Christmas Home Invasion Lands Homeowner In Jail For Murder

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.

mickie shaffer
Mickie Shaffer

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.

Janoris Hughes
Janoris Hughes

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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Shocking Stand Your Ground Shootings

UPDATED May 31, 2016

2013 was the year stand your ground law became a national controversial issue. A case could fall into this category if a person who takes a life claims self-defense under stand your ground laws or may have the option to invoke the law. Here are some of the most shocking incidents that made headlines:

CLICK THE VICTIM’S NAME FOR MORE DETAILS OF THE INCIDENT

RONALD WESTBROOK, Georgia

Georgia stand your ground vicitim Ronald Westbrook
Ronald Westbrook

On November 27, 2013 Ronald Westbrook, a 72-year-old man with advanced Alzheimer’s disease, wandered four miles away from home with his dogs in the middle of the night. He jiggled the doorknob and rang the doorbell of a home in Walker County, Georgia, alerting the resident, Joe Hendrix, 34, who went outside.

Hendrix said that he saw a figure walking toward him in the darkness, ordered the man to stop several times, and fired his weapon, killing Westbrook, who was not armed. Hendrix was cleared of all charges on February 28, 2014.

 

RENISHA MCBRIDE, Michigan

Renisha Mcbride
Renisha Mcbride

On November 2nd, 2013 Renisha Mcbride, a 19-year-old woman fresh out of high school, had wrecked her car in predominately white Detroit suburb of Dearborn Heights. She may have been confused or impaired, but walked into the neighborhood. She didn’t come out alive.

Theodore Wafer, a 46-year-old resident, claims he heard banging on his door, went to the door with a 12-gauge shotgun, and Mcbride, who was unarmed, was shot in the face. Wafer said the gun went off accidentally. He was found guilty of second-degree murder, manslaughter with intent but without malice and felony use of a firearm on Aug. 7, 2014 and received a sentence of 17 to 32 years in prison.

 

JANDEI CHERRY, Florida

Jandei Cherry
Jandei Cherry (facebook/Justice4Jandei)

After getting off from work at a restaurant on October 6th, 2013, 22-year-old Jandei Cherry and a couple of co-workers go to the beach in Hollywood, Florida for a pre-dawn swim. While there, Jandei got into some kind of argument with one of the others. When he came out of the water after skinny-dipping, his clothes, cell phone, and other belongings were gone.

Jandei started a ten-mile trek home without his clothes on. A motorist, Duke Laguerre, 29, driving with his girlfriend, saw him, turned around, and claims that after asking the naked man if he was OK several times, Cherry, who was not armed, held on to the window as Laguerre tried to roll it up. Laguerre said he fired a shot, shattering the window and striking Cherry, who later died at a hospital. Laguerre has never been arrested or charged.

JENNIFER ALFONSO, Florida

Derek Medina and Jennifer Alfonso (facebook)
Derek Medina and Jennifer Alfonso (facebook photo)

Jennifer Alfonso, 26 and Derek Medina, 31, appeared to be a loving married couple, from the content smiles they posted in facebook pictures. But on August 8th, 2013 something went terribly wrong in Miami, and friends found a picture Medina posted on facebook of Alfonso’s dead body.

Medina had shot Alfonso several times, then posted a rant saying his wife was punching him, and “I’m not going to stand anymore with the abuse.” Neither could Alfonso; she was lying dead face up on the kitchen floor. Medina claims Alfonso had pulled a kitchen knife on him minutes before he killed her.

After calling his boss, stopping to say goodbye to an aunt, he had his dad drive him to a police station to turn himself in. Medina was found guilty of second-degree murder, throwing a deadly missile, and child endangerment on November 25, 2015, and sentenced to life in prison on February 5, 2016, but not before threatening to sue the world.

 

LEWIS DANIEL, Texas

On July 22nd, 2013 Shanequia Mcdonald, a 23-year-old Houston woman pulled into a gas station and was approached by 58-year-old Lewis Daniel, who she claims made unwanted sexual advances toward her.

In surveillance video Daniel can be seen approaching Mcdonald, who claims he had a knife in his hand. She backs up, he takes a few steps back, and she is seen going into the trunk of her car, taking out a shotgun, then, as Daniel moves toward her, she fires a shot, killing him instantly.

What happens next is equally shocking: Mcdonald calmly walks back to the trunk, puts the shotgun inside, gets a camera out of her car, takes a photo of Daniels’ body, gets back into her car, and drives off.

(This article was updated on 5/6/2016 for timely reference, then again on 5/31/2016 to include the outcomes of each case if available)

 

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Soldier Kills His 14-Year-Old Stepdaughter Coming Through Window

A few days ago, on December 23rd, the same day an article was published here about a mother who mistakenly killed her daughter in Florida (almost 1900 miles and exactly four weeks earlier), a soldier who is a decorated Iraq war veteran mistakenly killed his 14-year-old stepdaughter in Colorado.

