What are the Limits of Self Defense?

Interesting story from the Colorado Springs Gazette:

An El Paso County jury on Friday awarded nearly $300,000 to the daughter of a burglar who was fatally shot in 2009 while breaking into an auto lot…

To nutshell the linked article – a family-owned business had been victimized of late by burglars and the owners (realizing that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away) decided to stand vigil over their property through the night.  Some time during the night, two drug-addled, petty thieves broke in and the family members sprang in to action, firing a total of four shots, one of which killed one of the two burglars.  The DA referred the shooting to a Grand Jury which declined to indict, so no crime was committed  as far as Colorado is concerned.  The plaintiff’s attorney argued that the family deliberately set out to kill whomever might break in and as they were never in personal danger, this was a wrongful death…the civil jury agreed.

I, personally, would never kill to defend property – not even 100% sure I would kill to defend myself, but I would kill to defend any innocent person, if there was no other way to protect them.  But my attitude about criminals is that they have chosen a path fraught with danger…if they wind up injured or dead as a result of their voluntary actions, then no fault accrues to anyone who assists them in to the hospital or the hereafter (except if some weirdo took captive a criminal and then did him in, or some such thing like that – once a criminal is definitely rendered harmless, no one has a right to take his life except by due process of law).  It is too bad that the burglar died – but his death sentence was signed when he got stoned and decided to steal to support his habit.  If it hadn’t been this bringing an untimely end to his life, it would have been something else…and perhaps something much worse, and maybe with the burglar taking innocent people with him.

On that jury, I would have told the burglar’s family to take a hike.  People have a right to defend their lives and property – and anyone who enters property without the owner’s permission and with an intent to do wrong has just taken his life in to his hands.

What do you think?


75 thoughts on “What are the Limits of Self Defense?

  1. js August 28, 2011 / 9:19 am

    if you are in your home…protecting your family…no jury could ever fault you for shooting a person who entered your home…

    this is not the same as a commercial business…the men set up to ambush the thieves…with the intent of shooting them…this is premediated murder…there was no self defense involved here mark…there is no right to do this…and i find it incredibly wrong that they were never brought up on charges for it in criminal court…

    the technical violation of trespass is about all the victims could be charged with…they were dead/shot before they took any property…so you cant charge them with theft…so if our standard of just killing is trespass…lots of folks are going to start shooting the neighbors kids for cutting across the lawn…

    • RetiredSpook August 28, 2011 / 10:51 am

      lots of folks are going to start shooting the neighbors kids for cutting across the lawn…

      Funny story, JS. About 20 years ago, we lived in a house on a corner in a nice suburban housing addition. We had one of the nicest lawns in the neighborhood. The 5-year-0ld son of neighbors up the street loved to ride his Big Wheel up and down the sidewalk in front of our house, cut across our lawn and ride up the sidewalk on the other side of our house. We asked him repeatedly to stop; finally called his parents, and they told us to pound sand. So I stretched a piece of heavy twine, about 18″ off the ground, from the blue spruce at the corner of the house across the lawn to the street sign post in the far corner of our yard. I attached pieces of brightly colored cloth on it so the kid would see it and not injure himself. I immediately got a call from his mom saying he was upset because he couldn’t cut across our yard anymore. I told her to pound sand. Well, actually, what I said was a little stronger than pound sand. But you’re right — shooting him never crossed my mind.

      I wonder what, if any difference there would have been in this case if an armed security guard had shot the intruders instead of the owners laying in wait. I guess a lot would depend on the actions of the burglars. If they got shot in the back running away, then the jury was correct. If they had exhibited aggressive behavior in response to being challenged, i.e. attacked at the owner with some kind of weapon, then I would have been on the side of a different verdict. But, according to the linked article, that doesn’t appear to be the case. The following excerpt from the article is pretty much the operative language in this case:

      Under Colorado’s self-defense laws, the use of deadly force is justified only under the “reasonable belief” that it’s necessary to prevent serious bodily injury or death. The jury found that none of the men had a legitimate claim of self-defense.

