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Zimmerman Redux: The Breaking Louisiana Self-Defense Case of Merritt Landry

Zimmerman Redux: The Breaking Louisiana Self-Defense Case of Merritt Landry

Merritt Landry, a 33-year-old “white caucasian” shot the victim, a 14-year-old black boy, in the head. A single spent cartridge case was recovered at the scene, indicating that a semi-automatic weapon was used and suggesting that a single shot was fired. The hour of the shooting was approximately 2:00AM, on Friday, July 26, 2013. As of this writing the victim is reported to remain alive, in critical condition at a local hospital.

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 12.00.56 PM

The victim was shot within feet from the rear door of Landry’s dwelling in New Orleans, in an area accessible only by having to scale a locked fence, suggesting forcible entry onto the property by the victim.

A local resident and friend of Landry’s, Charles Hazouri, had security cameras on the exterior of the home which appear to have recorded the victim and a friend riding their bicycles up and down the street at 1:44AM. Earlier in the evening, another neighbor had seen the apparent friend biking around the neighborhood at 8:00PM. This neighbor, like Landry a “white caucasian,” considered calling the police, but decided against this for fear of being perceived as having racially profiled a “kid who’s just biking.”

The Hazouri recording purportedly shows the two teens talking in the middle of the street outside of Landry’s house at about 1:44AM. One wore a dark tank top and the other wore a light tank top. The teen in the light tank top climbed over Landry’s fence and into the yard. Landry’s large dog began to bark, alerting Landry to the intruder.

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 1.41.14 PM

The Landry’s pet dog which alerted the homeowner to the presence of an intruder within his gated and secured driveway at 2:00AM.

An anonymous friend has stated that Landry’s father reported his son believed he was shooting an intruder. In terms of the victim being an intruder upon secured property, this seems a reasonable perception. Whether the victim intended to intrude into the dwelling is not known, or that under the circumstances a reasonable person would have believed the victim was intending to do so, is less clear.

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 1.40.47 PM

The locked gate over which the intruder scaled at 2:00AM, shortly before approaching the home’s rear door and being shot through head by homeowner Merritt Landry.

Hazouri reports that Landry, who has a baby daughter and whose wife is pregnant, believed that the victim was trying to break into his house. “All I know is that Merritt had told his family that he had said: ‘Freeze!’ and it looked like the guy turned at him and had his hand on his hip,” Hazouri reported.

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 1.41.26 PM

The rear door of Merritt Landry’s home, and the driveway where car was parked, when Landry came upon intruder at 2:00AM.

Landry has been charged with attempted second degree murder. His bond was set to $10,000; he posted bond late Friday afternoon. Landry works for the City of New Orleans as a building inspector. The city says he has been placed on emergency suspension without pay pending the outcome of this case.

LOSD Analysis

Disclaimer: This analysis is based upon the “facts” as reported by the news media. These “facts” so must therefore be assumed to be elastic, selected to fit a hidden narrative, and perhaps even outright false. Nevertheless, they are the only “facts” with which we have to work. As new information becomes available we will adjust our coverage and analysis accordingly.

Attempted Second Degree Murder

The attempted second degree murder charge is as blatant a piece of overcharging as was the second degree murder charge brought against George Zimmerman.

Under LRS 14:30.1  Second degree murder, there are four paths to a conviction on second degree murder. Two of these involve the distribution of drugs and can be discarded on their face. A third involves a killing during the course of committing a violent felony, and this also clearly does not apply to these facts.

The last path involves the offender with a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm. Although such intent can form quickly, and Louisiana’s second degree murder charge does not incorporate the element of a “depraved murder” as is the case in Florida, it seems clear that Landry’s only use of force was in a perceived need to act in self-defense.

That perception may have been unreasonable, and therefore self-defense may fail in this instance, but even then the killing can not have been second degree murder where the killer possessed a genuine (if unreasonable) belief that he must use deadly force in self-defense rather than the intentional mental state of committing a murder.

A more reasonable charge would have been manslaughter, under LRS 14:31, if the victim’s intrusion into the property might be seen as adequate provocation, or perhaps negligent homicide under LRS 14:32.

LRS 14:19 Use of force or violence in defense

Landry will surely seek to advance self-defense against the charges. Louisiana has one self-defense statute for when the use of defensive force does not result in a death—LRS 14:19 Use of force or violence in defense—and a second self-defense statute for when the use of force does result in a death- LRS 14:20 Justifiable homicide.

As of this writing the victim remains alive, and the charge remains attempted murder rather than murder, so in this context we would look to LRS 14:19. Several sections of LRS 14:19 would seem to apply here.

First, LRS 14:19(A) provides that the use of defensive force is justifiable to prevent a forcible offense against a person or trespass against property. It states that the force must be reasonable and necessary under the circumstances, but does not explicitly limit the degree of force to non-deadly force. If, however, the person against whom the force was used actually does die, LRS 14:19 is no longer applicable and instead LRS 14:20 comes into play. If the defendant’s apparent testimony that the victim turned towards him at being challenged and appeared to be reaching for a weapon is believed, the element of prevention of a forcible offense against a person will have been met.

Second, LRS 14:19(B) provides a legal presumption of a reasonable belief that the use of force was necessary if the person using the defensive force was inside his dwelling and the force was necessary to prevent unlawful entry into the dwelling or to compel an unlawful intruder to leave the premises. The facts do not suggest that the victim here was actually inside the dwelling, but rather was a few feet from the door to the dwelling. There are two conditions to this presumption. First, that the victim either had or was in the process of unlawfully entering the dwelling, and second that the person using defensive force had reason to believe that an unlawful entry had, or was about to, occur. It seems likely that Landry will claim that he believed his use of force was necessary to prevent the victim’s unlawful entry into the dwelling.

The presence of an unknown person immediately outside one’s backdoor at 2:00AM, under circumstance that would have required them to scale a fence in order to be so situated, would seem to allow a reasonable belief that an unlawful entry into the dwelling was intended.

Alternatively, depending on how Louisiana defines “dwelling” and “curtilage” for defenses purposes, the defendant may also rely on the claim that he reasonably believed the force was necessary to compel the victim to leave. This seems a more tenuous defense, however.

Finally, 14:19(C) is Louisiana’s Stand-Your-Ground law in the context of non-fatal defensive force, relieving the defendant of any generalized duty to retreat, and 14:19(D) prohibits the jury from even considering whether retreat was possible.

LRS 14:20 Justifiable homicide

But what if the victim in this matter dies? Then 14:19 goes out the window, and we turn to LRS 14:20 Justifiable homicide.

14:20(A)(1) provides, succinctly, that a homicide is justifiable “When committed in self-defense by one who reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of losing his life or receiving great bodily harm and that the killing is necessary to save himself from that danger.” If Landry’s claim that the victim here turned and being challenged and appeared to be reaching for a weapon is believed, and particularly under the circumstances of the hour of night and the need for the victim to have scaled a locked fence, (A)(1) would appear to fit the facts well.

