Friday, July 27, 2012
Steedman A local farmer who shot at a vehicle trespassing on his property will not face charges for the incident.
Although the infamous Castle Doctrine does not apply, Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson said Carl Norris was not in violation of the law when he fired on the vehicle of several individuals whom he suspected were attempting to steal from him. In the vehicle at the time were Jacqueline Kemp, 21, of Mokane, and her infant child.
“The Castle Doctrine has to do with your residence — a house, an apartment, even a tent. It doesn’t apply to surrounding properties,” Wilson said. “(But) in the law, a person has reason to use physical force to prevent another person from stealing, trespassing on or tampering with their property.”
He said that although the law also stipulates that an individual cannot use deadly force, which Wilson defined as “purposely trying to kill or severely injure a person or creating a substantial risk of death or serious harm,” there is no evidence Norris was using deadly force.
“Mr. Norris made it clear it was his intention to disable the vehicle because the first two suspects had fled and he didn’t know where they were going,” Wilson said, adding that Norris claims the second shot was not an intentional discharge of his weapon. “I think if he’d shot the tires instead of into the engine block, there wouldn’t even be a question. My interpretation is he used physical force to stop the stealing of his property