      Property rights are not a lawful defense for using deadly force in Colorado, and the state’s so-called Make My Day law, which sets lower standard for using force, applies to households, not businesses.

      I realize hind-sight is always 20/20, but how simple it would have been for the car lot owners to simply call 911 from a cell phone and report intruders.

      • js August 28, 2011 / 12:04 pm

        they shot through the door…and that bullet went through the guys heart….its kind of hard to see if he was taking a threatening posture…you could not see him…behind the door…the other guy that they shot at…said a bullet wizzed by him as he jumped over the fence…

        no…there was nothing self defense about shooting at someone running away…nor…shooting into a building sight unseen…

        its premeditated…they camped out and waited…they were armed with guns…what else were they planning to do…self defense…means you must not intentionally put yourself in harms way…you dont ambush someone…and justify killing them…as self defense..

      • js August 28, 2011 / 12:06 pm

        a trained dog…would have cured the problem…most doppers would have gone somewhere else…in not the would have deserved to be bit…

  2. casper August 28, 2011 / 9:35 am

    After reading the article, I have to agree with js. This was an ambush. The burglar killed wasn’t a threat to the shooter’s life. Property yes, but that’s not the same thing. If a person breaks into my house and is after my wife or myself i would have no problem in blowing him away. That’s not the same as waiting for and then shooting someone who is trying to steal a lawn gnome out of my back yard.

    • Mark Edward Noonan August 28, 2011 / 8:50 pm


      It pretty much was an ambush…but it was an ambush which could only be triggered by a whole series of events on the part of the dead burglar…break his chain of events at any point prior to climbing the fence, and he’d be alive right now (presuming his decision to stay on the lawful side of the fence represented a change of heart). I’m not saying that the business owners were right – I, as I noted, would never kill to defend property…but what I am saying is that a criminal takes his life in his hands the moment he crosses from lawful to criminal…it is to be hoped that no grave harm will come of it, but if it does the only fault lays with the criminal. Had he not intended or committed a crime, then nothing would have happened.

      • js August 29, 2011 / 2:32 pm

        “Milanovic and his father told police a week before the shooting they would shoot any intruders who returned. Police say the men concealed the rifle in the trunk of a car so well that a police detective initially missed it during a search.”

  3. shawny August 28, 2011 / 11:00 am

    I agree that was more an ambush scenario but it made me wonder if the business owner had had the opportunity in that instance to merely use the weapons to hold the thieves at gunpoint until the law could get there and were the thieves armed or not? I remember when my grandmother used to manage a small cafe on graveyard shift by herself and she kept a loaded .38 under the cash register just in case someone came in to rob the place or a drinker gave her trouble when it was time for last call or she cut them off. The state troopers who came through each morning for breakfast knew she had it too. I suspect having it there as a deterrent was why she never had to use it. Lucky no one tried anything, she was one hell of a good shot.

    • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 11:13 am


      In florida we have the castle doctrine for homeowners which extends to ones business and car if being used as a business.
      The people saved the tax payers millions for these drug addicted criminals.
      Who is to say these two were not armed and would have killed you?
      You break into my house or place of business when I am there you will be shot.
      This was not a case of walking on ones lawn.This was illegally entering an occupied dwelling in the commission of a felony, you can not set a “man trap” but you can stay there for as long as you wish……….

  4. casper August 28, 2011 / 11:07 am

    From the article:

    “Fox was standing inside a small shed when a .45-caliber rifle bullet passed through the shed’s door and pierced his heart.

    Police said in a 145-page investigative report that the intruder had knives in his pockets and one strapped to his ankle, but never posed a threat to Milanovic or the other men, his father Ljuban Milanovic and brother-in-law Srdjan Milanovic.”

    The guy didn’t have a gun and his knives (curious as to what kind) were in his pocket and strapped to an ankle.

    • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 11:17 am


      depends on the state in Fla it was a good shoot, IF it wasn’t there would have been a prosecution.
      The men were ARMED and in the commission of a felony…..they paid the price F em

      • js August 28, 2011 / 12:14 pm

        in florida
        home defense is covered…not commercial property…until a “forcible felony”…has occured…if not…no deadly force can be used…

    • shawny August 28, 2011 / 11:18 am

      Thanks, then I’d have to disagree with “never posed a threat” or had no intent to use those knives with the assumption that he was actually armed and dangerous. And that’s what police being called to the scene would have assumed as well.

