had been taken in by the police for ballistics testing. "I am not saying anything about shooting anyone - but I can tell you that I double tapped (shot at) the first suspect, I double tapped the second guy and then I did a bit of cover fire in the roof. So all in all, it was six shots and now I am minus my gun," Wood said. Captain Phillip Maganedisa of Norwood police said the robbers had entered the supermarket at noon and closed the doors. At the same time a patrol car drove past, and one of the robbers fired shots at police".

IL: Annual gun lobby day : "Several thousand Illinois gun owners are expected to descend upon the Capitol tomorrow for the annual Illinois Gun Owner Lobby day. The event, sponsored by the Illinois State Rifle Association,, GunsSaveLife, and the Sangamon County Rifle Association, brought about 2,500 supporters to Springfield last year. The event kicks off with a march to the Capitol and a rally on Capitol steps. The groups will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. The women attending the lobby day have asked to meet with Gov. Pat Quinn and plan to present him with letters pressing for a concealed carry law in Illinois. Currently only two states - Illinois and Wisconsin - do not permit concealed carry of handguns."

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