Court overturns Raul Rodriguez conviction

On Thursday, Houston’s First Court of Appeals said the jury’s instructions on the law on self-defense were so confusing that Rodriguez did not get a fair trial.

via Court overturns 'stand your ground' conviction – Houston Chronicle.

Some of you may remember Raul Rodriguez, a former Houston Firefighter. In 2012, he was convicted of killing his neighbor after recording a large portion of the confrontation with his own camera. That recording was part of the reason for his conviction as Rodriguez can be heard parroting the phrase, “I am in fear for my life,” over and over again while arguing with Kelly Danaher and Danaher’s father before Rodriguez ultimately shot the younger Danaher, a local school teacher. At the time of the incident, it was our collective opinion on the show that Rodriguez’s own video undermined his claim of self-defense. That opinion still stands.

It is highly likely that the Harris County District Attorney will appeal this ruling. In the meantime, Rodriguez may actually be able to request a bond for his release be set. By overturning this conviction, the appellate court is saying there was a mistake of law that is so egregious that it contributed to Rodriguez’s conviction. Specifically, they are saying the jury instructions were wrong or confusing. Time will tell but, it could be this case will have to go back to trial all over again.

-GM

▶ Piers Morgan ist still at it. Sheriff Chris Nocco isn’t playing is game.

I have to applaud the sheriff. With respect to the Curtis Reeves case, he’s sticking to the facts. And unlike so many police chiefs who are simply mouth pieces for the mayors that appoint them, the sheriff is sticking to the facts and stating the obvious, Curtis Reeves killed Chad Oulson. The gun didn’t commit the act.  Had Reeves acted with a knife, we wouldn’t have people arguing the knife did it, at least not in the US. Piers Morgan’s native country is another story entirely.

-GM

 

More info on theater shooting

Sheriff’s Detective Allen Proctor wrote that Reeves spoke to Oulson during the movie previews, then got up and informed management.

When Reeves returned to his seat “additional words were exchanged” and Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, the report said.

After officers read him his rights, Reeves told the detective that Oulson struck him in the face with an unknown object, and that’s when he removed a .380 caliber gun from his pants pocket. The report said Reeves fired the gun and struck Oulson once in the chest and that he “was in fear of being attacked.”

Judge Lynn Tepper said she found the evidence significant enough to warrant the no bond order.

via Details emerge on retired officer involved in theater shooting.

Our man on the beat, Jason, says he’s hearing from a reliable source that “the old man went and got the manager of the theater after the initial confrontation. Manager and old man confront texter, texter throws popcorn bucket in old mans face and becomes aggressive. Old man draws, and the gun is grabbed, possibly by the wife, possibly by the victim. Struggle over gun and gun goes bang…”

I agree with Jason’s assessment on Facebook that it seems odd that a 20+ year police veteran would shoot someone for simply throwing popcorn or “an unknown object” at him. It would seem there has to be more to the story. If there really was a struggle over the gun, that’s would go a long way toward filling in some holes. However, there’s a whole question of whether or not a gun should have been introduced into this discussion in the first place. That’s not an argument against carrying a gun. However, it is a question of whether or not producing said gun as a threat was justified.

Older retiree facing a younger, stronger, man is an argument that there is a disparity of force but, that isn’t necessarily justification for producing a firearm. Verbal threats alone are not justification for the threat of deadly force (i.e. drawing a firearm).  If you escalated things without justification and that turned into a fight over the gun, it may foul any claim of self-defense. This is a case to watch as their are obvious implications for all of us who choose to go armed.

-GM

Texting, hazardous to your health in more ways that one…

WESLEY CHAPEL (FOX 13) –

A moviegoer lost his life inside a Pasco County theater Monday afternoon after a dispute over texting with a retired police officer.

According to the sheriff’s office, the dispute happened before the 1:20 showing of ‘Lone Survivor’ had even gotten underway at the Cobb CineBistro at Grove 16 complex on Wesley Grove Blvd.

Investigators say two couples had gotten into an argument over noise.

“The victim was on his cell phone; he was texting. We believe he was making some kind of noise. This noise led to an altercation between the suspect and the victim,” Sheriff Chris Nocco explained.

via Man killed after dispute over texting in theater – FOX 13 News.

The fact this happened in Florida will again lead to liberal media bringing the “Stand Your Ground” law into the discussion even though it really has nothing to do with this incident. The shooter in this case is someone who should know/understand use of force better than most. If he can’t articulate a reasonable belief of an imminent threat of bodily harm to himself or someone else, a jury will decide his fate. For the time being, 71-year-old, Curtis Reeves, a retired Tampa police officer, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Unfortunately, no matter what happens, the lives of those involved will never be the same and a child has lost her father.

-GM

FOX 13 News