      • js August 28, 2011 / 12:20 pm

        they had no reasonable basis to conclude the guy was armed…they could not have seen any weapons either…the weapons were in his pocket…and he was in a shed…when they shot him…

    • Luckee August 28, 2011 / 11:33 am

      Knives (plural) in pockets and strapped to an ankle but never posed a threat? He went to rob a place and armed himself but did not intend to use the weapons he took? He had peaceful intent but thought he might need to peel an apple on the way? You take weapons with you to commit a crime there is a logical assumption you have intent to use the weapons. He was just too far away to use them. I guess they should have let him get nice and close and pull out a knife or two and then attack before deciding he was a threat. What if he had a gun with him but it was strapped to his ankle? If he didn’t shoot yet this is proof he was no threat?

      This was a bad decision. The property owners did not lure the criminals into the property so they could shoot them. They did not set a trap. They stayed on their own property to protect it, they were invaded, they defended themselves and their property. What made it an ambush
      ? That the property owners did not stand out in the open and say they would shoot if the criminals came in? Hold them at gunpoint? You have to be kidding. What if you have a gun on them and they run away? They know you can’t shoot them then, and you have no authority. This jury would probably convict you for illegal imprisonment. Call 911? They already came and went because they knew they had time before the police got there so it was obvious they would get away and then come back again. And again.

      The criminals were armed. Period. They invaded a property with criminal intent, with weapons anyone could assume they would use.

      • js August 28, 2011 / 2:05 pm

        trespass is all they did…until they actually had taken something that is…and the ambush…really negates anything beyond that….business owners have no right to shot and kill people who trespass…they gave no warning before they started to shoot…they were a long way away from the trespassers…

        in order for them to have a right to use deadly force…they have to be in a position that caused them to fear bodily injury or death…the ambush precluded that, they were armed and ready and waiting…

  5. shawny August 28, 2011 / 11:09 am

    One other question came to mind regarding “what are the limits to self defense?” Granted in this instance it was about defending property rather than actual “self defense”, but would say a hired armed security guard have those same limits in defending the business? Just curious.

    • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 11:14 am

      It is an occupied dwelling the thieves committed a felony and would have been considered armed and dangerous….end of story.

      • js August 28, 2011 / 2:06 pm

        no, it was outside, on a car lot, a commercial enterprise…not a home…nobody lived thier…there were no families to protect…

  6. RetiredSpook August 28, 2011 / 11:35 am

    The news media loves to sensationalize instances where a shooting takes place. Seldom do you hear about instances where a crime is deterred simply because an innocent citizen was armed, but never had to use the weapon. Since I got my first concealed carry permit back in 1978, I’ve had 3 occasions where I pointed a loaded firearm at someone who intended me bodily harm. Never had to pull the trigger — thankfully.

    • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 11:42 am


      I had to show mine one time to three men in a parking lot, they were about 10 feet away and approaching fast, I simply pulled my jacket back put my hand on my chrome plated .45 and asked the closest guy are you married?
      They stopped cold in their tracks and retreated.
      However If I ever pull it I will not point, I will shoot.
      double tap center mass heart side, head shot.

      • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 11:48 am

        The bottom line

        The Florida “Castle Doctrine” law basically does three things:

        One: It establishes, in law, the presumption that a criminal who forcibly enters or intrudes into your home or occupied vehicle is there to cause death or great bodily harm, therefore a person may use any manner of force, including deadly force, against that person.

        Two: It removes the “duty to retreat” if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be. You no longer have to turn your back on a criminal and try to run when attacked. Instead, you may stand your ground and fight back, meeting force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others. [This is an American right repeatedly recognized in Supreme Court gun cases.]

        Three: It provides that persons using force authorized by law shall not be prosecuted for using such force.

