Tx man charged w. homicide in "self defense" shooting

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
I put "self defense" in quotes because of the questionable nature of the shooting.

Details are sketchy but you may see some points in the account that make the shooting difficult to properly define as genuine self defense.

http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/Murder-charge-filed-after-suspected-car-thief-shot-5686368.php

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,836 Senior Member
    Sam...my virus protection says your link is not safe....just so you know...

    How about some details...
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  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Here's the text

    BIG SPRING, Texas (AP) — A West Texas man is free on bond after being charged with murder in the death of a man who stole his mother's car from a truck stop, authorities said Wednesday.

    James Keck, 24, of McCamey, posted a $50,000 bond Sunday, a day after 42-year-old Bobby Gene Bricker of Big Spring was shot twice in the head.

    Keck called 911 Saturday night to tell dispatchers he was in a vehicle chasing a man at a high rate of speed. Dispatchers told him to slow down and that officers were en route.

    A probable cause affidavit obtained by KOSA-TV of Odessa and Midland shows Keck told investigators he thought his daughter was in the vehicle and that the suspect had a gun. But during a news conference Monday, Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker said, "The deceased was unarmed and never fired a shot."

    "Keck used deadly force when it was not called for," Parker said.

    Efforts to reach Keck or an attorney for him were not successful Wednesday.

    Keck did not mention his daughter in portions of the 911 call that were included in the affidavit. Other parts of Keck's story don't match, according to the affidavit.

    Keck told investigators he shot twice at one of the vehicle's back tires and that the driver slammed on the brakes. He said he kept his gun "on the vehicle" and "saw the driver's side front window burst." Thinking the driver shot at him, Keck said he fired back.

    He told investigators the vehicle then pulled off the road. He ran to his mother's vehicle and told police the man was still alive.

    The affidavit, citing the 911 recording, states that "what sounded like" two shots were fired and Keck is heard saying, "I shot him. He's dead."
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,652 Senior Member
    OK Joe Horn killed two home burglars that were robbing his neighbors house. Why is this different with a stolen vehicle.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,666 Senior Member
    By the letter of the law of using deadly force in defense of property, he actually might be in the clear... Legally.

    (Again, I do not say I agree with it, just that TX law says that deadly force can be used in defense of property)

    Morally, that's a different argument
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
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  • olesniperolesniper Senior Member Posts: 3,739 Senior Member
    Maybe.......it was a hunting accident.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: For I carry a .308 and not a .270
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,065 Senior Member
    Location matters, at least I think it does.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,786 Senior Member
    olesniper wrote: »
    Maybe.......it was a hunting accident.


    Ain't never too late for a hunting accident.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    HvyMax wrote: »
    Ain't never too late for a hunting accident.

    Man I've seen a lot of dumb stuff on here, but that takes the cake. This no doubt was derived from an old Aggie Joke.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,794 Senior Member
    I'm not close to being familiar enough with Texas law to say whether or not the shooting was legal, but I hope it was. News article is short on info as to how the guy stole the car. There's some important background info missing.

    The guy that stole the car will not be a repeat offender, and will not cost the state money in legal fees, and prison upkeep.
    I have nothing good to say about thieves.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Sam...my virus protection says your link is not safe....just so you know...

    How about some details...

    What antivirus software are you using? Just curious.

    Truetone posted the text.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    By the letter of the law of using deadly force in defense of property, he actually might be in the clear... Legally.

    (Again, I do not say I agree with it, just that TX law says that deadly force can be used in defense of property)

    Morally, that's a different argument

    My thoughts on this are the same. He may have "technically" been okay but pursuing someone and then firing into the vehicle as it was being driven may have crossed the line, at least as far as the county attorney saw it.

    He may actually win the case, but it will cost him plenty.

    Being morally right isn't always enough.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • topguntopgun Member Posts: 128 Member
    It seems that some people will NEVER learn to only tell cops: "I'll cooperate as soon as my attorney arrives. Unfortunately it usually costs them much jail time, and "Bubba" for a jail "partner".

    REMINDER TO ALL KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!, Once again for those who attended public school KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    The DA will tell the facts (as he knows them) to a grand jury, and much will depend upon what the DA believes to be the truth and how that comes across to the jurists. They may 'no-bill' him based on the deceased guy being in the middle of an act of theft, or if the DA believes the part about the shooter thinking his daughter was in the car and conveys that to the jury. The extenuating circumstances and the region of Texas that it happened in will make all the difference.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,985 Senior Member
    Dang, I wondered on to the next video and boy can those Maxim gals shoot , I think :tooth::roll2::roll2::roll2: Maybe I should watch it again and concentrate.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    The DA will tell the facts (as he knows them) to a grand jury, and much will depend upon what the DA believes to be the truth and how that comes across to the jurists. etc/QUOTE]

    Usually, grand juries rubber stamp what the DA asks for. Of course they may not, too. Depends on whether the DA is a jerk or has a decent reputation and has done okay stuff prior.

