Many home invasions are reported across America during the holidays, but one zealous Pennsylvania homeowner who was a victim on Christmas Day, then chased and gunned down the intruder an hour later, using the intruder’s own rifle, has been charged with murder.
Mickle Joe Shaffer, 54, of Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, is being held without bond in the death of 21-year-old Janoris Hughes.
Janoris Hughes is listed in online court records as a resident of Naples, Florida and a fugitive from justice on burglary charges in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, about 12 miles from Fayetteville. His past includes arrests for indecent exposure and obstructing an officer.
The York Daily Register reported that Hughes entered Shaffer’s home about 5:15 a.m. Christmas morning and ordered Shaffer and several other people into a bedroom.
One of those people, Terry “Dread” L. Fulton, 36, was shot three times as he fought with Hughes. Both he and Hughes ran from the house. Fulton got in his truck and drove away, but crashed into a utility pole about 2 1/2 miles away, where he was found.
Shaffer told police he found Hughes’s .22 caliber rifle after Hughes fled, put his own rounds of ammo into it, and went after Hughes. He found Hughes behind the house and told him to freeze, but he said Hughes started to reach into his waistband.
Shaffer said he thought Hughes was reaching for a gun, and when Hughes turned to run, Shaffer fired, shooting him in the back. Witnesses said Shaffer then stood over Hughes and told him, “Move and I’ll shoot you again.” Hughes was pronounced dead on the scene at 6:48 a.m.
Pennsylvania’s version of stand your ground law, called Act 10 of 2011. includes the “no duty to retreat” provision, and allows a person to use deadly force in self-defense against an intruder or attacker, anywhere they have a right to be.
But the law states that Hughes either had to be “in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering the house” or had “unlawfully and forcefully entered”, and was “present within it.”
Outside his house, Shaffer had the right to use deadly force if he believed that it was “immediately necessary” to protect himself against death or serious bodily injury from an attacker. Shaffer shot Hughes in the back over an hour after the invasion.
The bill includes a requirement that a person using deadly force outside a building or vehicle must actually see an attacker displaying or using a gun or a replica of a gun, or “any other weapon readily or apparently capable of lethal use.”
Police did not say whether Hughes was armed when he was shot, but mentioned only the assault rifle in court documents obtained by the York Daily Register.
Though police have not characterized the activity in Shaffer’s home, the law wouldn’t apply if the home invasion was related to any criminal activity in the house.
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