        It also prohibits criminals and their families from suing victims for injuring or killing the criminals who have attacked them.

        In short, it gives rights back to law-abiding people and forces judges and prosecutors who are prone to coddling criminals to instead focus on protecting victims.

        I love my state!!

      • RetiredSpook August 28, 2011 / 12:18 pm

        In only one of the three instances where my weapon deterred a likely altercation was the perpetrator armed, and then it was a drunk in a pickup truck who thought I had cut him off in traffic. In reality, I had simply changed lanes and had signaled my intent to do so. He pulled around in front of me, stopped, jumped out, grabbed a tire iron out of the bed of his truck and rushed toward me with the tire iron raised over his head. He got about ten feet from my driver’s door when he noticed the S&W model 19 .357 magnum pointing at him. It really was one of those rare “make my day” moments. His demeanor exhibited an abrupt change. I may or may not have been in the right if I’d shot him — glad I didn’t have to find out.

      • js August 28, 2011 / 12:32 pm

        the home defense theory does not apply to commercial enterprises though…so even in florida…unless they actually showed themselves to be a threat to the safety of the guys who had the guns and were laying in ambush…then they had no right to a theory of self defense….

        (fla law-commercial property…not residential)
        3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

        (now, if you are in florida…and you intentially wait with a loaded weapon…in a commercial establishement…for a burglar…the burglar has to attack you…before deadly force can be used against him…_

      • casper August 28, 2011 / 12:32 pm

        Let’s say you and the wife decide to take a little trip to Wy. While here you decide to take a little drive in the mountains and get lost. In the mean time, you have wondered on to my property, either missing or ignoring the no trespassing signs. I’m out patrolling my property because I’ve had a couple of cattle stolen of late. You and your wife are on my property without my permission. You are breaking the law. Do I have the right to shot you? You brag about carrying a gun. Does that make any difference?

      • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 1:34 pm


        stupid moronic circular argument.
        These thieves armed themselves, trespassed, and forcibly entered an occupied dwelling…….the paid the price.
        one has the right to occupy their car, home, business 24/7 it makes no difference why they were there.
        Armed men forcibly entered an occupied dwelling and were legally shot. end of story.

      • Luckee August 28, 2011 / 6:26 pm

        Casper would your trespasser be coming into your property at night? Would he drive through an open gate or cut your fence? Would he be calling “hellooooo there, how do I get to the interstate” or would he and his friend be sneaking around? Would you be in the open or in an enclosed area? Why would you have a gun at all if you did not already have a good reason to think you might be in danger? What would you do if someone did come into your field at night after cutting your fence after you lost cows? How close would you let them get under those circumstances?

    • casper August 28, 2011 / 12:24 pm

      If the owners would have pointed the gun and warned the burglars rather than shooting them, chances are the burglar would be alive (and probably in jail) and the owners would be a lot richer.

      • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 1:36 pm


        they will never pay a penny, and those turds will not be around to kill you or your wife in some future crime.
        I say AMF!!

      • Luckee August 28, 2011 / 6:29 pm

        What do you think happens if you point a gun at someone who just broke into your place and then just warn him? If he has a gun too do you think he just says OK and stands there while you wait for the police? I think once a man decides to break into your place whether it is a house or a business he has already made the decision to take whatever risk that might include and if he has decided to arm himself with knives first I think it shows a clear intent to use those knives if he thinks he needs to. How would the owners know if the intruders had guns to shoot at them? Why is there a responsibility to expose yourself to danger or death just to make sure a criminal who is breaking into your property is not harmed?

  7. shawny August 28, 2011 / 11:49 am

    Interesting why there should have been 300k paid to the thiefs family when you think about it. If he had life insurance it sure wouldn’t have paid out if he bought it in the commission of a crime. That’s a legal deterrent that should not exist in my opinion cause the crook still won and the property owner likely lost more than if he’d let the fool rob the place.