Section (A)(2) justifies a homicide when committed to stop a forcible felony involving danger of death or great bodily harm. Interestingly, it does not require that the person using force be in reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm, only that these are possible dangers of the violent felony. This section does, however, require that the use of defensive force reasonably believe that an attempt to prevent the forcible felony without killing would expose him to a serious danger to his own life or person.

The state may argue that the victim was merely attempting to break into Landry’s car, rather than enter the dwelling. A car break-in does not usually involve an act of violence against a person, and car break-in is not explicitly listed in LRS 14:2 Definitions as among the states’ defined “crimes of violence.” The defense could well respond, however, that this was not a simple car-break in, that the car’s position within feet of Landry’s door and the need for the victim to have scaled a locked fence transforms what might otherwise have been a relatively innocuous car break-in to a crime that, like a burglary, substantially raises the risk that the thief may be confronted by the car owner and violence erupt.

Section (A)(3) is Louisiana’s Make-My-Day law, and justifies a killing of a person believed to be likely to use any unlawful force against someone in a dwelling, while that person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary or robbery of the dwelling. Whether the facts, as they develop, can support a reasonable belief that the victim here was attempting to commit a burglary of the dwelling shall be seen.

Section (A)(4) justifies the killing by a person lawfully inside a dwelling of another who either has or is attempting to unlawfully enter that dwelling. Again, we will need to see whether the facts support a reasonable belief on Landry’s part that the victim was attempting to unlawfully enter the dwelling.

Section (B) of 14:20 creates a legal presumption that an occupant of a dwelling had a reasonable belief that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent unlawful entry by, or compel the departure of, an intruder into that dwelling if two conditions are met: first, the intruder either had or was attempting to enter the dwelling forcibly and second the person using defensive force reasonably believed the intrusion to be unlawful.

Section (C) is Louisiana’s Stand-Your-Ground law in the context of a fatal use of defensive force, and section (D) prohibits the jury from even considering whether retreat was possible.

9:2800.19 Limitation of liability for use of force in defense of certain crimes

Finally, it is noteworthy that Louisiana has a self-defense immunity statute, 9:2800.19 Limitation of liability for use of force in defense of certain crimes. Unlike Florida’s 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force, however, Louisiana’s statute applies only to civil liability where the defendant’s conduct was found justified under 14:19 or 14:20. Like Florida’s, it provides that the civil trial court shall (not may) attorneys fees, court costs, and even compensation for loss of income and “all expenses” to the defendant in a civil action where self-defense immunity is found to apply.

Look to Legal Insurrection for Continued Coverage of Landry Case

In summary, we’ll be following the Landry case just as closely as we did Zimmerman. Keep your eyes here for the latest and greatest new information and legal analysis.

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Comments

Carol Herman | July 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I thought the victim ain’t dead, yet?

And, the only example I can think of is NEVER call the police! Since they feed on innocent people. And, then DA’s bump up their kill rates by attacking people very likely not to attack back.

Might as well call the “new, new” law a “freebie for black yoots. As long as they pick their prey in white neighborhoods.

Sad as it gets. Law’s involvements here, just indicates ALL DA’s overcharge! Because like twisting your arm, you’re other choice is to go to court. Or to plead … though you are completely innocent.

“If the defendant’s apparent testimony that the victim turned towards him at being challenged and appeared to be reaching for a weapon is believed, the element of prevention of a forcible offense against a person will have been met.”

Even if the element of prevention of a forcible offense cannot be met, the second part of the statute would still apply (given how this subsection is phrased):

“First, LRS 14:19(A) provides that the use of defensive force is justifiable to prevent a forcible offense against a person or trespass against property.”

The victim was trespassing a secured (cordoned off with a locked gate) area, therefore the element will be met in either case.

    Tortuga in reply to Paul. | July 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    “The victim was trespassing a secured (cordoned off with a locked gate) area, therefore the element will be met in either case.”
    Assuming the legal system in this city is not in the clutches of a non-ethical, lying, cheating, scheming, DA, or a dimocrat, but I repeat myself.

      Harperman in reply to Tortuga. | July 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Well it IS New Orleans.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Tortuga. | July 28, 2013 at 7:27 am

      This is the “Chocolate City” we’re talking about here.

      Landry is going to get Zimmed, but meanwhile yutes of color are learning that YT is done putting up with being fodder for their violence gene.

      More guns, more ammo. Keep sending these savages to dead felon storage when they attempt to victimize someone and eventually they’ll catch on.

Angela Corey lives in Nawlins’ who knew. Do not understand THE charge(s), but then, who the hell am I?

Spent a whole YEAR in N.O. one 24 hour period, stuffing my face with Muffuletta and Hurricane’s BUT, I carried.

I would have used what I carried had anyone approached me, that needed or desired my using the weapon.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JP. | July 28, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I expect Crump is already there and has the other bike-rider sequestered, interviewed, recorded, etc., for the narrative that this “youth” was just scared because a white Hispanic was following him and he sought safety/shelter in Landry’s yard – probably just going to crawl under the car to hide for a bit or was going to ask for “help.”

Richard Aubrey | July 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm

When I was of the age to sneak around like that, I was in bed long before two in the morning.
We’re going to hear black yoots sneaking around your yard at two in the morning are immune from suspicion.
However, we now, finally, have the Great White Defendant.
Been a long wait.

    GrumpyOne in reply to Richard Aubrey. | July 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Exactly… What was he doing out in the middle of the night? Where were the parents??

    I can tell you that if anyone tries to enter my domicile uninvited after dark, they will face grave consequences…

    I’ve been told that there is no cure for “terminal stupidity.”

The black kid was probably just looking for some Skittles and Arizona Watermelon Tea.

    Observer in reply to snopercod. | July 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Yes, I’d be curious to hear the “innocent” explanation for why this kid had jumped the homeowners gated fence in the middle of the night.

    He was on his way to the 7-11, got lost, and stopped to ask for directions?

      janitor in reply to Observer. | July 27, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      The “innocent explanation” is that he was only going to look for a bike or some hubcaps to steal (outside “the dwelling”), and that just because night after night the little burglar tweens jump your and your neighbors’ fences and vandalize and steal property doesn’t mean you can get frustrated (“they always get away”) and shoot them.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Observer. | July 28, 2013 at 9:05 am

      He jumped the fence to out something in the garbage bin. The dog scared him so he ran to the back door.

      All perfectly logical.

      These kids had been planning a heist and casing the joint all day. I can’t wait for Sharpton to declare that the white guy should’ve asked the intruder’s age before he shot. I can’t wait for the talking heads to claim open season on black kids.

      If some black kids wouldn’t break the law, they wouldn’t get shot. It’s that simple. The caveat is: unless they were just innocently moving about in a black neighborhood in the inner city, of course. Then it’s open season on black kids.

Uncle Samuel | July 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Ultra bright flood motion lights and a very loud yard alarm would work very well, unless the dog was running loose in the yard. A flashing light/noisy car alarm would also be an essential for Nola.

    Valerie in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    i have a motion detector on a floodlight. The neighbor’s cat wakes me up when he visits. Just sayin’.

