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Posted: 12/15/2005 3:18:30 PM EDT
Murder Acquittal Under Colorado "Make My Day" Law Ignites Controversy
The Associated Press



A man accused of fatally shooting someone in a car has been acquitted of first-degree murder under a state law that provides legal protection to homeowners who defend themselves.

But a legislator says the 1985 law - known as the "Make My Day" law - may have been misinterpreted by the jury.

Gary Lee Hill, 24, faced charges in the 2004 killing of 19-year-old John David Knott, who along with three others had assaulted Hill in his home.

Hill was accused of firing a shot into a car that Knott was driving. Knott crashed into a house and died from a single gunshot wound to the back
, authorities said.

"It's a miscarriage of justice," Sen. Jim Brandon, who helped craft the law, said. The law meant a home's door to be a threshold for an illegal entry, not down the street, he said.

Prosecutor Lisa Kirkman said the law says deadly force can be used "if the shooter reasonably believes the other person might use physical force against the home dweller."

According to testimony, Knott and the others showed up at Hill's house after an argument over a missing purse.

"Gary went through this horrible and traumatic event," said defense attorney Ted McClintock. "They promised they were going to come back in. They had already come back once."

Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:27:39 PM EDT
Popcorn check
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:27:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
But a legislator says the 1985 law - known as the "Make My Day" law - may have been misinterpreted by the jury. . .

"It's a miscarriage of justice," Sen. Jim Brandon, who helped craft the law, said. The law meant a home's door to be a threshold for an illegal entry, not down the street, he said.



No, Senator, you fucking idiot. Jurors decide "guilty" or "not guilty" based on the evidence presented to them in its entirety. If the jury wants to acquit that is their right. You need look no further than the OJ trial.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:30:47 PM EDT
Not much info here.

Sounds like he did the rest of us a favor though. I would withhold some judgment for now.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:32:07 PM EDT
Sounds like the fully informed jury at work… the judge, prosecutor and senator have got nothing to say about it.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:36:06 PM EDT
December 15, 2005

Springs man acquitted in shooting under Make My Day law

Gary Hill: Not guilty of firstdegree murder. Defense argued that the state’s Make My Day law made the shooting death self-defense.


By DENNIS HUSPENI THE GAZETTE

A jury Wednesday acquitted a Colorado Springs man accused of shooting a man outside his home, ruling the killing was self-defense under the state’s Make My Day law.

Gary Lee Hill, 24, was accused of first-degree murder in the Sept. 5, 2004, killing of 19-year-old John David Knott. Knott was part of a group that had assaulted Hill in his home but was in his car when Hill shot him, testimony showed.

The Make My Day law permits residents to use deadly force to protect themselves from intruders in their homes.

Hill, 24, declined to comment as he left the courthouse.

“He’s not guilty. Justice has been done,” said his mother, Kathy Jastrab. “He didn’t deserve to even be here. Those kids beat him and robbed our home. There was no reason for him to even be on trial.”

The jury deliberated for about six hours after a twoweek trial that ended late Tuesday.

Hill also was found not guilty of two counts of menacing.

“He got away with murder,” said Knott’s sister, who would identify herself only as Tina. “He was my only brother. My kid’s only uncle. This is a sad day.”

Members of Knott’s family were visibly furious, shaking with anger and crying.

According to testimony at the trial:

Hill shot Knott after getting into a fight with Knott’s girlfriend during a party at Hill’s home in the 500 block of Potter Circle.

Knott’s girlfriend, Amanda Padilla argued with Hill over a missing purse, punching Hill before he got a rifle and ordered Padilla and her friend Allesandra Ash out of his house.

The women returned with Padilla’s boyfriend, Knott, and Ash’s boyfriend, Anthony Padilla. The four went to Hill’s basement room where he was asleep and assaulted him. Amanda Padilla punched Hill in the head, opening a wound with brass knuckles.

When they left Hill’s house, he got a high-powered rifle, loaded it and fired once from the porch into the car Knott was driving. Knott crashed the car into a house and died of a gunshot wound to the back.


