What happens when self defense goes wrong?

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,868
Re: What happens when self defense goes wrong?

Wheatfield wrote:

Ok, the situation is, you wake up in the middle of the night because you hear something moving downstairs when nothing should be moving (presume you either live alone, or with only one person, who is asleep beside you).

You quietly get your AR-15 from under the bed (or your Glock from the bedside drawer, the detail isn't important), and head off to defend your property and loved one. You are certain the person is armed (you see glints off of something metal) when you spot him, so you take aim and fire.

Except that you've never been in this situation, you are sleep groggy and hyped on adrenaline at the same time, and so you miss. Your bullet goes through the window of your house and kills someone a block away who is walking his dog.

You take another shot, and miss again, this time your bullet enters the house across the street and kills a child sleeping in bed.

Your third shot finds a target and the burglar goes down, mortally wounded, but not dead, so you finish him off with a fourth shot to the back of his head.

For the record, you have a camera security system that catches it all, so the police will know exactly what transpired.

What are the legalities at play here?

You have just killed two innocent people and executed a third.

Do you go to jail for some level of homicide for the death of the innocent bystanders? Are you charged with murder for the execution of the burglar?

Let's take the burglar out of it, he flees at the second gunshot and gets away.

Now you have killed a couple of innocent third parties, but you do have it on record that there was a burglar.

What are the legalities? Are you going to do some time for the accidental killings? Or is there an "oops, my bad" clause in the law that gives you an out?

I am genuinely curious.

Involuntary manslaughter.


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