      Harperman in reply to Valerie. | July 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Besides that lights and motion detectors can get expensive. The guy worked for the city so I doubt he had a huge income.

    rantbot in reply to Uncle Samuel. | July 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    By that logic, moving to some part of the country which isn’t infested with larcenous youts would be even better. There are such places. They’re nice.

As I said during the Zimmerman trial, they would pivot from their defeat to the next over-reach. Nothing will stop these zealots. They don’t learn humility and restraint from defeat, instead they internalize the need to push harder. Not a hundred humiliating defeats in a row will stop them. Their objective is not just to strip us of our inherent sense of rightness in the idea of self-defense, but to reduce us to actual helplessness and defenselessness, to pure supplicants of the State.

Outside of little questions like ‘WTF was a 14 year old kid doing riding around at two AM in the morning, climbing fences into other people’s property ?’ and WTF is a ‘“white caucasian’ (as oppposed to a black caucasian ?), I’d say it’s pretty pathetic Landry is charged with ANYTHING.

I DO hope Landry has enough sense to STFU and let his lawyer do the lawering. After reading the summaries presented here, if I were him, I’d be VERY confused as to even which statute(s) the DA might try to apply to me, let alone how to defend against them, and what to say or not say.

I wonder what kind of candy the 14 year old was carrying ?

As to ‘car break in does not usually involve an act of violnce’, I beg to differ. When the criminal is caught in the act, and by his own PPP (Piss Poor Planning) is in an area where he has no rapid means of egress (due to the fense he just scaled), he’s likely to turn violent in a heartbeat. I guess the homeowner should have provided some kind of ‘easy exit emergency bar’ on the gate for the ‘child’ ?

    PersonFromPorlock in reply to pjm. | July 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Actually, there are ‘black Caucasians’; one of my (Asian) Indian professors, black as the proverbial Ace of Spades, was very firm on his being a Caucasian. And he did look white, except for being black.

      And the only REAL TRUE ‘African American’, IOW ‘born in South Africa, and grew up there’, was by race Asian, by accent British, and by choice American.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to PersonFromPorlock. | July 28, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Well, Indians blacker than me, and I’m a healthy middling brown, thank you very much, like to proclaim that all Indians are white. Okay, Aryan dude, whatever you say. I’ll believe you instead of my lying eyes.

    Fabi in reply to pjm. | July 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    He’ll be an Acadian-American by this time tomorrow…

MouseTheLuckyDog | July 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I want to know how the prosecutors expect a jury to spend more then ten minutes above the time necessary to organize, vote a foreman, and fill out the necessary forms.

Remember that after Katrina, the black mayor of Nola thought the first best thing do with available police power in the first 24/48/72 hours was to have them going door-to-door in white neighborhoods conducting illegal searches for legally owned guns, and confiscating them.

And he didn’t want to EVER return them, until a court (or several) made him, and even THEN, he resisted and procrastinated, even to this day I hear.

IN other gun news, 9 black kids were shot by other black kids in Chicago last weekend. A slow weekend, by their standards.

Face it, the Crumps, the Mayor Nutters, the Sharptons, the NPB’s, the CBC’s etc of this world think that the first and foremost danger of guns is ‘guns in the hands of white people’, and that’s just a plain fact, call it racist if you will.

    robbi in reply to pjm. | July 28, 2013 at 4:52 am

    That was when he called New Orleans the Chocolate City. Part of his speech:
    “We as black people, it’s time, it’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild a New Orleans, the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. And I don’t care what people are saying Uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day.”
    Nagin also said that New Orleans “will be a majority African-American city. It’s the way God wants it to be.”

    Sounds racist to me. I grew up New Orleans and it’s still one of my favorite cities but the crime in the AA community is out of control-like Miami and Chicago.

      pjm in reply to robbi. | July 28, 2013 at 11:54 am

      The best thing about his ‘chocolate city’ if that if you just stop pumping it out, it will go away.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to robbi. | July 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Laugh or cry, think for a moment about the hue and cry had a mayor of any city come forward and stated “This is going to be a vanilla city, because God willed it and that’s the way it should be at the end of the day.”

      Just think about the response. That, in a nutshell, is why the black culture is out of control.

MouseTheLuckyDog | July 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I see now: mayor of NO is Mitch Landrieu, brother of Mary Landrieu.

It’ll be interesting to see what sort of template the race fascists use this time since the Zimm model doesn’t fit very well.

Landry had indisputably no role in bringing about the confrontation, the encounter did not take place in ‘public’ space at a normal hour and the little perp was clearly shot in the commission of a felony trespass, as Martin was shot in the commission of a felony assault.

I think the location and timing of the incident will be tough for the fascists to spin, but hey, there’s a lot of Nancy Grace morons out there ready to accept the lie.

    pjm in reply to bildung. | July 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Hell, the Nancy Grace’s still haven’t even gotten re-stocked on tissues from all the crying they did over TM. The pump is already primed for full waterfall output.

    Now they will call it ‘an epidemic of black children being slaughtered by adult white men for no reason except ‘walking (climbing fences ?) while black”.

    Maybe they’ll say this little burglar was ‘just looking for some exercise because he couldn’t sleep’.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to bildung. | July 28, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Rest assured, by the time they are done, the white guy will have known, from the height of the intruder and because he saw him earlier in the day, that he was shooting a kid, that the kid said “hey, I’m just a kid”, and that the k was on a mission of mercy rescuing the white guy’s wife from a bout of husbandly brutality.

    When the facts aren’t what they want, the LSM and. Race hucksters, but I repeat myself, wll invent them.

MouseTheLuckyDog | July 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm

“The teen had a few burglary charges against him, though his family told the paper that none of those had ever been armed robberies.”
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/teen-shot-head-man-thought-burglar-police-article-1.1410613?localLinksEnabled=false

    So knowing that their child was a thief, they pretty much let him wander around at night unsupervised.

    And we’re supposed to take comfort in the fact that while the kid was a serial burglar, at least he was unarmed.

    Uh-huh.

    Mapleblood in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | July 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    (This information appears good, but it is not verified, so a healthy skepticism is recommended.)

    ‘Coulter is the seventh of eight children. Coulter’s 23-year-old brother, David Coulter, said he had largely raised the children after their father died three years ago of stomach cancer. David said he and his mother did his best to keep Marshall out of trouble.

    Marshall Coulter, who had been on medication for attention deficit hyperactive disorder, was awaiting trial for “stealing stuff,” his brother said.

    “He would steal — he was a professional thief, sure,” David Coulter said. “But he would never pick up a gun, not in a million years. He was too scared to aim a gun at the grass, let alone aim it at a person. No way. Before he’ll ever pick up a gun, he’ll be your friend first.’

      Ah – so he was just trying to be friends at 2 AM in that guys locked / gated property. He just wanted to say ‘howdy, stranger’.

      OK, that explains it.

      Baker in reply to Mapleblood. | July 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Quote:

      “David Coulter said. “But he would never pick up a gun, not in a million years. He was too scared to aim a gun at the grass, let alone aim it at a person…”

      Hmmmm

      So big brother knows little brother was too scared to aim a gun at the grass? Wonder how he knows this. Has big brother been trying to teach the professional thief how to use a gun?