The jury foreman, who asked not to be identified, said jurors spent a lot of time discussing the law that allows people to use lethal force against an intruder.

“That was the bulk of our deliberation,” he said.

The foreman said the Make My Day law offers no clear “line” where an intruder must be before deadly force can be used. “We hope everyone understands this was a tragic case no matter what verdict we reached. There was no good outcome,” he said.

Former state Sen. Jim Brandon, who helped write the Make My Day law, said the jury misinterpreted the law.

“It’s a miscarriage of justice,” the Akron Republican said. “In our mind, the door is the threshold — an illegal entry. It doesn’t say down the street.”

Defense attorneys Ted and Elizabeth McClintock defended the jury’s decision.

“It was the right verdict. Gary went through this horrible and traumatic event,” Ted McClintock said. “They promised they were going to come back in. They had already come back once.”

Deputy District Attorney David Webster said prosecutors accept the jury’s decision.

“We presented the best case we possibly could,” Webster said.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Lisa Kirkman said the way the Make My Day law is written, deadly force can be used “if the shooter reasonably believes the other person might use physical force against the home dweller.”

“This is what the jury found, based on their notguilty verdict.”

Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:38:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2005 3:47:27 PM EDT by AR15fan]
[Cliffnotes]Hill grabbed a rifle to toss two girls out of a house party.

The girls came back with their boyfriends and assaulted Hill, then left.

As they were driving away Hill shot once into the car, killing the driver/Knott.[/cliffnotes]
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:43:54 PM EDT
Jury nullification in action. This really can't be considered self-defense unless he thought they were going to go for a gun, but the jury simply wasn't going to give a guy a 1st degree murder rap for shooting a bunch of thugs. Can't say I blame them. Personally, I like the old common law rule where you could shoot felons like this pretty much at will. Observe a felony, take a shot. Makes more sense then putting the victim in jail for retaliating.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:46:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Hill grabbed a rifle to toss two girls out of a house party.

The girls came back with their boyfriends and assaulted Hill, then left.

As they were driving away Hill shot once into the car, killing the driver/Knott.


Nothing wrong with that. Maybe they would of came back with their own guns or even more people?
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:48:43 PM EDT
Reminds me of that scene in Open Range.

"I'm not livin' the rest of my life lookin' over my shoulder and waitin'!"
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:49:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By p331083:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Hill grabbed a rifle to toss two girls out of a house party.

The girls came back with their boyfriends and assaulted Hill, then left.

As they were driving away Hill shot once into the car, killing the driver/Knott.


Nothing wrong with that.




I have a hard time imagining a scenario where I would invite people to a party at my house and then chase two of the female guests out of the house with a rifle. That's the part that seems beyond strange to me.

Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:50:34 PM EDT
Good shot!
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 3:54:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:
Jury nullification in action. This really can't be considered self-defense unless he thought they were going to go for a gun, but the jury simply wasn't going to give a guy a 1st degree murder rap for shooting a bunch of thugs. Can't say I blame them. Personally, I like the old common law rule where you could shoot felons like this pretty much at will. Observe a felony, take a shot. Makes more sense then putting the victim in jail for retaliating.




+1
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 4:07:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
The women returned with Padilla’s boyfriend, Knott, and Ash’s boyfriend, Anthony Padilla. The four went to Hill’s basement room where he was asleep and assaulted him. Amanda Padilla punched Hill in the head, opening a wound with brass knuckles.



As a juror, I would have a lot of ideas floating around in my head, and they would include "reasonable doubt" and "self-defense", threshold or no threshold.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 4:10:45 PM EDT
If someone comes into your house and assaults you,they are fair game,even if they are running away.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 4:25:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

When they left Hill’s house, he got a high-powered rifle, loaded it and fired once from the porch into the car Knott was driving. Knott crashed the car into a house and died of a gunshot wound to the back.



One shot, one kill. Now that is gun control! Bravo!
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 4:34:49 PM EDT
nice
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:44:39 PM EDT
The Gazette is a worthless excuse for a newspaper, very few details. I have to wonder if this guy got lucky in jury selection or defense/prosecution expertise. Sure wouldn't want to bet on the outcome for an identical case up in Denver or Boulder linky


18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
Statute text
(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.