    • js August 28, 2011 / 12:36 pm

      the truth…they didnt actually rob the place…all they did was trespass…they might have conspired to rob the place…but the shooters stopped that…and one of the actually got to run away…end of robbery…the shooters…conspired to commit murder…they hid at the commercial car lot…waited until someone trespassed…and commenced shooting…without warning…thats premeditated murder

  8. shawny August 28, 2011 / 11:55 am

    Neocon, yup and doesn’t it just suck that a state actually has to make laws to give you back your God given constitutional rights to defend yourself in the first place?

  9. RYAN August 28, 2011 / 12:09 pm

    There should never be a single penny of ‘compensation’ for injuries suffered in th comission of a felony. Period. Under ANY circumstances.

    • js August 28, 2011 / 12:38 pm

      so..what if it was a homeless guy looking for a place to sleep…if they shot and killed him…would it be justifiable…(face it…they shooters didnt see anyone taking anything or it would have been in the story)

      • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 1:30 pm

        In October 2005 the Florida became the first state in the United States to officially put a “Castle Doctrine” law on its books. Supporters hailed it as a “stand your ground” law while opponents called it a “shoot to kill” license.

        The “Castle Doctrine” is an American legal concept inherited from English common law which extends to a homeowner (or one’s place of residence) the natural right to use deadly force to defend his home/residence in response to a violent attack or an intrusion that may lead to a violent attack.

        Some states (FLA) have extended this right to any “legally occupied” place such as a vehicle, business, or place of work.

      • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 1:40 pm


        not to argue but what if you were home in bed and some “homeless” guy kicked your front door in and entered your bedroom?

        at this point all he did was trespass……would you shoot him?
        if you did would it be justified?
        Im not being snarkey i want to know what you think.

      • Ryan Murphy August 28, 2011 / 1:44 pm

        If he BREAKS IN to someone’s house? There isn’t a single city in the US where you couldn’t find a homeless shelter or church that woudl take you in.

      • js August 28, 2011 / 2:15 pm

        hey, no problem if it were my home…anybody who breaks in…here in florida…the homeowner has the right to kill them…no questions need to be asked there…

        this issue…is a business owner…who had been robbed…not his dwelling…not his home…his family was not threatened…

        2 guys jumped the fense…trespassing on the car lot…they opened fire without warning…

        if they were in florida…”A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and (who is attacked) in any other place where he or she has a right to be (has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, (including deadly force)) if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to (prevent death or great bodily harm to himself) or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony”

        the only thing the 2 guys had done to that point was to respass…and that is not a forcible felony…or aqny reason for the use of deadly force…

      • js August 28, 2011 / 2:33 pm

        note that it specifically states “in any other place”…that being other than your home or car…period…the law is different for deadly force outside of your home…you cant shoot a person who is not a threat to you…unless that person is inside your home…inside the home the use of deadly force is allowed ANYTIME you even have a reasonable cause…

        so if 5 year old walked though your front door without your permission…you dont have the right to use deadly force against the child because you thought he was going to steal your trick or treat candy…on halloween night….even if he had a butter knife in his candy bag

      • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 6:51 pm


        Q. What if I am in my place of business and someone comes in to rob me? Do I have to retreat before using deadly force?

        A. The castle doctrine also applies when you are in your place of business. If you are in danger of death or great bodily harm or you are trying to prevent a forcible felony, you do not have to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense.

      • js August 28, 2011 / 9:57 pm

        sorry neo…that ONLY applies in the face of a direct threat…it does not give you any right to lay in ambush for someone…and plan to shoot that person who is not a threat to you…the whole thing spins on the word of the law…

        if someone comes in to rob you…yes, you have an expectation of bodily harm to yourself…or death…but not if you lay in ambush for that person….with a loaded weapon…intent on shooting them…big flip is that the ambush pretty well removes any threat to you…you have a loaded weapon…you conspired to shoot someone with it…its beyond a self defesnse issue

      • js August 28, 2011 / 10:01 pm

        from your link;

        Q. When can I use my handgun to protect myself?

        A. Florida law justifies use of deadly force when you are:

        Trying to protect yourself or another person from death or serious bodily harm;
        Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping.
        Using or displaying a handgun in any other circumstances could result in your conviction for crimes such as improper exhibition of a firearm, manslaughter, or worse.