    For those who aren't familiar w. Texas law... ALL non-accidental deaths are referred to a grand jury. That's a requirement. When you get a self defense shooting (or a claim of self defense by the shooter), the homicide detectives on whichever police dept has jurisdiction decide whether a crime has been committed. Then they refer the case to the county attorney (CA) with recommendations to indict or no-bill. The CA usually follows their recommendation but isn't required to do so. Regardless, the case is then delivered to the grand jury, which usually follows the CA's recommedation on whether to indict or no-bill.

    Since the police have already charged the guy with homicide, chances are that he's be indicted and have to stand trial (or plea bargain) and of course he may or may not get off. Juries, as we all know, often follow their own "rules" and can easily choose to find not guilty, regardless of what the police or CA want.

    Facts are tenuous and it's hard to say whether the guy will get off or face conviction.

    My personal feeling, based solely on the news account, is that he stepped over the line that demarcates self defense and is in a lot of trouble. Of course, further evidence may exonerate him, too.

    Lessons:

    1- Be very VERY certain that you're engaged in lawful self defense before you shoot someone, which of course means that you also need to be cognizant of the laws where you live and the general pro-gun or anti-gun climate locally.

    2- NEVER put foot in mouth. You can't "unring a bell" -- duh.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,624 Senior Member
    If I'm on the Grand Jury - NO BILL. If I'm on the trial jury - NOT GUILTY. As far as I'm concerned, grand theft-auto is sufficient provocation to shoot anyone of any age regardless of whether or not the perpetrator poses any threat to my, or anyone else's, life or limb. And if that's not in compliance with the law - JURY NULLIFICATION.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    If I'm on the Grand Jury - NO BILL. If I'm on the trial jury - NOT GUILTY. As far as I'm concerned, grand theft-auto is sufficient provocation to shoot anyone of any age regardless of whether or not the perpetrator poses any threat to my, or anyone else's, life or limb. And if that's not in compliance with the law - JURY NULLIFICATION.

    What you predict may indeed be what happens. It all depends on whether there is more negative evidence that would slant the case against him. Theory of preventing grand theft is one thing, the actual event may be another.

    Point being, regardless of whether it appears that he acted correctly, within the law, and is being railroaded, or he may have overstepped the law (which is my tentative opinion), the major lesson we might take from this is to never let ourselves be "hung out to dry" and be at the mercy of an overzealous prosecutor. It might have been better to let the car go.

    Realize that I'm not saying the guy is flat guilty. What I am saying is that he really walked a narrow line and it may come back to bite him. All considerations of self defense aside, in some states you practically have to be at death's door to legitimately act in self defense. Other states are more forgiving. And Texas is one of the few states (I don't actually know of other states this way) in which you're actually justified (technically) in using lethal force to protect property in which personal safety isn't an issue.

    Some of us here would be very reluctant to fire on someone who was fleeing with property and who didn't represent a physical threat. I personally would find it hard to do so. But technically it's defensible, so the guy may get off, if the jury is of your opinion.

    What I'd not want to do, in any case, is to have my livelihood and freedom in the hands of 12 of my peers. No way.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,985 Senior Member
    "What I'd not want to do, in any case, is to have my livelihood and freedom in the hands of 12 of my peers. No way." quote samzhere

    Why Sam, that goes against the old idiom, I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6!
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,102 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    What you predict may indeed be what happens. It all depends on whether there is more negative evidence that would slant the case against him. Theory of preventing grand theft is one thing, the actual event may be another.

    Point being, regardless of whether it appears that he acted correctly, within the law, and is being railroaded, or he may have overstepped the law (which is my tentative opinion), the major lesson we might take from this is to never let ourselves be "hung out to dry" and be at the mercy of an overzealous prosecutor. It might have been better to let the car go.

    Realize that I'm not saying the guy is flat guilty. What I am saying is that he really walked a narrow line and it may come back to bite him. All considerations of self defense aside, in some states you practically have to be at death's door to legitimately act in self defense. Other states are more forgiving. And Texas is one of the few states (I don't actually know of other states this way) in which you're actually justified (technically) in using lethal force to protect property in which personal safety isn't an issue.

    Some of us here would be very reluctant to fire on someone who was fleeing with property and who didn't represent a physical threat. I personally would find it hard to do so. But technically it's defensible, so the guy may get off, if the jury is of your opinion.

    What I'd not want to do, in any case, is to have my livelihood and freedom in the hands of 12 of my peers. No way.

    Since I'm a douche about terminology, all I saw was "negative evidence".

    Evidence is either incriminating or exculpatory. Not positive and negative. :tooth:

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    "What I'd not want to do, in any case, is to have my livelihood and freedom in the hands of 12 of my peers. No way." quote samzhere

    Why Sam, that goes against the old idiom, I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6!

    Idioms are just clever sayings and not always too valid in the real world. But I'm not aware of any point in the account of where this guy was in danger of dying, either.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Since I'm a douche about terminology, all I saw was "negative evidence".

    Evidence is either incriminating or exculpatory. Not positive and negative. :tooth:

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk

    When I said "negative" I of course meant having a negative effect on this guy's defense, i.e., incriminating.