        Juba Doobai! in reply to Baker. | July 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

        How, pray tell, is the homeowner supposed to know this? This doesn’t matter at all. If the 14-year old had been more reticent about committing burglary and petty theft, he wouldn’t be in a hospital with brain damage today. Gates and fences mean things.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Mapleblood. | July 28, 2013 at 9:55 am

      For a guy with ADD or ADHD,he was pretty focused on stealing, so much that he climbed La dry’s fence, ignored a barking dog, and aimed for the back door. The kid dîdn’t have ADHD; he just wasn’t interested in anything but theft.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Mapleblood. | July 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      A diagnosis of ADD or ADHD means a bigger taxpayer handout check for that particular family member – SSI instead of just a welfare add-on kid. Big difference in the monthly handout.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | July 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Let me break that down for y’all: that means the white guy should’ve allowed the little boy to break in and take a few things. No harm, no foul.

Check out the ‘darling innocent child’
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/07/marigny_homeowner_booked_after.html

http://imgick.nola.com/home/nola-media/pgmain/img/tpphotos/photo/2013/07/david-coulterjpg-926dbc9cabe9d385.jpg

Yeh, ‘just a child’.

Wow – at 14, he already has ‘a few’ burglary charges on his sheet.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/teen-shot-head-man-thought-burglar-police-article-1.1410613?localLinksEnabled=false

“The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Coulter remains in critical condition. Family members told the paper that while he can slightly move the right side of his body, he would have severe brain damage if he survives.

The teen had a few burglary charges against him, though his family told the paper that none of those had ever been armed robberies.”

Of course, in court, he’ll be ‘the child, barely into his teens’, and his rap sheet will not be allowed into evidence.

And the rush to judgement beings “Police sources later told the Times-Picayune that Coulter posed no threat to Landry or his family.”, to cover their asses against a GZ style NPB riot.

The city has already placed him on ’emergency suspension without pay’ (he’s a city employee), regardless of anyh carp about ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

    Sanddog in reply to pjm. | July 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    The “kid” is actually the older brother in that picture.

    https://www.facebook.com/david.coulter.319

    Observer in reply to pjm. | July 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    And the rush to judgement beings “Police sources later told the Times-Picayune that Coulter posed no threat to Landry or his family.”, to cover their asses against a GZ style NPB riot.
    __________________________

    And how were the Landry family supposed to know that? Are homeowners now required to be mind readers when they see strangers prowling around on their property in the middle of the night? Should they have invited the guy in for milk and cookies, while they inquired politely about whether he was there to murder, or just to rob, them?

    I wonder how hospitable these “police sources” would have been to a stranger they caught inside their own gated yards in the middle of the night.

      Mapleblood in reply to Observer. | July 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      I read an article that said they based the arrest on the testimony of a witness to the event.

        genes in reply to Mapleblood. | July 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm

        The only “witness” is the accomplice, I’m sure we can trust his statement, as he has no interest in not going to jail.

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Mapleblood. | July 27, 2013 at 9:37 pm

        The neighbor says that there was someone else casing the joint with him. Odds are that someone was probably the witness, and he will say anything to stay out of jail.

        I have to wonder though, if in the end they decide not to charge Landry, would they be adding Coulter’s shooting to the charges against him?

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Observer. | July 28, 2013 at 9:52 am

      He posed a threat to Landry’s property and assets. What we work for is worth defending.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to pjm. | July 28, 2013 at 9:26 am

    None of that matters. What matters is not that the kid was a thief shot in the act of committing a crime or that the kidly thief had a long rap sheet. What matters is that a white guy shot the kidly thief who hadn’t yet graduated to armed robbery.

MouseTheLuckyDog | July 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I just found an article that claims police found the fence unlocked with a trail of skittles leading to the back door. Prosecutors intend to show that Mr. Landry laid the skittles out for the purpose of enticing the boy to his door.

I have zero sympathy for someone breaking into my car. I have less than zero sympathy if they had to jump a locked gate to do it.

At least the protestors in Sanford won’t have to travel far for their next gig.

check it out – he’s all tat’d up, too ! At 14 !

http://imgick.nola.com/home/nola-media/pgmain/img/tpphotos/photo/2013/07/david-coulterjpg-926dbc9cabe9d385.jpg

I wonder how many of those if any are gang tats ?

This is one of those cases where you know that either there is something wrong or something missing.

When will Obama crap out a racist statement about this?

Richard Aubrey | July 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Presume for the moment that the facts are as presented. They are far too exculpatory.
Once the activists get going, we wouldn’t recognize the situation.

[…] they were doing their job this wouldn't have happened. legal insurrection is posting some on it Zimmerman Redux | Merritt Landry | Louisiana Self-defense has the self defense laws for the state at bottom Zimmerman Redux | Merritt Landry | […]

Quote:

“Police said the teen was near Landry’s vehicle when he was shot. Landry’s friends said the vehicle was in the driveway behind a gate, just a few feet from the house’s backdoor.

Landry told police that he approached the boy from his front yard, near his vehicle. As he grew closer, he said, the boy made a “move, as if to reach for something” — possibly a weapon — so Landry shot him, the warrant states.

NOPD Detective Nicholas Williams wrote in the warrant that Coulter was not trying to enter Landry’s house, and did not pose an “imminent threat” to Landry.

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/07/hearing_date_set_for_man_who_s.html

    Harperman in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    It was 0200. The boy was 14. If he had been at home in bed where he belonged instead of jumping locked fences in the middle of the night he would still be alive. I blame the parents.
    Frankly I would have quite likely shoot the little proto-hoodlum too.

stevewhitemd | July 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm

A question about the law: I have read that Louisiana has a legal code that differs from the other 49 states in certain respects because of its Napoleonic heritage. I’m wondering if there are substantial differences in the code related to self-defense, justifiable homicide, etc compared to the other states. Anyone know?

    Harperman in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Buy Andrew Branca’s excellent book The Law of Self Defense and check out his website lawofselfdefense.com and you will find all the information you need. I went straight to the bookand voila, all the laws I needed to see.

Google street view shows a truck parked well within the gate (at the point in time the Google camera car went by, whenever that was). The truck is far enough inside the gate that another vehicle could probably squeeze in behind it.
I think where this case depends on where both shell casing and live body were found and where entrance wound is.

If I had to guess, it would be that the shooting victim was confronted over in that covered area near where the bikes are and the police are speculating the shooting victim was shot while attempting to flee… or that somehow the shooters initial statement was inconsistent with the evidence.

I did not see AB’s advice on invoking the right to an attorney, but it is my (cynical) estimation if I were a white skinned person of any regional origin outside the African continent (for example a Brazilian-American) that found myself shooting an African-American, Afro-Caribbean, or African immigrant in any sort of self defense; that as a “white” person I should almost start asking for an attorney during the 911 call. Make my second call to an attorney (in this case Landry to his Dad who is a retired Justice of the Peace and have him get a good one). Then cite the political outfall of the Zimmerman case to the first officer (and every officer who tries to wheedle their way past my rights) as my reason for declining to speak to them without an attorney. “due to the politics around the Zimmerman case I’ll need my attorney present before answering any questions. thank you” So it doesn’t look like I am lawyering up due to guilt, but instead to preserve my innocence. And shut up.

