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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 10/2/2004 8:11:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 8:12:30 AM EST by drobs]
Get a load of this BS!

Eric Zorn
Police files put home defender in harsher light

Published September 26, 2004

Hale DeMar, the Wilmette homeowner who shot and wounded a burglar inside his home last December, was celebrated as a hero by gun-rights groups nationwide.

But a look at recently opened police files in the case suggests that DeMar acted more like a vigilante than a hero--that it wasn't necessary for him to shoot the unarmed intruder to defend himself or his children, as he has claimed, and that he all but welcomed the confrontation in his home.

DeMar did not, for example, change or install new locks on his doors on Dec. 29, 2003, the day he awoke to discover that a burglar had stolen a set of house keys and other items from the $1.2 million home on a lakefront cul-de-sac close to the Bahai Temple that DeMar, 55, a divorced restaurateur, shares with his 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.
Records show he told police that he was "unable to get a locksmith to come to his home." But several area locksmiths I interviewed told me that emergency service is standard in the business and that even though the DeMar house had special high-security locks, it would have been easy to find a locksmith in the phone book who would have secured the house against someone who possessed the keys.

Yet DeMar made no additional effort to secure the doors even though he apparently expected the burglar to return: That same night, he put his children in bed with him, loaded his .38 and put it under the bed.

His home-security alarm went off at 10:30 p.m., and a control panel in his bedroom showed the rear kitchen door had been breached, but DeMar did not call police from the bedroom phone or take up a defensive position near the top of the stairs.

Instead, he grabbed his gun and crept down to the kitchen.

From there he looked into a family room at the rear of the house and saw Morio Billings, 31, a Chicago native with an extensive criminal record including theft and burglary convictions, trying to disconnect a flat-panel computer monitor that he later told police he thought was a TV.

According to the accounts both men later gave police and that were recently unsealed when Billings pleaded guilty in the case, DeMar said nothing before firing two shots at Billings, one striking him in the shoulder.

Billings, who could not retrace his steps and leave because DeMar was blocking his way, then ran along the far wall of the house, opposite the stairway to the second floor. "I just wanted to get ... out," he later said.

DeMar shot once as Billings passed through the dining room and into the living room at the front of the house. DeMar moved into the foyer, blocking both the front exit and the stairway, and fired again, striking Billings in the calf as Billings ran to a front window, punched at it three times and then dove out, head first.

He was arrested a short time later at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston where he sought treatment for his wounds. He did not respond to a recent request for an interview sent to him at Hill Correctional Center in downstate Galesburg, where he is serving seven years for charges related to the DeMar break-ins.

"DeMar stated all he wanted was `[Billings] out of his house,'" according to an officer's written report. But DeMar's failure to call police, his shoot-first approach and his movements blocking Billings' way out the rear and front doors tell a different story--the story of a suburban cowboy.

DeMar declined my request for an interview and directed me for comment to a letter to the editor he'd had published in the Tribune and other papers in January responding to Wilmette fining him $750 for violating the village's handgun ban--a move that made him a martyr as well as a hero to those who campaign for the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry firearms.

"I suppose some would have grabbed their children and cowered in their bedroom ... praying that the police would get there in time to stop the criminal from climbing the stairs and confronting the family in a bedroom, trembling, dreading the sound of the door being kicked in," DeMar wrote. "That's not the fear I wanted my children to experience and it is not the cowardly act that I want my children to remember me by."

Of course, if Billings had been armed and a better shot than DeMar, his children might have only memories of him left today. And if Billings had also been after the children instead of simply salable items to feed what he told police was his crack habit, they too might have suffered serious harm if their father's Charles Bronson routine had gone agley.
DeMar contended in his letter that it took Wilmette police 10 minutes to respond to a call from the alarm company; Wilmette police say records show their response time to the burglary call was only three minutes.

DeMar and his children would have been safer if he'd immediately called police and then stood guard at the top of the stairs with, yes, the pistol in his lap.

Long-time readers of this column know that I'm not a foe of gun-owners' rights and that I recognize the role of privately owned firearms for self-defense.

But I also recognize a shabby story when I see one. And the record here now shows that the only thing to celebrate here is Hale DeMar's good luck that his rash, reckless and unnecessary use of a gun didn't end in a real tragedy.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 8:35:28 AM EST
He also ran some shit later in the week, wed, or thr, I dont recall. You check it out.

Today in the op-ed pages ,people wrote in expressing thier views. It looks like crooks have a new job hazzard, ....They Might get SHOT breaking and entering someones home,, Novel Idea.