(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.

(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.

Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:48:43 PM EDT
+1
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:51:45 PM EDT
Freaking awesome thugs FD with the wrong dude . Reminds me of something out of a Death Wish movie.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:54:47 PM EDT
No doubt he figured this would just be the beginning, and put a stop to it. Good shoot.
Link Posted: 12/15/2005 7:57:12 PM EDT
uhh...

I would have preferred that Mr. Hill did the "right" thing, and taken pictures of the wound, pressed charges etc...

But if the same thing happened to me, I probably would have emptied my mag! Like the jury said, there was no "good" outcome, but I think they made the right decision.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:27:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FMJshooter:
Freaking awesome thugs FD with the wrong dude .

If they were "thugs" what does that make him for inviting them to his house? "Birds of a feather..."
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:33:59 AM EDT
So if someone assaults you or steals from you or murders your family, they should just turn their back towards you and they will be safe from retribution? DRT mofo!
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:38:54 AM EDT
Brass knucks?

and the car hit the house? It was not driving away. Sounds to me like it was driving toward the victim.

Reminds me of that scene in Open Range.

"I'm not livin' the rest of my life lookin' over my shoulder and waitin'!"


+1


Doesn't sound like any great loss to society.

All men may be created equal, but after that, some ain't worth $#!+.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:50:15 AM EDT
Oooh, I'll bet that law gets ammended next session. The way it is written, he could have pursued them for 50 miles, plugged them, and still been within the law.


But in the mean-time....good for him. That is what we call deterence.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:52:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Brass knucks?

and the car hit the house?



A house, not his house. in other words his bullet caused the driver tyo lose control of the vehciel and crash into a neighbors home. I wonder whose insurance covers that sort of thing?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:56:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By FMJshooter:
Freaking awesome thugs FD with the wrong dude .

If they were "thugs" what does that make him for inviting them to his house? "Birds of a feather..."



So what? He didn't go to someone's house and beat them with brass knuckels in their sleep. I'll take him over them any day of the week. Maybe next time these angels decide they have been slighted they will take it up with the law and not grab their boyfriends to come attack someone in their home.

You must be like a prophet or something since there is no mention in the arcitcles about what the party was, how they were invited, who was friends of who and why there was an arguement. If you have more of a basis to make your 'thug' assesment please share.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:56:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Brass knucks?

and the car hit the house? It was not driving away. Sounds to me like it was driving toward the victim.

Reminds me of that scene in Open Range.

"I'm not livin' the rest of my life lookin' over my shoulder and waitin'!"


+1


Doesn't sound like any great loss to society.

All men may be created equal, but after that, some ain't worth $#!+.



Crashed in "a house"................................................ not "the house".

It sounds like what happens when idiots meet.

Arguement over a purse leads to a rifle being pulled...............
Instead of reporting a rifle being pulled on them, and the missing purse..........
Multiple people show up a "rifleman's" house and physically attack him (knowing he has a RIFLE)
After the people that attacked him are driving away, he shoots the driver of the the motor vehicle (where would that bullet go if he missed? Did it keep going through the GSW-R? Were there other cars nearby? Did he care where the now driverless motor vehicle might end up, or who it could hit?)

How would you like to live in a house "in the line of fire", or that got hit by the car? How responsible would you think his actions were then?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:58:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Hill shot Knott after getting into a fight with Knott’s girlfriend during a party at Hill’s home in the 500 block of Potter Circle.

Knott’s girlfriend, Amanda Padilla argued with Hill over a missing purse, punching Hill before he got a rifle and ordered Padilla and her friend Allesandra Ash out of his house.


A real hero. He was getting his ass beat by a girl, and had to get a rifle to scare her off.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:59:17 AM EDT
I would guess that the first degree murder charges had more to do with the aquittal than the self defense law. Manslaughter maybe but not first degree murder by any stretch of the imagination.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 5:59:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By FMJshooter:
Freaking awesome thugs FD with the wrong dude .