Oh, and hopefully Landry’s neighbor will secure the property while the family goes into hiding for a while. Otherwise all their outdoor stuff… including the dog, will go missing within 48 hours..

    pjm in reply to steveg. | July 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Cite NOTHING to 911, cite NOTHING to the officers responding, except “I do not want to make any statement or answer any questions without a lawyer”. Then STFU. Have a staring contest with them as needed, and win it. With your mouth SHUT.

    Fer chrisakes, do not engage in any banter about ‘other cases you think you know about’ !!!! Do you realize that they will bring in that ENTIRE case (and others) as ‘evidnce’ against you, saying it shows ‘you had knowledge of how to get away with murder’ ?

    Hell, GZ went to college to study criminal justice, and they tried to turn THAT into some kind of evil plot to ‘learn how to get away with shooting black people’ ! Fucking COLLEGE is now = ‘premeditation’ and ‘wannabe’ing’ and ‘plotting murder’, according to those AH GW prosecutors !

    dalepres in reply to steveg. | July 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    You misunderstand the right to keep silent. It means the right to keep your mouth shut and leave political statements to the editorial pages. Keep your mouth shut and wait for your attorney – no explanations required.

he won’t jump a fence again I bet….

    shapidog in reply to dmacleo. | July 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Channeling Karnac, I’d suggest if he survives-more or less intact-he WILL do so again.
    Criminals think they are always smarter, faster, stronger, tougher than their victims and feel only “luck” effects their success, despite being arrested again and again and again.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to dmacleo. | July 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Anytime a felon gets his wings clipped is a good thing.

    He’ll make a good poster boy for a “Think twice before you victimize YT” public service campaign.

I also have a question.
It has been my assumption that nearly every cop now carries an audio recording device in their pocket these days and if they approach me as a suspect in even a seatbelt violation that they are recording.
Should I always assume the police are recording everything?

    pjm in reply to steveg. | July 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Yes. And that said recording will either exist or not exist as it suits them. Regardless of whether it exists or not. Including if it does not, but they want you think think it does – they are ALLOWED to lie to you about it.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to pjm. | July 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      If the policy exists and they do not produce the recording, that could become a problem. BTW that was a problem for Martha Stewart. She only had what the LEOS wrote down. No notes on her side or recordings. So the jury had to go with what the FBI said.

      I don’t really know what will happen in a criminal trial, but in a civil trial it would be construed as spoilation ( destruction of evidence ). The judge could decide several things: 1) it’s not important forget it ( not likely), 2) ( worst case ) declare prosecutor misconduct and dismiss with prejudice, 3) tell the jury that it standard practice of the police department to make recordings and that either the recording was lost, or never made, and that they were free to infer from that whatever they wanted.

      So they would produce the tape, but what is on the tape that hurts you is admissible, much of what you say is inadmissible as self serving hearsay,

        divemedic in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | July 28, 2013 at 10:59 am

        Not true. The police simply report that the recorder had a “technical problem” and the recording is not available. Happens all the time: if the recording is to the police’s benefit, it is produced. If it isn’t, the recording is damaged, unavailable, or lost.

          amatuerwrangler in reply to divemedic. | July 29, 2013 at 10:29 am

          There is some technical anomaly that causes what we know as a “Miranda advisement” to not stick to the recording medium, be it tape, disk or digital-thingy. Statements made following the place where that advisement was supposed to be seem to stick just fine. Computer scientists are baffled.

Since the area is behind a large locked gate and wall, is that not curtilage and if it is, isn’t curtilage treated the same as the house?

    Rick in reply to mochajava. | July 28, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Along those same lines, under Louisiana law, is an automobile considered to be an extension of a person’s domicile?

    I guess the question I’m really trying to ask is does it make a difference if Coulter was trying to break into the house or the car?

As Andrew mentioned, a key point here will be whether Louisiana defines dwelling as just the four walls of a house or the protection extends to the curtilage. Louisiana Statutes don’t seem to provide a definition (or at least I have not found one).

It is worth noting that in FLORIDA v. JARDINES Sup 11-564. In that case involving drug sniffing dogs, the Court ruled that the police had only a limited license to use the curtilage of a home. Access to the curtilage was restricted to normal activities.

They wrote:

The area “immediately surrounding and associated with the home”—the curtilage—is “part of the home itself for Fourth Amendment purposes.”

If Louisiana does not consider the curtilage to be as protected as the inside of a dwelling it raises some interesting issues.

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/07/marigny_homeowner_shooting.html

According to an NOPD arrest warrant, Landry shot Coulter from 30 feet away, evidenced by the distance between the blood found on the ground and the single bullet casing outside Landry’s house in the 700 block of Mandeville Street.

BS evidence. The blood could be several feet behind where the kid was and the shell casing is likely to be 10 to 20 feet from where the weapon was fired.
Since he thought the kid was going for a weapon, possibly a gun, distance is irrelevant. Knifes can be thrown accurately at longer distances than 30 feet, and it doesn’t take long to cover 15 to 20 feet.

Whether the victim intended to intrude into the dwelling is not known, or that under the circumstances a reasonable person would have believed the victim was intending to do so, is less clear.

I consider myself a “reasonable person”(my ex may disagree) and I believe the little darling intended a B&E. As a matter of fact my ex happens to agree with this, but thinks George was guilty.

BTW, the only way this resembles the Zimmerman case is in the unjust persecution by the government.

    Rick in reply to genes. | July 28, 2013 at 1:56 am

    In accordance with your thiking, even if Coulter didn’t have a gun to reach for, there’s the possibility he had a knife or other stabby weapon.
    And the general rule among the gunnies is “a healthy man can close 20 feet and stick you before you can draw and fire.”
    In my yard at two a-yem and when challenged make a move that looks like you’re reaching for a weapon? Expect to get shot.

Hello Andrew, I see only one obvious clanger which obfuscates meaning slightly;

“Like Florida’s, it provides that the civil trial court shall (not may) attorneys fees, court costs, and even compensation…”

should have something in there – “award”? “grant”? What’s the proper legal word?

[…] "auid" : "226154" }); document.write(''); From the LEGAL INSURRECTION website => Zimmerman Redux | Merritt Landry | Louisiana Self-defense Briefly, a 14 year old black male climbs over a security fence at 2am. The white male homeowner is […]

Quote:
“Law experts say trespassing under Louisiana code does not justify excessive force.

