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View Diary: Gun-totin' property owner kills a guy trying to defend his cousin, who urinated on a gravel bar (374 comments)

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  •  Why on earth is this manslaughter and not (7+ / 0-)

    murder?  You don't get to shoot people in the head because you put up a "no trespassing" sign.  It doesn't somehow become the victim's fault because he failed to anticipate that the landowner was a nutjob.  

    •  Charge is second degree murder (6+ / 0-)

      Link

      Authorities on Sunday charged Crocker with second-degree murder. He was being held Monday in lieu of $650,000 bail at the Crawford County Jail.
      IANAL, but its probably second degree instead of first because the perp made his presence known, told them to get off the property and fired two warning shots.
      Loretta Dart said they stopped at the gravel bar before 2 p.m. but weren’t there long before Crocker confronted them with a gun, starting with her cousin who went to urinate. The man said they were on private property and to get out. He waved his gun around and fired it in the air and into the ground near Paul Dart and her cousin, Loretta Dart said.

      Crocker told a detective that men were yelling at him “stating that they weren’t going to leave and that the gravel bar was public property,” court records say.

      At one point, Crocker told Kling, “I have the power here. I have the power,” Kling said.

      Kling said, “Put that gun down and we’ll see who has the power,” according to Loretta Dart. Kling, 24, of Robertsville, said he and his stepfather were trying to reason with the man.

      Then, Loretta Dart said, her cousin picked up a rock. (Crocker told police the man had a rock in each hand.) Her husband stood between her cousin and the gunman.

      It wasn't pre-meditated, he didn't stalk and kill them without warning, etc. so no first-degree charge.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 04:05:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly - angry man shoots trespasser in the (5+ / 0-)

      face in broad daylight, after menacing the trespassers by firing into the air and into the ground near one person's feet.

      The gun toter created the public menace with a deadly weapon, and then when the effect he desired was not immediately achieved he shot someone in the face in broad daylight.

      The stones don't matter, because everyone has a right to self defense.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:12:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting that you know what happened (0+ / 0-)

        Were you there?

        I didn't think so.

        So where is your information coming from?  Ah... apparently the family and friends of the dead man.

        Ever occur to you that they might be slightly biased?

        I suggest reserving judgement until we hear a bit more about what happened.

        I picked up three things from the article:

        1. It is not clear whether Crocker displayed his gun first or if the cousin picked up the rocks first

        2. Dart (the dead man) was grabbing for Crocker's gun or gun arm when Crocker shot him.  So Dart seems to have started the physical part of this incident.

        3. Members of the Dart party were drunk and aggressive.  (Whether the man who got killed was drunk is not clear.)

        •  Obviously I'm stating what I what I think (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not on the jury, and have no duty to give either party the benefit of any doubt.

          I certainly agree with you that the floaters sound like arrogant foolish jerks.

          Suppose Crocker testifies that they were throwing rocks from the gravel bar onto his property, or throwing even rocks at him. There is no evidence that any of them were committing a felony when he approached them with a gun.

          There is no evidence that he was in a vehicle when aggressive drunk floaters accosted him.

          If I understand MO law, he had a duty to retreat.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 05:59:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You really have gone through the looking glass (0+ / 0-)
            Suppose Crocker testifies that they were throwing rocks from the gravel bar onto his property, or throwing even rocks at him. There is no evidence that any of them were committing a felony when he approached them with a gun.
            Throwing rocks at someone is assault with a deadly weapon - definitely a felony.

            However, there is no requirement for someone to be committing a felony, a crime, or even a simple tort like trespass before you can approach him with a gun.

            It would have been perfectly legal for Crocker to put down his jug of whiskey, pick up his gun in his hand, and walk over to the Dart party as soon as they entered is land.  Whether he could have done so if they were on public property might be more complicated depending on MO gun laws, whether Crocker had a permit, etc.  The rules if they were on Crocker's property but on a public easement are probably less clear.

            If I understand MO law, he had a duty to retreat.
            Missouri has a Stand Your Ground law.
            •  You're just pulling that out of your ass. (0+ / 0-)

              A rock isn't a deadly weapon.  Normally, "deadly weapon" is statutorily defined.  I've never seen a rock within the definition of a deadly weapon—normally you're talking things like a gun, a knife > a certain size, or a knife with a spring mechanism in it.  

              •  556.061 of the Missouri Code: (0+ / 0-)

                “Deadly weapon” means any firearm, loaded or unloaded, or any weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or serious physical injury, may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, dagger, billy, blackjack or metal knuckles;

                •  I can see why you didn't post a link (0+ / 0-)

                  From the previous clause: http://www.moga.mo.gov/...

                  (9) "Dangerous instrument" means any instrument, article or substance, which, under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury;
                  In short, dangerous instruments are also deadly weapons, in common parlance.   The definition of "deadly weapon" is frankly bizarre.  Apparently if I attack you with brass knuckles that's a deadly weapon, but a sword, a baseball bat, or a crossbow would not be deadly weapons.

                  Anyway, my original point remains - rocks can definitely kill you and throwing them at people is a felony.  If you don't believe me, let me throw a two or three pound rock at your head from a few feet away as hard as I can.  If you're alive and capable of pulling a trigger afterwards you can shoot me with a gun.  

                  See http://www.moga.mo.gov/...

                  565.060. 1. A person commits the crime of assault in the second degree if he:

                  (1) Attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person under the influence of sudden passion arising out of adequate cause; or

                  (2) Attempts to cause or knowingly causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or
                  ....

                  3. Assault in the second degree is a class C felony.

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