Kiana O’neil reportedly was sneaking back into her home in Colorado Springs just before 6:00 a.m. Monday morning. Though police say it’s unclear, Kiana’s stepfather, 29-year-old 2nd Lt. Daniel Meade – apparently thinking it was a burglar – shot and killed the girl as she came through a basement window.

Kiana O'neil
Kiana O’neil (facebook photo)

On a police dispatch call it appears evident that the Colorado incident was at first thought to have been a burglary as the horrible scenario unfolded. According to reports, Kiana was shot in the chest and stomach, and later died at a hospital. A neighbor told KTRK that she heard three “bangs”.

Listen to an audio of a police dispatch call on the incident:

Meade, listed in military records as an active-duty health service officer in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, was not arrested, pending the outcome of a police investigation. He is married to Kiana’s mother, Monica Meade.

A district attorney must decide whether he will face any charges, which is unlikely, due to Colorado’s variation of self-defense laws called the “Make My Day” law. It refers to Clint Eastwood’s famous line from his “Dirty Harry” movies, when he dared the bad guys to draw their weapon first.

The law gives a homeowner the right to shoot to kill if in fear of imminent bodily harm or death only inside the home – not on the porch, or outside. Scott Robinson, a prominent Denver criminal defense attorney, told the Denver Post that the “Make My Day” law is “one of a kind in the United States.”

2nd Lt. Daniel Meade and wife Monica Meade (facebook photo)
2nd Lt. Daniel Meade and wife Monica Meade (facebook photo)

In 2012, a homeowner in Boulder, Colorado shot and wounded an intruder inside his home, who turned out to be an intoxicated, confused woman. The homeowner was exonerated under the state’s “Make My Day” law. It may have led to prison had he shot her on his porch.

This week’s Colorado shooting follows another similar heart-breaking incident that took place in Florida on the Monday before Thanksgiving last month. In that shooting, 52-year-old Adele Bing, after a fight with her boyfriend, shot and killed her own daughter, 25 year-old Ruby Bing – who was holding a baby – when she fired a gun while opening a door.

Florida’s stand your ground law removes the “duty to retreat” from anywhere a person has a right to be – and in most cases gives the right to use deadly force when facing death or injury.

It’s important to note that there’s likely no need for any of these incidents to be considered stand your ground cases. Yet they highlight a sense of empowerment granted with guns inside a home. Each case is a different scenario, and under each state’s castle law, regardless of intent, stand your ground laws would be irrelevant because there was probably an authentic perceived fear of imminent bodily harm or death by someone inside a home.

UPDATE: a facebook page has been set up in memory of Kiana at http://www.facebook.com/pages/RIP-Kiana-Oneil/185939468280122

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14 Year Old Girl Mistaken As Burglar Is Killed By Stepfather

this is getting to be outrageous!

 

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We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

Another tragic killing in Colorado.  This time, it’s in Colorado Springs.  It’s a breaking story, so there’s not much information yet.

Police spokesman Larry Herbert gave a statement saying that Monday morning, around 6 a.m., a call was made of a burglary-in-progress.  When police arrived on the 4300 block of Ascendant Drive, off North Carefree Circle and Peterson Road, they found a 14 year-old girl had been shot by her step-father.  She was taken to an area hospital where she died of gunshot wounds. 

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Mother Shoots Through Door, Kills Daughter Holding Baby

In a horrible accident a few days before Thanksgiving a Florida woman shot through a door thinking it was her boyfriend, killing her daughter – who was holding a 4-month-old baby. This is the latest in a month-long string of “doorstep shootings” where someone claiming to be in fear fired a gun at the door.

Ruby Bing
Ruby Bing (facebook photo)

On Monday night, November 25th, Adele Bing, 52, of Winter Haven Florida, had a fight with her boyfriend, James Lane, 39, and hit him in the head with a gun. Bing told police he left, but not before telling her he’d be back to kill her. Unbeknownst to Bing, Lane instead went to a hospital to be treated.

While he was at the hospital, Adele Bing claimed she heard a banging and kicking at her apartment door, and, thinking it was Lane, went to the door holding a baseball bat in one hand and a .22 caliber pistol in the other. At the door was her daughter, 25-year-old Ruby Bing, who was holding Adele’s 4-month-old grandchild.

Ruby Bing2
Ruby Bing (facebook photo)

Bing told police that as she opened the door, the gun went off by accident, hitting Ruby with a single shot to the chest. She died at the scene. Luckily, the baby wasn’t hurt. Police arrived to find Adele Bing cradling her daughter’s body, begging her to wake up.

She reportedly has made a statement to police that it was a “f–up accident” and stated, “How can I look my grandkids in their face and say I killed their mother? Y’all can lock me away for good.”