“If somebody is breaking into your car, the Louisiana Criminal Code allows you to use force — but only force that is reasonable and necessary to prevent the trespass,” Dane Ciolino, Loyola University law professor, said. “Deadly force is not authorized or justified under those circumstances.”

http://www.wwltv.com/news/crime/Marigny-Shooting-217076851.html

But hey, who cares! There is always the 2002 case of Sean Minor. He saw an 18 year old breaking in to his car; he was standing on his 3rd floor apartment patio at the time, 30 feet away, when he fired at the teen, killing him. He said that, “he feared for his life and that of his family, saying he thought the boy or his companion was armed.” Even though he was three flights up, vertically! In 2004 he pled guilt to negligent homicide. 😉

    sequester in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Gaining access to a fenced in property by jumping over a locked gate at 2AM is usually called burglary or attempted burglary.

    The quote

    Law experts say trespassing under Louisiana code does not justify excessive force.

    is a nothing but a tautology meant to inflame. Excessive Force is never justified. Reasonable Force in self-defense is justified. That is why self-defense cases are fact intensive.

inspectorudy | July 27, 2013 at 9:52 pm

I think what we are seeing is an education process going on to make up for the lack thereof in the public schools system. A few more of these kind of terminal decisions made by law abiding “White” people will sooner or later get the point across that you had better make sure who you intended victim is before you attack them. A few more like this and the GZ case and the number of bros climbing/looking in windows will surely be on the decline.

Andrew:

What media reports do you rely on for the facts? For conversation I think it would be helpful if we linked to the actual accounts presented so we don’t waste time with groundless suppositions. I link to the NOLA Times Picayune story here:

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/07/marigny_homeowner_shooting.html#incart_m-rpt-2

I think noting the dissimilarities to the Zimmerman case is also helpful:

1. There apparently is some video evidence of the encounter. Hazouri says he has tape of the boy going over the fence. It isn’t clear if the view was obscured once he was inside the yard. Obviously, I’d like to know what else, if anything, the video showed.

The Zimmerman case had no video evidence at all, so the jury had to rely on hearsay of someone on the other end of a telephone (Rachel Jeantel), two eyewitnesses that saw only bits of the encounter, and Zimmerman. I think the video gives the factfinder a better factual basis to decide how events occurred.

2. There is an eyewitness who contradicts Landry’s account. From the Times Picayune: “NOPD Detective Nicholas Williams spoke with an unidentified witness who gave an account that differed from Landry’s, though the detective did not specify how. Williams wrote in the warrant that Coulter was not trying to enter Landry’s house and did not pose an “imminent threat” to Landry.” So it’s possible, in fact, probable, that Williams and the prosecutor are relying on the other witness’ statements. If the witness was the other teen, his statements will be problematic, given that he’s implicated in any crime that the victim was committing. If it’s a third party, who has no connection to the victim, I’d find the statements pretty compelling. Again, obviously we need to know who the witness is and what this witness told the police.

3. The Zimmerman shooting took place at short range, and the physical evidence supported Zimmerman’s account that Martin had pinned him to the ground and repeatedly hit him before Zimmerman shot. In this case, Landry was standing thirty feet away from the victim inside the house, where the police found the bullet casing. Unless the unnamed witness corroborates Landry’s statement that the victim reached for a gun, the defense will have to rely on Landry’s testimony alone to find that he formed a reasonable (or unreasonable) belief that the victim had a gun and Landry was in danger of life or serious bodily injury. If the video evidence contradicts Landry’s account, he’s in serious trouble.

3. The encounter occurred within a private space. In the Zimmerman case, the two parties met in a common area where both had the right to be present.

As to your analysis:

First, considering that we don’t know the identity of the unnamed witness or the contents of his/her statement to the police, I think it’s premature to conclude that second degree murder is an excessive charge. For example, if the witness says that Landry yelled “Take that, you SOB!” before he shot, there might be a compelling case that Landry had NO belief, reasonable or unreasonable, that his life was in danger; instead, he shot out of anger at someone entering his private property. Landry might also have made prior statements that he’d shoot anyone he found in his yard. In that case, second degree murder is an appropriate charge. Only if Landry ACTUALLY believed his life was in danger is a lesser charge of manslaughter or a finding of justifiable homicide appropriate.

Second, I’m not convinced that Landry’s statement gets him past a manslaughter charge. Assuming he’s telling the truth, the victim reached toward his hip. Whether Landry could form a reasonable belief that his life was in danger from that action isn’t clear. He didn’t see an object in his hand, and the victim’s hand was not moving in Landry’s direction. A jury may decide that, even if Landry is telling the complete truth, his belief that his life was in danger was not reasonable.

    I think a very minor correction to your points is needed:

    In my view it should be the “alleged” ear witness. There is still not real evidence that Rachel Jeantel was in fact the person who had been speaking to Traydmark nor evidence that she was in fact on the phone with him.

    pjm in reply to halflight. | July 28, 2013 at 1:49 am

    The other ‘witness’ could be the shot kid, for all we know.

    As to ‘finding a witness report compelling’ – remember that blond twit in GZ ? The one that SWORE she saw and heard GZ shoot TM in the back three times ?

    sequester in reply to halflight. | July 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

    We know that there was one other person who was in a position to witness the crime — the other teen. At 2AM it is unlikely anyone else was about. The only thing that would have roused people is a dog barking. Not sure if people off the property would have run to their windows for that one.

    If the police are relying on the self-serving statements of a burglary suspect, that is very problematic.

YancyDerringer | July 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Interesting… in this event the neighbor’s c about the repurcussions that might follow racial profiling

    The Sharptons and Jacksons of the world (and their media enablers) have trained law-abiding citizens to base any actions they take over people of concern in their neighborhood on the color of their skin and not the the content of their actions.

    It’s got to the point where if the same person is doing X, Y or Z; your decision as to what to do about it is going to have to differ depending on what race they are.

    What a huge step backwards.

YancyDerringer | July 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Oops… the neighbor’s hesitation to call the police because of the likelihood of cries of foul for racial profiling gave way to the kids’ following through on their crime plans.

Otherwise, as the neighbor suggested, he’d have called the cops. It’s very possible, maybe even likely, that a police response at that point would have doused the kids’ plan and the kid wouldn’t have gotten himself shot.

Excerpt:

Earlier in the evening, a different neighbor said, the teen in the blue tank top had been biking around the area around 8 p.m. and the neighbor believed he was looking at different houses.

“I thought about calling the cops, but the last thing I want to do is racially profile a little kid who’s just biking,” said the neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The neighbor and Landry are white; the two teens are black.

    14 year olds are not little kids, they are teenagers and in the age group most likely to get themselves into trouble.

    It seems to me that there needs to be a mental adjustment when it comes to how we refer to a younger generation. For example it is absurd in my view to refer to a 22 year old as a kid, let alone a 28 year old, and yet I have seen such references.

    17 year olds are very close to maturity and adulthood and for that reason they should be referred to as a young man or a youth. Ditto for the girls.

Am I correct in thinking that a defendant that claims self-defense is probably going to have to testify at trial?

    halflight in reply to mochajava. | July 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    In this case, probably yes.

    In the Zimmerman case, the prosecutor made the highly unusual decision to enter Zimmerman’s TV interviews as evidence, making his testimony unnecessary. Here, there’s apparently a witness who will testify that Landry wasn’t justified in shooting the victim. If Landry doesn’t testify, how will he refute that evidence?

