Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The right to protect your home?
A John Hopkins student in Baltimore killed an intruder to the house he shared with three other roommates early Tuesday. He killed him not with a gun, but, get this, a Samurai sword.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Based on the initial investigation, the student killed the man with only one strike of the sword, though it was also reported the man had a nearly severed hand and a laceration to his upper body. Bet that was one deep laceration.
The student told police that he heard a commotion in the house and went downstairs armed with the sword. He saw the side door to the garage had been pried open and found a man inside, who lunged at the student. There was no indication that the suspected burglar was armed.
Burglars had already stolen two laptops and a Sony PlayStation from the student's home Monday.
Police have also not formally released the name of the suspected burglar, but according to the Baltimore Sun, the man, Donald D. Rice, 49, had 29 prior convictions for crimes such as breaking and entering, and had been released Saturday from the Baltimore County Detention Center after he was arrested by county police in August 2008 for stealing a car.
An investigaton continues to see if evidence backs up the testimony of those in and around the scene. The city state's attorney's office will determine whether to press charges.
Should the student be charged with anything? Possession of a samurai sword is not illegal. He was protecting his property. You can argue it was excessive, but emotions and reactions can get out of control in a situation like this.
If he is charged with anything, I'd like for the city state's attorney's office to say what they would have done in a similar situation.