If they were "thugs" what does that make him for inviting them to his house? "Birds of a feather..."



So what? He didn't go to someone's house and beat them with brass knuckels in their sleep.


Nope. he chased her out of his house with a rifle after she accused him of stealing her purse.

Now what would you do if your wife or girlfriend came home and told you a guy stole her purse and chased her with a rifle?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:01:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By imposter:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Hill shot Knott after getting into a fight with Knott’s girlfriend during a party at Hill’s home in the 500 block of Potter Circle.

Knott’s girlfriend, Amanda Padilla argued with Hill over a missing purse, punching Hill before he got a rifle and ordered Padilla and her friend Allesandra Ash out of his house.


A real hero. He was getting his ass beat by a girl, and had to get a rifle to scare her off.



What are the odds it was an SKS and he was piss drunk?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:02:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Brass knucks?

and the car hit the house? It was not driving away. Sounds to me like it was driving toward the victim.

Reminds me of that scene in Open Range.

"I'm not livin' the rest of my life lookin' over my shoulder and waitin'!"


+1


Doesn't sound like any great loss to society.

All men may be created equal, but after that, some ain't worth $#!+.



Crashed in "a house"................................................ not "the house".

It sounds like what happens when idiots meet.

Arguement over a purse leads to a rifle being pulled...............
Instead of reporting a rifle being pulled on them, and the missing purse..........
Multiple people show up a "rifleman's" house and physically attack him (knowing he has a RIFLE)
After the people that attacked him are driving away, he shoots the driver of the the motor vehicle (where would that bullet go if he missed? Did it keep going through the GSW-R? Were there other cars nearby? Did he care where the now driverless motor vehicle might end up, or who it could hit?)

How would you like to live in a house "in the line of fire", or that got hit by the car? How responsible would you think his actions were then?



Not saying anyone was real responcible here. Also all the other consequenses are civil issues. If he was justified in shooting, which a jury said he was, then he's not a criminal because the victim does damage fleeing the shot, or in the process of dying.

Do any of you have the first clue what went on here other then what the stories provided?

The jury for some reason didn't want to put the man in jail. Or are we only supposed to trust the jury when they make calls we like?

Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:03:22 AM EDT
1 bitch couldn't deal with her own issue, self-centeredly needed to have her "honor" defended and gets her ignorant bf killed. F-her.

Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:06:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By FMJshooter:
Freaking awesome thugs FD with the wrong dude .

If they were "thugs" what does that make him for inviting them to his house? "Birds of a feather..."



So what? He didn't go to someone's house and beat them with brass knuckels in their sleep.


Nope. he chased her out of his house with a rifle after she accused him of stealing her purse.

Now what would you do if your wife or girlfriend came home and told you a guy stole her purse and chased her with a rifle?



Report it to the fucking police, not break into the tards home and beat him. Did she just accuse him of stealing a purse or did she start tossing out threats to come kill his ass, or mess him up? I might escort the the little lady out too if she starts going apeshit in my home.

Again. Do you know anything more about this than what's posted? I could agree or disagree with the jury but based on this I have nothing to go on other then the fact the paper didn't like the outcome.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:06:44 AM EDT
It worked for the guy in this case, but I'd say 99 times out of 100 that sort of thing will get you a conviction. And I'm not sure that it shouldn't result in a conviction.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:07:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Brass knucks?

and the car hit the house? It was not driving away. Sounds to me like it was driving toward the victim.

Reminds me of that scene in Open Range.

"I'm not livin' the rest of my life lookin' over my shoulder and waitin'!"


+1


Doesn't sound like any great loss to society.

All men may be created equal, but after that, some ain't worth $#!+.



+2!


"Some folks jus' need killin'....."


Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:15:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
What are the odds it was an SKS and he was piss drunk?



Ding Ding Ding....We got a winna!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:20:08 AM EDT
Just to clarify the shooter shot the guy from his front porch, the car was somewhere in the street when he shot, the car then crashed into a different house.