    But that doesn’t apply to EVERY self-defense case. If there are other witnesses or physical evidence that support a claim of self-defense, the defendant may choose not to testify.

Another man to be “Zimmermaimed”?

Zimmerman mentioned that at one point, IIRC, Martin reached aggressively into his pants while approaching. Zim could have shot at that point, if I understand the law, however IANAL.

This seems to be a very common thug bluff: to make victims think the thug is carrying a weapon.
Not an effective bluff if the victim IS armed…pesky law of unintended consequences.

However the B29 juror types will fry this guy.

A class I took suggested one wait, even if it possibly endangers your life, until you SEE a weapon before you fire and try verbal commands of “STOP, DROP THAT WEAPON”; at least until the weapon is pointed at you or your protectee. Then SHOOT until the threat is over.

Andrew, I bought your book, many thanks for all your work!

I wonder if the race baiting professionals will demand justice for 16 year old Darryl Green in Chicago this month. Oh, wait…that was black kids beating another black kid to death. Unworthy of publicity I guess.

SmokeVanThorn | July 27, 2013 at 11:05 pm

So the body armored guys who scream, “Show me your hands! Keep your hands in sight! Don’t move or reach for anything or I’ll shoot!” when they outnumber an alleged perpetrator 3, 4, 5, 10 to 1 – think a lone homeowner should have held his fire.

Huh.

    janitor in reply to SmokeVanThorn. | July 28, 2013 at 2:53 am

    Good point.

    Aridog in reply to SmokeVanThorn. | July 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Actually a very germane point, all things considered. Some of the ninja outfitted raids in the news make no sense, like one recently that was an absconder apprehension team looking for a suspect based upon a vague telephoned tip that said suspect was in one of several homes in a complex of homes…so they hit every house instead of surveiling to see if anyone was actually there…and subsequently they did find the guy…blocks away in a wholly different house.

    Where I live we had something like this, but a better tip…suspect in a duplex house, but which floor was unknown…what was known was that the duplex belonged to friends and relatives of the suspect, one of whom had driven the suspect to the site of his crime. However, even with half decent information, the ninja clad team was accompanied by a television crew filming the “raid”…so there was considerable commotion in the initial phase of thew no-knock entry…a police weapon was discharged [imo, accidentally due to the commotion and the type weapon & its trigger system]and a young child was killed just lying on a couch by the door. I think that case is still being debated and adjudicated.

    I may be naive, but given this last incident was pursuit of a known armed and dangerous criminal, in a known safe house for him, why couldn’t the law have surrounded the residence and forced the occupants out one at a time before entry to find the bad guy? A bombastic battle rattle outfitted team and television crew in tow was un-necessary … and it ended badly as a result.

    I’ve known a lot of police officers in my life, still friend with some of them. Some were on a felony prevention team that didn’t gear up like the Marines going in to Fallujah, but were very effective, so effective a mayoral campaign was run on the idea of eliminating them…asserting they were “racist” of course. Their enemy won, they were eliminated as a team, here … and then copied by virtually every large city in the country. The “Bait Car” shows on cable TV are derived from the original tactics of “STRESS.”

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to SmokeVanThorn. | July 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    A most excellent point.

    There was a story the other day about a guy driving who was stopped by the cops. They kep yelling at him to get out. He’d reach down to unlatch the seat belt to follow that command, and as soon as he did that the cops kept holloering at him to keep his hands in sight on top of the steering wheel.

    The cops take all measures necessary, sometimes well above and beyond ‘necessary’, to protect their own lives. If the cops had been there, they’d have yelled at the suspect to get on the ground and if he’d made a move to his waistband/hip, they’d have shot him.

    But let a homeowner take lesser actions than the cops, and they’re in jail.

    rantbot in reply to SmokeVanThorn. | July 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    The problem is that otherwise there’s no distinction at all between a “suspect” and an “armed and dangerous” suspect. Without actually seeing a weapon, it’s all speculative.

[…] see this posted yet. Here is the link to the Legal Insurrection post by our friend Andrew Branca: Zimmerman Redux | Merritt Landry | Louisiana Self-defense […]

Wonder how many black on black killings there have been in NO in the time we have spent discussing this?

A class I took suggested one wait, even if it possibly endangers your life, until you SEE a weapon before you fire and try verbal commands of “STOP, DROP THAT WEAPON”; at least until the weapon is pointed at you or your protectee

While I understand the reasoning behind that, if you wait until the weapon is already in the process of being aimed you will most likely not fire in time.

    shapidog in reply to randian. | July 28, 2013 at 11:31 am

    You “pays your money and takes your chances.”

    The self defense calculus in the heat of the moment is one of the the most individual choices one will make, often with imperfect information. Just because one can legally shoot doesn’t always make it a good choice in light of the potential aftermath.
    Admittedly this implies a certain calm analysis despite “Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the face of an upraised knife.”-Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes.

    If you must shoot, then shoot!

    BTW in addition to Andrew’s excellent book and Ayoob’s Gravest Extreme, I recommend Facing Violence by Rory Miller. Would that GZ and Landry had read it.

[…] Andrew Branca writing for Legal Insurrection has highlighted yet another case where a white man shot a black teen. This is a case in New Orleans. […]

One of the news stories shows a view from the friends house where the video was taken from. Shows the camera on the wall etc.
If the news shot is accurate, there is no way the camera angle shows into the enclosed driveway/patio they are also calling the “front yard”.
Also from the looks of it, that driveway looks big enough to fit a that older Chevy truck seen in the google street view and one smaller car. The driveway alongside the house is maybe 30 feet long total. The crime scene map of “door landry exited. casing found here, wounded kid there” will be interesting.

Landry’s attorneys may have to try to get a change of venue out to wherever “Swamp People” was filmed

    robbi in reply to steveg. | July 28, 2013 at 4:55 am

    You’re right about that. No way, no how will he get a fair trial in NOLA, especially after Zimmerman.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to robbi. | July 28, 2013 at 8:07 am

      This may backfire on the Jackson/Sharpton/Holder/Crump/Corey crowd.

      The majority of the population are more sympathetic to the homeowner/defender and are tired of honest hard-working people being robbed, mugged and killed by criminal types and are more than ready for Law and Order and being tough on crime.

A similar case occurred in Durham, NC, back in 1993. A white homeowner happened to be home with his sick child when 4 black teenagers broke into his garage in the middle of the day, to steal the homeowner’s motorcycle. The homeowner confronted the teens in his garage, firing several shots as the teens took off. Two teens were hit in the back, and one died on the driveway. The jury hung a 8-4, and the homeowner was never re-tried.

This was 1993, way before SYG laws were implemented.

http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1993/Mistrial-Declared-in-Homeowner-s-Manslaughter-Assault-Trial/id-5ff576bd372f304c17aa399a51b4322c

“Michael Seagroves, 37, was charged with voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon in the March 18 shooting that killed Jamal Elliott, 15, and wounded a 17-year-old.”