        Example of the kind of attack that will not justify defending yourself with deadly force: Two neighbors got into a fight, and one of them tried to hit the other by swinging a garden hose. The neighbor who was being attacked with the hose shot the other in the chest. The court upheld his conviction for aggravated battery with a firearm, because an attack with a garden hose is not the kind of violent assault that justifies responding with deadly force.

        (trespass is not a farcible felony and if you read the statutes i posted…outside of your home you have to be the victim of a forcible felony to be covered by the castle doctrine)

      • js August 28, 2011 / 10:03 pm

        also…same link

        Q. What if I see a crime being committed?

        A. A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman. But, as stated earlier, deadly force is justified if you are trying to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. The use of deadly force must be absolutely necessary to prevent the crime. Also, if the criminal runs away, you cannot use deadly force to stop him, because you would no longer be “preventing” a crime. If use of deadly force is not necessary, or you use deadly force after the crime has stopped, you could be convicted of manslaughter.

      • js August 28, 2011 / 10:08 pm

        the bottom line…if you lie in wait for someone to trespass on your business property…and then shoot them without warning…it is a crime…

        if the person were no threat to you…you must warn them before you shoot…if they run away…you cannot shoot them…that is beyond self defense…the castle doctrine only means that you need not back off in the face of potential deadly force…you can stand your ground and shoot…but if there is not threat…you have no right to claim self defense…and the castle doctrine is one of purely self defense and not an offensive nature…

      • js August 28, 2011 / 10:18 pm

        here is the best explanation if found on force outside of your home

        the part “Third, in Florida, Lisa can now “stand her ground” even if she is outside of her home. But to do so, she must “reasonably believe” that using deadly force is necessary to prevent “imminent” use of deadly force against herself or others.” specific to this case…states as a matter of fact…that if you are not at home and not facing iminent threat to your safety…you cannot use deadly force…if you do..you can be charged with murder…and if you ambush and kill someone…its premeditated murder…the castle doctrine allows you to stand your ground if you are under threat…it does not allow you to just shoot someone when you have no justification to fear for your safety…period

  10. dots August 28, 2011 / 6:35 pm

    so what if….a guy……is just….. trespassing……didnt get to rob…..shot first…….if he was five yrs…….candy……..cant shoot criminals who…..have….. butter knives…..just trespass…..not dwelling…..business don’t count……trick or treat……no family……no warning…….ambush

    • Leonard L'Farte August 28, 2011 / 7:27 pm



      • neocon1 August 28, 2011 / 8:17 pm

        Teen girl paralyzed, 10 others wounded after shooting at party advertised as ‘Drama free’ online

        Sunday, August 28th 2011, 4:00 AM
        Crime scene officers process the scene where 11 people were shot at a party advertised on Facebook as ‘Drama free.’

        Crime scene officers process the scene where 11 people were shot at a party advertised on Facebook as ‘Drama free.’

        A Queens party advertised on Facebook and Twitter as “Drama Free” turned into a shooting gallery early Saturday.

        Eleven young people were shot, including a teenage girl left paralyzed, when a gunman opened fire into the crowd.

    • js August 28, 2011 / 10:22 pm

      wow…a mental midget with a sense of humor…so whats your problem…cant read…dont understand…lost your mind…

      communication works…obviously you are just a simple minded jerk without the balls to complain about my writting style…

      you really suck

      • dots August 29, 2011 / 10:35 am

        can too….read……just….know how….to write….grand jury……no bill….understand…..lazy……more dots harder……than one…..dont make…..sense……insults……no….excuse…just lazy……or……had Casper…..for a teacher……poor baby….sucksucksuck….very intelligent…….wandering prose……disconnected thinking…….obnoxious

      • dots August 29, 2011 / 10:38 am

        my bet…appeal….Colorado Springs….donation to fund……tell daughter….father was a dirtbag……she tries to profit from his crime…..so is she……

      • js August 29, 2011 / 2:28 pm

        you still suk…

  11. Jeremiah August 29, 2011 / 1:35 am

    What do I think?

    I think you’re right.