Adele Bing
Adele Bing (Winter Haven Police Dept. booking photo)

She was charged with second degree murder, shooting a deadly weapon, domestic violence with aggravated battery, and child neglect without great bodily harm.

UPDATE: Mom Who Killed Daughter Holding Baby Is Sentenced

Adele Bing
Police bring Adele Bing in for booking.

This and other recent incidents underscore the dangers of approaching a door in supposed “fear” while holding a gun, and of banging on a door at night, heightening the likelihood that a deadly encounter or a self-defense incident may occur.

On November 2nd, 19-year-old Renisha Mcbride was shot and killed after banging on the door of a Michigan home after she wrecked her car. Then on November 27th, Ronald Westbrook, a 72-year-old Georgia man with Alzheimer’s disease, was shot and killed after trying a door at the wrong house, then approaching a man who came outside.


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Renisha Mcbride Shooter Going To Trial

[UPDATE: January 16. 2014 – Ted Wafer entered a plea of not guilty on January 15, and a trial is scheduled to begin June 2nd]

A man charged in the shooting death of 19-year-old Renisha Mcbride last month after she banged on his door will face trial on charges of second-degree murder after two days of testimony before Judge David Turfe to decide whether the case should go to trial.

Mcbride, a 5′ 4″, 2012 Southfield High School graduate, had wrecked her car in the early morning hours of November 2nd. Toxicology reports show she had a blood alcohol content of 0.218%, more than twice the legal limit, and a trace amount of marijuana in her body.

Mcbride walked up to the home of Theodore Wafer, 46, in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Wafer fired through his door, and reportedly claimed he thought it was a burglar and that his shotgun discharged by accident. He has been free on bond since he was charged with second-degree murder manslaughter, and felony firearm on November 15th. The families of both Wafer and Mcbride attended the hearing.

Family and supporters of Renisha Mcbride
Family and supporters of Renisha Mcbride

A medical examiner, a crime scene reconstruction expert, a police detective, firearms expert, witnesses to the car accident, and friends of Mcbride were called to testify during the hearing. The defense appeared to try and sway blame for the incident to Mcbride, using her state of mind that night to display aggressive behavior that would justify Wafer’s actions.

Evidence included the 12-gauge shotgun used to kill Mcbride on his porch, the screen door through which the fatal shot was fired, an NRA pamphlet, shotgun shells, and photos of Mcbride’s damaged car showing airbags deployed as well as a cracked windshield.

The screen door had smudges allegedly caused by Mcbride.The windshield appeared to have a web pattern as though hit from a center point that spread out. Det. Sgt. Stephen Gurka said it’s possible her head hit the windshield.

Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner Kilak Kesha testified that a person could be incoherent, confused or more aggressive due to any brain damage.

He said they have not been able to establish whether Mcbride had any head injuries from the car accident that could have affected her state of mind, since the gunshot wound to her head caused damage that eliminated any brain damage determination. He said that there was no exit wound.

David Balash, a firearms expert, said the fatal shot was fired from close range, and it may have been from as close as two feet away.

Renisha Mcbride
Renisha Mcbride

A witness, Carmen Beasly, who called 911 after hearing “a loud boom” outside her house, testified that she went outside and saw McBride holding her head and staggering as she walked away from a 2004 Ford Focus that had crashed into Beasly’s husband’s car.

She said Mcbride came back 5 or 10 minutes later. She said she talked to Mcbride, who had blood on her hands, possibly from her arm, but that Mcbride didn’t know where she was.

Beasly asked if she was OK, and Mcbride said yes, then searched for her cell phone but couldn’t find it. Beasly described Mcbride as “discombobulated” and heard Mcbride say more than once that “I just want to go home”, but that the young lady walked away again as Beasly was calling 911 a second time. Beasly and another witness testified that Mcbride was never hostile.

No one knows Mcbride’s whereabouts from 1:30 a.m. until about 4:42 a.m. that morning, when Wafer called police to say he had shot someone.

A friend who was with Mcbride earlier in the night said she had left Mcbride’s home after they drank half a bottle of vodka and got into an argument. Another friend said she was supposed to pick him up from work, and they had spoken by phone, but that Mcbride’s voice was slurred, as if she was drunk.

He said he wondered if someone had slipped something into a drink she may have had. Both friends testified that Mcbride’s actions that fateful night were uncharacteristic.

In ordering the case held over for trial, Judge Turfe said Wafer could have avoided the confrontation. “He could have not answered the door. He could have called for help.  He chose to shoot rather than not answer the door,” Judge Turfe said. He said the defendant made a bad choice when there were other reasonable opportunities.

Theodore Wafer
Theodore Wafer (photo: Freep)

Based on testimony and reasoning, Judge Turfe said that he believes the prosecutors met the burden of proof showing probable cause to go to trial on charges that Wafer committed the crimes of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The trial date is set for June 2, 2014.