Both the senator and DA in the case are saying the law needs to be changed, so that means its likely that it will unfortunately.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:26:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:27:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rtr:
Just to clarify the shooter shot the guy from his front porch, the car was somewhere in the street when he shot, the car then crashed into a different house.



so who pays to fix the house? Dead guys auto insurance policy or shooters homeowners policy?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 6:42:05 AM EDT
Shady to say the least.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:03:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

It sounds like what happens when idiots meet.

Arguement over a purse leads to a rifle being pulled...............
Instead of reporting a rifle being pulled on them, and the missing purse..........
Multiple people show up a "rifleman's" house and physically attack him (knowing he has a RIFLE)
After the people that attacked him are driving away, he shoots the driver of the the motor vehicle (where would that bullet go if he missed? Did it keep going through the GSW-R? Were there other cars nearby? Did he care where the now driverless motor vehicle might end up, or who it could hit?)

How would you like to live in a house "in the line of fire", or that got hit by the car? How responsible would you think his actions were then?



Not saying anyone was real responcible here. Also all the other consequenses are civil issues. If he was justified in shooting, which a jury said he was, then he's not a criminal because the victim does damage fleeing the shot, or in the process of dying.

Do any of you have the first clue what went on here other then what the stories provided?

The jury for some reason didn't want to put the man in jail. Or are we only supposed to trust the jury when they make calls we like?




First, the Jury can only find people guilty of a crime they are charged with.
So if what he did fits Reckless Endangerment, Reckless Use of a Weapon, Firing a Weapon Inside City Limits, etc. but he wasn't charged, he can't be found guilty of those crimes. It doesn't mean he didn't do them. But he can't be Guilty of them.

People are found Guilty or Not Guilty in criminal trials, no one is ever found "innocent".

Also the State has to prove thier case "beyond a reasonable doubt". Any reasonable doubt means not guilty. That means a reasonable doubt about if the defendant was the one that committed the crime, the facts surrounding the alleged crime. Or whether or not the act committed was a crime under the law.

I suspect that the "victim's" unreasonable criminal behavior, that lead up to the shooting, as well what exactly the "make my day law" meant in this circumstance.

Again, if YOUR house was hit by a car driven by the guy that the "rifleman" shot dead, would you say it isn't at least partially the "rifleman's" fault? Of course not.

Any reasonable person would have concerns about what would happen if the driver of a motor vehicle is intentionally shot when the vehicle is in motion.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:11:17 AM EDT


Former state Sen. Jim Brandon, who helped write the Make My Day law, said the jury misinterpreted the law.

“It’s a miscarriage of justice,” the Akron Republican said. “In our mind, the door is the threshold — an illegal entry. It doesn’t say down the street.”




It also doesn't say "at the door" now, does it Senator? Maybe if you wanted the citizenry to know what you meant by the law, you would have written it in such a fashion. Or were you the one Senator who wanted it to mean the door, but were outvoted by all the other Senators?
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:17:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Nope. he chased her out of his house with a rifle after she accused him of stealing her purse.

Now what would you do if your wife or girlfriend came home and told you a guy stole her purse and chased her with a rifle?



Call the police.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 7:39:03 AM EDT


Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:11:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Nope. he chased her out of his house with a rifle after she accused him of stealing her purse.

Now what would you do if your wife or girlfriend came home and told you a guy stole her purse and chased her with a rifle?



I'd call your buddies to go talk to him. You know the man with the star (badge) and the gun.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 8:15:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Nope. he chased her out of his house with a rifle after she accused him of stealing her purse.

Now what would you do if your wife or girlfriend came home and told you a guy stole her purse and chased her with a rifle?



Call the police.



And find a new wife/girlfriend.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 9:01:33 AM EDT
Kudos to him for getting away with it, but I'm not taking this to mean I could get away with the same thing.
Link Posted: 12/16/2005 9:03:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:


But a legislator says the 1985 law - known as the "Make My Day" law - may have been misinterpreted by the jury.






Maybe the jury is sick of thieves and thugs
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