When “Warning Shots” go wrong: Liberty County man charged in shooting death of his son | Local News

James Nesler, 61, is charged with murder in the death of J.A. Nesler about 3:45 p.m. at CR450, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the elder Nesler told investigators his son had an argument with a friend who was visiting the home. After the brief disagreement, Nesler said he also had an argument with his son. His son started toward him and Nesler said he opened fire on the younger man with a .357 revolver to “warn” him, attempting to wound him in the shoulder to stop the confrontation.

via Liberty County man charged in shooting death of his son – Houston Chronicle.

We have long said that “warning shots” are a bad idea and they are not legal. This incident highlights one of the reasons we aren’t fans of “warning shots.” Let’s start with the fact this man admits he is using “deadly force” as a “warning.” By that, I mean he aimed with the intention of attempting to shoot someone non-fatally by hitting them in the shoulder. Folks, getting shot is like getting pregnant, you don’t get shot just a little bit. You either get shot or you don’t. If you cannot articulate an imminent threat of serious injury or bodily harm to yourself or a third person, there is no justification for shooting someone. But this story has a tragic conclusion in that a man managed to kill his own son while firing a “warning shot.” As much as I want to defend him and say that losing his son is a high enough price to pay, I can’t. As they say, the road to Hell is often paved with good intentions.


7 thoughts on “When “Warning Shots” go wrong: Liberty County man charged in shooting death of his son | Local News

  1. That man that died was my friend. A decorated Marine and the most loyal person you have ever met. You don’t know the whole story and your comments are out of line. His father is also not a stable person. I’m a gun owner and no I don’t think anything could have stopped this. No shot or gun needed to be pulled period.

    • Adam, I’m sorry for your loss and I’m sorry if any of my comments are interpreted as defending his father’s actions in anyway. You are correct, we don’t know the whole story. It’s rare that anyone who reads a story in a newspaper or on a blog does. But two things we can and do agree on is that your friend’s death is a tragedy and that his father’s actions were wrong…I’ve never said otherwise and never will. Hopefully the man will be prosecuted for his crime but, nothing the courts can do will bring your friend back. So again, I’m sorry for your loss.


  2. J was my very close friend and to answer a stranger’s question about his mother — let’s get into the details of this man that the article is specifically about. James (or more known as Jim) is a sociopathic man with a long list of lies and deceit in his past. He was married to several different women, the 3rd one being a woman he met while “on duty” as a service man in the Philippines. This woman was J’s mother, and just a few months after they moved to the states, she had J. Following this, the new family traveled back to the Philippines with plans of Jim’s retirement living there. Jim abused her physically, was on drugs, and kidnapped – yes I said that right – J when he was just under 2 years old, taking him back the states where his mother lost the battle at retrieving him, given both Nesler boys were US Citizens and she was not.
    How do I know this? I have recently made contact with her.

    Now, to say the man is any way, shape, or form, HONEST, is completely inaccurate and untrue. A pathological liar, narcissist, and physical abuser of women and drugs has no right to be called anything positive. Especially when he lied to his own son about the mother, denied relations to his other children, and as you’ve learned in this article… KILLED his son in a mere verbal disagreement.

    Let me tell you something about my friend J. He was a marine, and served overseas. He was proud of his country and wanted to continue defending our great values and freedom. But he was not a combative, aggressive, or threatening person. In fact, he was lanky, skinny, and honestly the most KINDHEARTED person I’ve ever known. Fighting was not his thing. His father on the other hand, was a heavy-set man with health issues streaming from his own neglect to his body over the years. He was disabled because of his weight. But he could still manage to get up and turn on the TV, access a gun, or use the bathroom. Him saying he was trying to defend himself when J made advances toward him is like throwing toilet paper in the ocean and thinking it will float. The man was intentionally trying to harm his son after inflicting so much emotional brokenness on him for 26 years. He aimed and hit him right in the chest – I don’t care what he told the cops, that was an intentional shot.

    Thank you for saying what you’ve said – I read between the lines and already gave you the benefit of the doubt before I replied. This man will live with his self inflicted loneliness and will DIE ALONE, knowing the only person who he could ever manipulate to love him, is dead. And guess what?? He got a plea bargain, got the minimum sentencing (because of his age and disability… ugh), so he may feel like a “free” man during his last days on this earth… but he will NOT be free for eternity. I have all faith that God will judge him as he promises to judge those that break his commandments and do not repent.

    Ok, my 12 page book is finished. Sorry for the late response, I was just doing some internet searching while pondering on the loss of my great friend, and how he died thinking his mother abandoned him, when she was forbade to make contact with him and deathly afraid of this sociopath that was his father.

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