    If someone walks in my house, has a knife or gun in their hands, I’m prepared to use whatever weaponry I have available to me to protect my life and possessions. They will get a head thumping like they never dreamed of before.

    • neocon1 August 29, 2011 / 7:31 am

      being on your fenced in, closed building at your work place is not an ambush, Having a weapon with you in case a crime is committed while you are there is not a conspiracy.

      Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery,
      * burglary*
      or kidnapping.

      apparently the Grand Jury, and I are in agreement.
      NO CRIME was committed.

      • neocon1 August 29, 2011 / 8:03 am


        I talked to two buddy LEO’s they both agree that a fenced car lot is it’s self your place of business, a breach of the fence in this area is a felony burglary the same as entering a building through a door or window because of the product (cars) were readily at hand like a warehouse.
        The criminals were in fact armed though not banishing.
        They both agreed A close call for deadly force, but could go either way as it did…no crime.

      • js August 29, 2011 / 9:10 am

        thats where we disagree neo…

        if you lying in wait with loaded weapons for an intruder…you are not defending yourself…you are an ambusher…what fear of life do you have…with loaded weapons…lying in wait…for people you dont even know are armed…(NONE)

      • js August 29, 2011 / 9:38 am

        my sis is a lawyer…she agrees that if the party was lying in wait for a trespasser to enter the commercial (not residence)…with loaded weapons…they have no right to claim self defense…as they were never in fear for thier safety…and doing so forms an intent…under the law…to attack a trespasser…

        so when they shot…without any attempt to detain…it was murder (yes…in florida)…they had a duty under the law to give a verbal order to leave the property…once again…they were armed and waiting…this was not a typical defense claim…it was an intent to shoot the trespassing person/persons which removed the castle doctrines defense

      • js August 29, 2011 / 9:51 am

        intent; “Milanovic and his father told police a week before the shooting they would shoot any intruders who returned. Police say the men concealed the rifle in the trunk of a car so well that a police detective initially missed it during a search.”

        its murder

      • neocon1 August 30, 2011 / 5:21 am

        Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery,
        * burglary*
        or kidnapping.

  12. Count d'Haricots August 29, 2011 / 4:07 pm

    I find it inconsistant that one would condsider intent when assigning guilt with respect to the persons protecting their property who committed no crime, but not consider intent with regard to the actual armed criminal who was in killed while in the commission of an actual crime.

    • neocon1 August 29, 2011 / 6:57 pm

      count, yup
      you are not lying in wait on your own property the castle doctorine extends to work place

      The DA referred the shooting to a Grand Jury which declined to indict, so no crime was committed as far as Colorado is concerned.

      you can not be lying in wait for something you do not know will happen, or when it might happen, or who will do it.

      Prior knowledge =, 2 men armed with knives in their pockets will rob XYZ at 10pm friday night….THEN you may have a case.
      not now.
      In the commission of felony B&E
      good shoot, bad shot only got one.

      • js August 29, 2011 / 10:26 pm

        Guess you don’t understand the statute neo…home and car…no questions…anywhere else…if you don’t have a reason to fear for your personal safety…or that of another person…the castle doctrine DOES NOT APPLY…
        “Lying in wait with loaded guns is not fear. The Castle Doctrine is a statute that is about a person who rightfully has a fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm. The 3 men who laid in waiting at the car lot with loaded weapons did not do so because they feared imminent peril of death or bodily harm, they did so exclusively to protect the property, and they shot at the 2 trespassers without warning. That is murder. The premeditation was documented a week earlier in their statement to the police.
        The car lot was not lodging, it is an office. It was not designed for people to stay there overnight. Neither was the shed that they shot into, sight unseen, at the trespassing victim. The statute would not protect the shooters.
        776.013. Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm
        (1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if: (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

        (2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if: (a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or (b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or (c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or (d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer..

        (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
        (4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
        (5) As used in this section, the term: (a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent,
        and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night. (b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest. (c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.