    Sent from my trusty HP Pavilion laptop using Xfinity WiFi

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,689 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    ...or if the DA believes the part about the shooter thinking his daughter was in the car...

    If the DA falls for that line he is as big of an idiot as the shooter!

    If.... the girl was in the car......why didn't Keck tell the 911 dispatcher that?...............And more important..............what kind of dipstick would fire rounds into a car that his daughter was in?

    I think Keck realized he messed up and felt he had to justify himself.

    Do I mind that another criminal is ART?........Not in the least little bit........Do I think actions like this give the liberals more ammo to use against the 2nd amendment?...........You bet I do.
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  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    gator wrote: »
    If the DA falls for that line he is as big of an idiot as the shooter!

    If.... the girl was in the car......why didn't Keck tell the 911 dispatcher that?...............And more important..............what kind of dipstick would fire rounds into a car that his daughter was in?

    All true, based on what is known at this point. The police charged him, so they didn't believe him, but the DA will weigh the possibility that part of the story might get excluded from an actual trial (or spun) by defense counsel, and there is always the politics of the situation (public opinion of the people who elect DAs) for DA's who want to move up the ladder.

    The indictment usually depends upon whether the DA wants to prosecute, because the prospective 'indictee' doesn't really offer a defense at the hearing. If, for any reason, the DA doesn't want to go to trial, he can usually influence the grand jury to no-bill. Getting them to indict on scant evidence, on the other hand, is harder but it does happen fairly frequently.
    I think Keck realized he messed up and felt he had to justify himself.

    Do I mind that another criminal is ART?........Not in the least little bit........Do I think actions like this give the liberals more ammo to use against the 2nd amendment?...........You bet I do.

    Liberals mostly think we still hang horse thieves and rustlers in Texas, anyway. If they can't spin the truth to make their points, they will just make up a story, publish it in their talking points, and tell everyone to speak louder and repeat it more often. In the end, nobody changes their mind and it makes little difference anyway, because Democrats, as a rule, are usually passing legislation that goes against the will of the majority anyway, or they get their stuff rammed through by executive fiat, obscure rules from some faceless bureaucracy, or by Federal court rulings.

    In the great scheme of things, the message sent by allowing citizens some leeway as to how they defend their property may do more good than harm. The shooter in this case was an idiot, but the shootee was a thief, caught in the act, and Texans have always been pretty hard on thieves, but fairly lenient on idiots. :tooth:
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,985 Senior Member
    This thread is why it is very important to review/investigate each and every fatal shootin, no blanket pass should be given and at the same time, no undue harassment to shooters who acted within the law.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    This thread is why it is very important to review/investigate each and every fatal shootin, no blanket pass should be given and at the same time, no undue harassment to shooters who acted within the law.

    Exactly, which is why I posted it in the first place. Not necessarily to debate the guilt or innocence of the shooter, but to illustrate how we really need to be careful if we ever do shoot at someone, to be very certain of the law and that we don't put ourselves in legal jeopardy by an incautious act.

    Were I to speculate, I'd guess that the guy has never taken a self defense course, read a single on self defense (Ayoob, etc) or spent any real, thoughtful time chatting with other gun owners about what you should or should not do.

    Which is why, as Big implies, we all really need to be cognizant of the law and its implications. We may not agree with certain aspects of the law, but we also don't want to become expensive "test cases" on various aspects of armed self defense, either.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    There is no mention of Self defense in the article that I can see. I don't believe this is an issue or factor in this shooting. etc

    Well, you're likely correct on that. But I posted this because it falls generally under "self defense" within the arc of Texas laws, as the specifics related to using lethal force are part of the Tx "lethal force" statutes. And in the account, the guy did say that he thought the dead guy shot at him, so he returned fire.

    So whether it's legitimately "self defense" in fact, the shooter claims it is, at least proffered that as a partial reason why he fired.

    And yes, I am very cognizant of the Texas law regarding protection of property and potential use of lethal force to protect it. But the law doesn't precisely allow this carte blanche, either. It merely states that stopping theft is a means of defense against prosecution.

    And you're right, it may be a political ploy by the sheriff to gain attention. But my original point is that you don't want to put yourself in possible trouble because someone wants to win an election. Someone attacking me, attacking a loved one, breaking into my house? Sure, I think those are reasons for armed self defense. But somebody stealing something and running away, zero physical threat to me? Even if Tx law technically allows it, I'm skeptical whether I'd use lethal force to stop it.

    I had a similar experience some years ago but I'm not allowed to post the story.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,794 Senior Member
    Texas used to hang horse thieves. The car is the modern horse or 'horseless carriage'. Car theft is at least felony theft if dollar amount is considered. Hmmmm...... If I were writing the laws, it would surely suck to be a criminal.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 10,065 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    If I'm on the Grand Jury - NO BILL. If I'm on the trial jury - NOT GUILTY. As far as I'm concerned, grand theft-auto is sufficient provocation to shoot anyone of any age regardless of whether or not the perpetrator poses any threat to my, or anyone else's, life or limb. And if that's not in compliance with the law - JURY NULLIFICATION.

    You are willing to compromise your integrity too easily.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
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