Sunday, October 18, 2009

MO: Parole absconder gets shot while robbing: "A parole absconder from St. Louis is believed to have shot another man in a Tuesday night robbery near downtown Jefferson City, then was shot by one of his victims who acted in self-defense. Patrick Evans, 37, [above] who was released from prison two weeks ago, was found hiding in a small room in an upstairs apartment at 611 E. Capitol Ave. just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, more than 8 hours after the shooting incident downstairs at the same address, according to police reports. "Officers were ready to re-canvass the area as daylight broke when they found a new blood trail which led to the apartment," said Capt. Mike Smith of the Jefferson City Police Department. "A female resident, we believe, helped hide him." Late Wednesday afternoon, the Cole County prosecutor charged Evans with first-degree robbery. The charges say Evans also is known as Patrick Harris. Evans suffered a gunshot wound to his left hand. The man Evans is believed to have shot, a 34-year-old Jefferson City resident, underwent minor surgery Wednesday morning at University Hospital in Columbia. He was shot three times with a revolver, and his wounds were to his hands and shoulder. Police believe Evans approached a group of individuals outside the Capitol Avenue residence, brandishing a gun. He then ordered the group to go inside the residence and lie on the floor. He then began taking items from the victims. Evans ordered one of the victims to collect everyone's possessions. While this was going on, one of the victims confronted Evans with a .45-caliber gun. The victim fired at Evans to defend himself and the other victims. Evans admitted to the robbery in an interview with police"

SC high court orders new trial, sets precedent: "The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a 42-year-old man convicted of killing his cousin. The decision sets a precedent for cases involving weapons and self-defense arguments. The court overturned the 2006 murder conviction of Johnny Rufus Belcher in the Memorial Day 2004 shooting death of Fred Suber. The jury could have chosen murder, voluntary manslaughter or self-defense. The high court said the jury was inappropriately told to infer the death involved malice because a gun was used. Defense attorney Rauch (Rock) Wise argued it's an unfair assumption when both people are armed. The high court agreed, saying the statement should no longer be used when the defense gives evidence that would reduce or excuse the killing. The decision reverses a century-old precedent."

VT Students Join LU in Fight for Gun Rights: "Supporters of the Second Amendment gathered Friday afternoon at the Liberty University (web) School of Law for a gun rights symposium. The discussion of current legal cases turned into a cry for help from students at Virginia Tech. Some Virginia Tech students even skipped class to do it. Alyson Boyce with VT Students for Concealed Carry President said, "Two and a half years ago, if you would have asked me anything about gun rights, I would not have been able to tell you a thing." Now, Boyce is the president of the Hokie Chapter of Students for Concealed Carry Rights. "I lost a very good friend of mine named Mike Pohle on April 16th and after that, it really opened my eyes to the discussion," Boyce said. VT Students for Concealed Carry Founder Ken Stanton said he wants to be a college professor. He founded the student group after the massacre because he doesn't believe he should have to choose between education or self defense. "It's a decision I don't like to make. I am very passionate about education but I am also very passionate about surviving any kind of disaster so that I can continue to teach in the future," Stanton said. Virginia Citizens League President Philip Van Cleave said, "The worst crimes we have, if you think back on all these massacres, they happened in gun-free zones. Virginia Tech was a gun free zone." The student group asked for help in getting their college concealed rights passed next year in the General Assembly. They admit there's no proof it would stop future campus shootings, but they believe it will. "The reality is that nobody even had the chance to find out if it could have stopped or kept the body count down," Boyce said. Students for Concealed Carry Rights believe they have a good shot at getting their bill passed. They tell us it depends largely on who wins the governor's race."

Montana: Rehberg wants guns allowed on Amtrak trains once more: "Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg is pitching a plan to let Amtrak travelers bring guns on the tax-supported rail service, provided they keep them locked up in checked luggage. Firearms have been prohibited on Amtrak trains since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. "It's Congress' responsibility to bring some common sense to (train) regulators," Rehberg said in an interview with the Missoulian State Bureau. "If people are driving around with these weapons in cars and trucks, do you really think you're that much more at risk on Amtrak?" Rehberg announced Wednesday he is co-sponsoring the Amtrak Secure Transportation of Firearms Act of 2009, along with several other representatives. The bill would require Amtrak to develop the regulations necessary to allow firearms on all trains where checked baggage is allowed. Firearms would stay in locked, hard-sided cases and housed in the trains' baggage car, Rehberg said. He did not intend for riders to keep open firearms with them in the passenger compartment. Instead, he said, train riders should have the same opportunities as people traveling by plane. Airplane passengers may check a gun. Steve Kulm, an Amtrak spokesman, said the train had no problem with Rehberg's bill, but said there are some practical problems the service must address before allowing firearms aboard."

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