      • js August 29, 2011 / 10:28 pm

        776.08 Forcible felony.–“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual

        there was no threat of force to anyone on that carlot except for the 2 guys who trespassed…unless you really think they saw the knife in the dead guys pocket…because if the didnt see the weapon…there was no threat…and no right to use deadly force under the statue…period

      • js August 29, 2011 / 10:36 pm

        if you define the statute the way you made it out neo…if someone tossed a banana peel over the fence..(“unlawful throwing” as described in the statute)…then the 3 guys, with loaded weapons on the car lot…had every right to shoot to kill whoever threw the banana peel…except for the final clause of the lawful definition “forceful felony”…which explicitly requires “the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual”

        without that threat…there is no forcible felony…and such threat must occur…prior to the shooting…its not automatic except for in your home or car…the dwelling…which is neither the home or the car…falls under the 3rd rule…and requries that “imminent” threat exist before deadly force can be used….read it…call your local AG…this is the way the Orland AG explained it…

      • js August 29, 2011 / 10:49 pm

        oh…and btw…ouside…on the carlot…and inside the shed…does not qualify for dwelling, home, or car…so if you did shoot them…you were actually not doing so under the terms required for the presumption of the castle doctrine…you cant shoot the burglar until he enters your home or dwelling…if he tried to get into your car you can shoot him…but if he is outside…and you can lock the doors…and keep him outside…no castle doctrine applies…

        you cant go running out and shoot the drunk that passed out in your back yard…

    • js August 29, 2011 / 10:02 pm

      intent; “Milanovic and his father told police a week before the shooting they would shoot any intruders who returned. Police say the men concealed the rifle in the trunk of a car so well that a police detective initially missed it during a search.”

      its murder

      • neocon1 August 30, 2011 / 5:21 am

        Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery,
        * burglary*
        or kidnapping.

        grand jury agreed NO CRIME.

      • js August 30, 2011 / 7:10 am

        requires that the intruder introduces threat…and must be attempting to enter a dwelling…a car lot is not a dwelling…the shooters ran out of the dwelling…outdoors where the intruder was…on a fenced lot…

        no castle doctrine protects you when you run out of your dwelling with a loaded weapon and shoot someone standing in your yard…its murder

      • js August 30, 2011 / 7:14 am

        grand jury in colorado didnt follow colorado law…and you were arguing the castle doctrine in florida above…make up your mind…and i documented above what a forcible felony is…it requires “which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual”…so it is NOT a forcible felony if the 2 men presented absolutely no threat…they didnt even know the shooters were there until the shooters came running out of the dwelling with loaded guns blazing…

        are you that dense that you cant figure this out neo?

      • js August 30, 2011 / 7:15 am

        776.08 Forcible felony.–”Forcible felony” means (treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony) (which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual)

      • js August 30, 2011 / 7:17 am

        there was no forcible felony involved…it was a simple trespass at the point that the 3 shooters came charging out of the dwelling onto the carlot and began firing the weapons…

        murder…premeditated…and conspiracy to commit murder…as they disclosed to the police that they were going to do it…

        no castle doctrine applies…and that is what you were arguing above

  13. js August 30, 2011 / 7:23 am

    Neo said; “you can not be lying in wait for something you do not know will happen, or when it might happen, or who will do it.

    Prior knowledge =, 2 men armed with knives in their pockets will rob XYZ at 10pm friday night….THEN you may have a case.
    not now.”

    then why did they spend all night away from thier homes, with loaded weapons…on the car lot…if not in anticipation of the return of the previos burglars…the fact that ran out of the building they spent the night in with loaded weapons makes the shooters the agressors…business owners cannot be found innocent when they form an intent to shoot the next trespasser on thier property…which is exactly what the men who ran the car lot did…its murder

    • Count d'Haricots August 30, 2011 / 6:49 pm

      “You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or use any other word you think will work, but I’ve found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much the universal language.”

      • js August 30, 2011 / 8:40 pm

        true…but unless your life is threatened…on a public car lot…at night…even when its closed and the gates are shut…you can only use deadly force if you are in fear of imminent violence…

        and if you shoot the guy out there…and he never saw ya commin’…its not self defense…its murder

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