HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS — A neighbor with a history of breaking in uninvited was permanently corrected when the homeowner shot him in the groin. According to the homeowner, who was familiar with the neighbor, the suspect had broken into the home before but this time he was caught in the act. Fearing for his own life, the homeowner had no choice but to use his gun in self defense.
According to Click2Houston, the man was evacuated to a medical facility where he was listed in serious but stable condition. Deputies investigating the scene found the homeowner willing to comply and have not charged him with any wrongdoing.
In Texas, breaking into a person’s home is justification for use of deadly force.
PENAL CODE, TITLE 2. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY
CHAPTER 9. JUSTIFICATION EXCLUDING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY
Sec. 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE. (a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:
(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
DISCLAIMER: We’re not attorneys. The details of this case will be investigated fully by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney will make a final decision as to whether or not to press charges.
What we can say of this case is that it appears to be a clear decision on behalf of the suspect to repeatedly break into this person’s home. As this person was home at the time, it would be in his best interests to defend himself and his property. To the extent that is covered by Texas law, he should be free to do so.
Self defense and the defense of one’s own personal property are inalienable rights. Depending upon the state you live in, laws may or may not back that up. That’s why we wrote an indepth article on how Stand Your Ground is different than Castle Doctrine — what it means, where it applies and who has it on the books. If you don’t live in a state that upholds laws similar to the Castle Doctrine, you may want to investigate the extent of which your actions may be covered.
No one has a right to break into your home and a gun can be a valuable tool in leveling the playing field.