Hell, I say give crooks a tour of your home while calling the fuzz, if B.G. gets away before they get there , maybe they wont hurt you when they come baaaa..ck.

Fuck that, I would rather replace $2000.00 worth of carpet, .....blood from B.G. ,than let him take a bowl of chili out of my fridge. If I caught someone cleaning the litterbox in my garage ...SSS.

Link Posted: 10/2/2004 8:39:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/2/2004 8:41:36 AM EST by CKMorley]
I agree with Demar's right to blast a home invader, but it looks like
he made some REALLY dumb statements to the cops.
If the Cook County DA wanted to, he could've made Demar's life a real
hell.
You never tell the cops anything that can be interpreted as
"I was waiting for him to come back".

Zorn is normally even handed on the gun issue, I guess he's showing his
true pinko colors this time.

I wonder how hard Zone would've jumped on DeMar had the homeowner
been a poor black.

CKMorley
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 8:55:31 AM EST
"DeMar stated all he wanted was `[Billings] out of his house,'" according to an officer's written report. But DeMar's failure to call police, his shoot-first approach and his movements blocking Billings' way out the rear and front doors tell a different story--the story of a suburban cowboy.

Maybe Demar shouldn't have repeatedly breaking into this guy's house in the 1st place. I think Zorn is saying we should cower in our bedrooms and let crooks have their way. That's BS in my book.

Poor criminal was ony trying to get out of there... So he could come back later.
Link Posted: 10/3/2004 7:01:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By drobs:
"DeMar stated all he wanted was `[Billings] out of his house,'" according to an officer's written report.

Poor criminal was ony trying to get out of there... So he could come back later.


...And take more stuff that he couldn't carry out the first time. The only "shabby story", is Eric Zorn's one in the paper. Good thing this Zorn didn't get to interview the imprisoned home invader. I'm sure that would have been a real tear jerker story, making us all feel sorry for a habitual criminal.
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 1:33:51 PM EST
Fuck him. He probably has holes in his knees from blowing Daley. Actually, the Trib hated Daley. Read between the lines guys, this is an attempt for the gun grabbers to gain support for their dying movement. This human douchebag will get a letter from me.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 3:12:18 AM EST
Well, I bet you that the burgler will NEVER invade his home again!
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:29:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By patriot73:
Fuck him. He probably has holes in his knees from blowing Daley. Actually, the Trib hated Daley. Read between the lines guys, this is an attempt for the gun grabbers to gain support for their dying movement. This human douchebag will get a letter from me.




Agreed. Zorn & Co. are laying the groundwork for the fight in Nov. when we can over-turn Blago's veto of the "DeMar Law".

CKMorley
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 11:42:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2004 11:43:23 AM EST by jsmith48]

Originally Posted By patriot73:
Fuck him. He probably has holes in his knees from blowing Daley. Actually, the Trib hated Daley. Read between the lines guys, this is an attempt for the gun grabbers to gain support for their dying movement. This human douchebag will get a letter from me.



The only mistake the homeowner made was not killing the guy. I guess not using enough firepower would be another mistake also. There is a lesson there.

EDIT: The article is complete BS. The author is a pathetic criminal apologist.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 1:03:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By jsmith48:

Originally Posted By patriot73:
Fuck him. He probably has holes in his knees from blowing Daley. Actually, the Trib hated Daley. Read between the lines guys, this is an attempt for the gun grabbers to gain support for their dying movement. This human douchebag will get a letter from me.



The only mistake the homeowner made was not killing the guy. I guess not using enough firepower would be another mistake also. There is a lesson there.

EDIT: The article is complete BS. The author is a pathetic criminal apologist.



I agree with you except for one thing, Hale Demar had a .38, that's plenty of firepower, he just didn't know how to shoot. I prefer the 870 Wingmaster for home protection.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 5:28:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By woodbutcher223308:
He also ran some shit later in the week, wed, or thr, I dont recall. You check it out.

Today in the op-ed pages ,people wrote in expressing thier views. It looks like crooks have a new job hazzard, ....They Might get SHOT breaking and entering someones home,, Novel Idea.

Hell, I say give crooks a tour of your home while calling the fuzz, if B.G. gets away before they get there , maybe they wont hurt you when they come baaaa..ck.

Fuck that, I would rather replace $2000.00 worth of carpet, .....blood from B.G. ,than let him take a bowl of chili out of my fridge. If I caught someone cleaning the litterbox in my garage ...SSS.




and man your chili is almost worth die ing for
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 8:04:35 PM EST
Eric Zorn = Douche Bag
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