Friday, September 03, 2021

IL: Rural County, Kyle Raider found Not Guilty by Self Defense after 2.5 Years in Jail

Monroe County Courthouse, public domain, wikimedia

Madison Lammert of the Republic Times has reported Kyle Roider spent two and a half years in Monroe County jail before a jury found him not guilty of all charges. Lammert has reported extensively on the case.

The jury was out for only three and a half hours before they returned the verdict about six pm on 20 August, 2021. Roider had been held without bail since January of 2019. The trial was delayed, in part, due to COVID19 fears. 

The case involved drug use, a possible love interest, a failure to notify the police of the shooting, and digital recovery of data from phones.

Roider and the person killed, Steven Becker, were in Kyle's home at the time, on Church Street in Waterloo, Illinois. 

Kyle Roider had numerous misdemeanors before the incident. None of them were violent. He had not lost his right to bear arms. He has had mental issues, but was found fit to stand trial. He had medication for schizophrenia.

Steven Becker's toxicology report showed he had meth, cocaine, and marijuana in his blood when he was killed. From

Becker was found dead in Roider's basement with gunshot wounds to his head and his right leg two days after the shooting.

Roider’s attorney, T.J. Matthes, argued that his client acted in self-defense after Becker attacked Roider with a knife.

The jury deliberated for three hours before returning its verdict.

“There were a lot of rumors going around about what happened,” Matthes said. “Kyle wanted all along to get a chance to tell his story. He told his story at the trial — he told the truth, the entire truth.”

After two and a half years in jail, Roider told his story to the jury. He was cross examined. The answers he gave seemed plausible. When asked why he did not leave the house, if he felt threatened, he said: "Because it was my house." 

Both prosecutors and the defense created scenarios for what happened that day. The prosecutor claimed the evidence to cinch the deal was Roider failed to contact the police and report the shooting. 

Roider said he was not capable of processing what had happened. After the body was found, Roider surrendered to police. He always claimed the shooting was in self defense.

In the end, the jury found enough reasonable doubt to find Roider not guilty.

The case is similar to one recently reported from Madison, Illinois, where Corion Mosely was found not guilty by reason of self defense. It was a jury trial which ended on 13 August, 2021. Mosley had spent two years in the county lockup, without bond.

There are differences.

Waterloo Illinois, where the Becker killing took place, is only 28 miles south of Madison, Illinois, where Corion Mosely killed Omarion Coleman. Madison, Illinois is in the heart of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Waterloo is a town of 11 thousand in a rural county.

Corion Mosely is black. Kyle Roider is white. 

There were eye witnesses in the Mosely trial. There were none in the trial of Roider.

No weapons were found in the hands of either person killed; there was reasonable doubt if they had access to weapons.

In both cases, in a jury trial, after years in county jail, the men were found not guilty. 

Jurys trials are one of the significant protections against government power in the United States. 

Juries have the power to override prosecutors, judges, and to nullify law in particular cases, if they believe application of the law is unjust. 

It does not appear the law was nullified in the above cases; there simply was a reasonable doubt about the interpretation of the events.

Important lessons: 

Reporting a shooting to the authorities helps your credibility.

Do not alter evidence.

Avoid confrontations when possible.

Surviving the encounter, and the trial, may result in two years in jail, even when found not guilty. 


©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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