This is the third part of a three part post. Part one is here. and Part two is here
When we got to the court, it turned out that the tests on my shotgun did
indeed show that my shotgun had not been fired, nor had any other
weapon that the police had taken that night. There was no evidence of
GSR on my hands. However, the witnesses (teens in the car) all testified
that they had seen me shooting.
Then, the attorneys asked the judge if they could have a recess, and it
was granted. My attorney talked to the others, and then came over to me
and said that the other side had offered to drop the charges against me,
if we agreed to drop our charges against them. We agreed, and so did
they. It all went away.
For weeks after that, gang members would sit outside of my house,
watching us through binoculars. We called the cops daily. I still had no
weapons, as mine had not yet been returned. They had plenty, I guess
bought on the street. One day, my neighbor came over and told me he knew
how to put a stop to the harassment.
He stood in my second floor bedroom, about 10 feet back from the window,
looking back at the gangsters through the scope of his Remington 700.
After a minute or two, the one with the binoculars did a double take,
and they got in their car and left.
The harassment continued, and my wife did not want to stay home alone. We moved a few miles down the road.
– I should not have allowed the bat wielding teen to leave AND/OR
– Once I saw a weapon (the SKS) in the teen’s hands in the car, I should
have shot him. Letting either of them leave, taking with them the
evidence to prove me correct, was a mistake.
– When the police arrive, keep quiet until you have an attorney there.
There is not anything you can say that will help you that won’t wait and
help you after the attorney gets there. You can, however, say something
stupid or make a minor mistake that will come back to haunt you later.
– When the cops get there, they will likely take all of your guns, not just the ones they think were involved.
– Lawyer up. Don’t try to handle things yourself. There is an old
saying: “A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge.” I
was amazed at how my attorney knew everyone, and at how he got things
done that I couldn’t. Well worth the money.
– The altercation took place in 1991. This country has decidedly gotten more
self defense friendly as far as the law and local prosecutors are
concerned. People in the 1980s and 1990s used to get routinely charged
for murder in situations that people now walk free and clear in. In
Florida and maybe other states you are now even protected from civil
lawsuits after cleared in a self-defense shooting. That was unheard of
until recently. Different time and different laws. This is why stand your ground is so important.
– This time period was during the early part of the anti-gun movement’s heyday. Remember that.
– Even CCW laws are better now. This was back in the time when concealed weapons permits were nearly impossible to get. I will freely admit that I was committing a first degree misdemeanor by carrying a weapon without a permit for several years before I was able to get one.
– Gangs used to be given more freedom to
operate. If a situation like I described happened where I live now, it
would result in an army of LEOs responding, and the gang members would be
dealt with ruthlessly. In the 1980s and 1990s,
I can remember drive-by shootings where 1 or 2 officers would show up
and they wouldn’t even bother looking for the shooters.
– This incident is why I have sympathy for George Zimmerman. I have been where he is now, except my incident was not a political football being used to advance political ambitions and agendas.