STANISLAUS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Brandon Pacheco was shot in the back by Robin Duane Boyer while trying to flee the scene of an attempted theft of several car batteries. Pacheco died as a result of those injuries. Last week, a Stanislaus County jury found Boyer guilty on manslaughter charges. He was sentenced to seven years, of which he will have already served two awaiting trial.
via the Modesto Bee
“A young man lost his life needlessly,” the defendant said. “It was a horrible, horrible thing, and I will live with that for the rest of my life … and I hope you can forgive me.”
Prior to the incident, Pacheco is alleged to have been responsible for multiple thefts on the property. Likely struggling with addiction and mental health issues, his family paints a wonderful portrait of a young, caring man who just happened to fall on bad times.
Despite the colorful, forced terms his family used to help nail down a criminal case against Boyer’s actions, it’s not needed. Boyer shot the man in the back with a twelve gauge shotgun. The man was attempting to flee on his motorcycle after trying to steal a couple old, used car batteries. These, alone, represent the facts of this case that put the proverbial nail in the coffin.
As much as we’d love to color this as just another example of California judicial activism in the treatment of a law-abiding gun owner, it wasn’t.
Law-abiding citizens don’t shoot people in the back as they’re trying to flee.
They call the cops. They file a complaint. They file a restraining order. They file criminal charges related to the trespassing and theft. They help police accrue evidence of wrong-doing. They pursue civil litigation against the craphead. There’s a laundry list of ways of dealing with this problem that don’t include shooting anyone.
Is it fulfilling as a property owner to have to go through all that bureaucratic crap to get one drug addict off his property? Hell no.
It’s not fun. It’s an annoying pain in the butt.
But, it’s legally the right thing to do.
And the second we stray from the law and go into this weird valley of vigilante justice, we stop being law-abiding gun owners. We become criminals. And that’s not something that holds up in court. Criminals get charged with crimes and they spend lengthy periods in prison — especially when the crimes involve the shooting death of someone who didn’t deserve it.
As for Boyer, 62, he received a pretty light sentence considering the circumstances. He was sentenced to seven years. The judge considered two and a third already served, and he’ll probably spend another three before getting released on good behavior and having no prior convictions. However, the next time Boyer, likely 65 to 67 by that time, has to deal with a threat on his property — a legitimate threat — he won’t be able to use his shotgun.
That’s a massive disadvantage to be at as a property owner and a man nearing his later years in life. And as the heroin and drug epidemics plaguing this country likely won’t subside any time soon, we can all look forward to more people addicted to substances and driven to crime and property theft to achieve their ends. That gives each person just a marginally greater chance of getting to run into a drug addict trespassing on the property or attempting to steal something.
The right to keep and bear arms comes tempered with the responsibility to use those arms only in the defense of life. There’s a right way and a wrong way of handling a thief — and Boyer learned first hand what the wrong way gets you.