Saturday, January 09, 2010

Idaho shooter released after case dropped: "A man accused of shooting two men during a night of drinking in downtown Coeur d’Alene left jail Friday after a grand jury declined to indict him. Adam M. Johnson, 25, said he shot Brandon R. Burgess and Bradley J. Phillips in self-defense after the men and their friends threatened him during an early-morning argument Dec. 27. The men had argued at a bar hours earlier, and police said Johnson was attacked by the men only after he fired a gun at them. A grand jury apparently disagreed and refused to indict Johnson, the CEO of a Coeur d’Alene-based telecommunications company. Charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery were dismissed Friday in Kootenai County District Court. “The facts in the case, I think, pointed to self-defense, absolutely,” said public defender Anne Taylor. “We were developing a very good case.”"

TX: Charges against two men in shooting death dropped: "Charges against two men accused of the April 2008 shooting death of Erik Perez were dismissed Friday after new evidence surfaced, according to the Taylor County District Attorney’s office. Armando Trevino Jr. and Terence Tyrique Mitchell were arrested in connection with the death of 19-year-old Erik Perez, who was shot in the chest and face after a confrontation in the 1100 block of Poplar Street just after midnight on April 16, 2008. He died from his wounds six days later. A Taylor County prosecutor said that as the trial date approached, more evidence was presented to suggest the shooting was in self-defense. “After the initial investigation, some evidence was given to police — a gun was turned over — that suggested this was a self-defense case,” said Dan Joiner, Taylor County Assistant District Attorney... The two were released from custody after serving more than 500 days in custody since their arrests. Mitchell was in custody 536 days, Trevino for 575 days. According to Reporter-News files, Trevino, Mitchell, and Perez’s girlfriend, Valerie Flake, went to a club on April 16, 2008, leaving in a black Chevy Tahoe that belonged to Trevino. Trevino apparently stopped the vehicle in the 1100 block of Poplar. Perez, who was visiting Flake’s sister in the area, then approached the vehicle and struck Trevino in the face. According to the warrant, Trevino then fired a .45-caliber handgun at him, hitting Perez in the face. Trevino and Mitchell fled the scene, police said."

Las Vegas shooting another monumental gun control failure: "Let’s face it, 66-year-old Johnny Lee Wicks — the man who opened fire at a Las Vegas, Nev. federal building Monday, killing retired Las Vegas Police Sgt. Stanley Cooper, 72, who was working as a security guard — was living proof of the abject failure of gun control laws. Wicks, according to the Washington Times, had a criminal background that included murder and drug charges in Memphis, Tenn., in the 1970s and assault and rape charges 20 years ago in California. He did time in prison for killing his own brother in March 1974, a sentence that originally was set at 55 years but was reduced to 12 to 15 years after an appeal, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Bottom line: Wicks was a guy who should not have had a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun, or any other kind of firearm, and while this incident will certainly fuel the argument that “weak gun laws” and “easy access to firearms” are to blame, there is a much different perspective that gun control proponents simply and routinely ignore. Even the most regressive and restrictive gun laws do not prevent people like Wicks from getting firearms."

British army rifles problematical too: "Military chiefs were last night facing criticism after being forced to buy guns with more powerful bullets to defeat the Taliban. The Ministry of Defence has spent £1.6million on 440 semi-automatic rifles, which use 7.62mm ammunition. The order from U.S.-based company Law Enforcement International followed concern that UK forces' 5.56mm rounds were unsuitable for battle in Afghanistan. Because the 5.56mm bullets - used in the standard-issue SA80A2 assault rifle --are smaller and lighter, they are less effective from 300 yards or further away. It means insurgents - who use 7.62mm ammunition for their AK47s - back off and shoot at British troops from greater distances. Half of all battles in Helmand are fought between 300 and 900 yards. Now the MoD has splashed out on the gas-operated LM7 semi-automatic rifles - renamed the L129A1 - which can hit targets up to a mile away. But the purchase has raised concerns over whether the UK was wrong to give soldiers the SA80 assault rifle in 1986 rather than retaining 7.62mm firearms.

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