[…] Found this at the other site … Link is to the intrepid Mr.Branca / Legal Insurrection who provided the reviews of the GZ case … For the moment – lots of 'TV Facts' … for real facts Zimmerman Redux | Merritt Landry | Louisiana Self-defense […]

Uncle Samuel | July 28, 2013 at 9:31 am

If I were Mayor of NO (or Chicago, Detroit, Miami) I’d do these things:

1. Establish Mandatory 10 pm weeknight/11 pm weekend curfews for persons under 18 unless they have special work permits.

2. Mandatory Classes on law and order, crime definitions of felony, assault, trespass, theft, vandalism, and the consequences, behaviors expected, rights and responsibilities of citizens in every high school.

3. Make sure homeowners know they have the right to protect persons, property and premises, what clear steps to take to do so and make sure the criminals know it too.

It would be a good idea to keep Andrew’s “disclaimer” in mind at this point in time:

Disclaimer: This analysis is based upon the “facts” as reported by the news media. These “facts” so must therefore be assumed to be elastic, selected to fit a hidden narrative, and perhaps even outright false. Nevertheless, they are the only “facts” with which we have to work. …

I know what my situation would be here, in Michigan, if I had gone outside, past a locked door, in to my yard, and shot someone. I’d be toast. Only successful self-defense cases I know of here where the defendant’s either went outside or fired from inside were a pair of them that had 80+ year old ladies firing through a front door at a crowd of teens trying to invade their home.

IANAL, but…It is a very gray area where an aggressive prosecutor can claim you should have called the police first and let them respond without further action on your part unless directly attacked, door kicked in, etc. So far, given the “reported” evidence I don’t see much similarity to Zimmerman for Mr Landy.

In my own yard, I have dogs who understand who understand protective commands and are conditioned to know their yard is inviolate, unless I bring the visitor in personally. The fence is the barrier trigger…do not cross it is the mindset. Some one gets past them, I most definitely can say “I was under the apprehension that my life was in danger.” A well trained European pedigree German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Malinois, Doberman, or Boxer, is a lot of work, or rather expensive otherwise, as pets go, but worth every dime. Personally I prefer German Shepherds, or Malinois, for my personal taste and their “image” with the public.

The images of blood on the cement wall that the gate attaches to SEEM to indicate that the boy was at the exit gate, perhaps trying to flee when he was shot. I’m just guessing right now folks, based on the images online along with the large barking dog and Mr. Landry shouting “Freeze!”

Everyone will admit (I hope) that it is going to get ugly when the family releases a photo of the 14 year old, either one from before the shooting or one from his hospital bed. His family describes him as alive with a strong grip in one of his hands, but the other side of his body is non responsive right now. Hopefully he will live. Death seems too high a price to pay for juvenile trespassing and/or petty theft, IMO; and Mr. Landry is going to pay a price for the rest of his life for his decision, but that price may be less if the boy survives.

If it turns out that the boy was shot in the back of his head while trying to jump the gate and run away, what would be the opinion(s) here about the home owner’s decision to open fire?

    sequester in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    You are doing a lot of speculating. Climbing a locked gate at 2AM to enter a secured area that is the curtilage of an occupied dwelling is usually not a mere trespass. A charge of burglary or attempted burglary is justified in those circumstances. The statement Detective Nicholas Williams as paraphrased in the Times-Picayune is downright puzzling.

      dominigan in reply to sequester. | July 30, 2013 at 10:40 am

      I agree. I would also like to know if the car was behind the locked gate, since that would tend to discredit the car-theft angle. (How do you steal a car and get it out the locked gate you just climbed over?)

Probably already mentioned, but does the fact that the defendant’s dog started barking – yet the victim apparently didn’t flee – pertain? I’d think the perceived threat goes up if a presumed burglar doesn’t flee a barking dog.

    DriveBy in reply to LMT. | July 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Mr. Landry’s dog looks more like a big teddy bear than a protection dog:

    https://legalinsurrection.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Screen-Shot-2013-07-27-at-1.41.14-PM.png

    The neighborhood kids may have known the dog and petted it as well.

    On a side note: Leaving toys and bicycles out in the plain view of passers by in NOLA is just plain retarded Sir! 😉 Really just begging for someone to steal them when the opportunity presents.

      Harperman in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      Gotta argue that one with you DriveBy. I don’t buy into the “you left it in sight and provided an irresistible temptation” argument. At fourteen you know right from wring. The kid knew that he was doing wrong which is why his buddy was standing look out across the street.
      Because a homeowner leaves something out that doesn’t give a thief a license to steal.

        DriveBy in reply to Harperman. | July 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm

        Thanks Harperman. I lived in NOLA for 11 years, 3 years in the French Quarter – very near where this happened. It is just a bad place in the very early morning hours. And if you were to leave a bicycle, or anything (toys), out and it was stolen you would only have yourself to blame because everyone knows that it would be gone by morning if it was not secured, out of easy sight from the street. Kind of like leaving a bicycle or toys in a dark alley that mischievous people use as passage way in the wee hours, it is just a given…

          dalepres in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm

          The theft of property is never, ever, ever the fault of the victim. Every day of my life I walk past or have access to property that is not mine and I never take it – any of it. Other people see property not their own and take any of it that they wish. It is the fault of the thief – and perhaps their mommas who think their little boys are angels and that they’re out at 2:00 in the morning doing the Lord’s work.

          Harperman in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm

          The belief that any theft, regardless of whether or not something was secured, is the owners fault is a complete fallacy. The fact that there are many who don’t hesitate to to take something that is not theirs merely demonstrates how many people would be well served with 230 grain JHP through the head.

          DriveBy in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm

          To you both. Yes, the thief is the thief and he/she is in the wrong for stealing. But, if you both invite theft upon yourselves by leaving your valuables outside, where thieves can see them and have easy access to them, you cannot be held harmless if a theft occurs, not completely harmless. And I seriously doubt that either of you put would put your valuables outside, on your driveway for instance, at night and sleep well knowing with certainty that they would not be stolen. If you we to do that, or if I did that, wouldn’t it be an act of stupidity?

          Milhouse in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

          Yes, and if a woman dresses like a whore and goes wandering by herself in a bad neighbourhood, she’s practically asking to be raped; but if someone actually does try to rape her, her right to kill him in self-defense is completely unimpaired. And if he lives to stand trial, her imprudence will not help his defense even a tiny bit. Because imprudence is not illegal, and doesn’t constitute actual consent to be the victim of a crime. “Asking for it” is hyperbole, and of no legal consequence.

          Harperman in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 4:07 pm

          Actually driveBy I grew up in places where you could leave things out and not expect them to be stolen. I remember never locking the house when we left home and leaving the keys in the cars 24/7. But then I grew up on places where moral integrity was more than just a buzz word.

          Matt in FL in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

          “…you cannot be held harmless if a theft occurs, not completely harmless.”

          Yes, godammit, I can! I’m not a pollyanna, I know what kind of world we live in, but that doesn’t mean I like it, or accept it. I think I should be able to leave my stuff in my own yard without it being stolen, and even if the reality of the situation is that I can’t, and even if I know that, I refuse the preposterous notion that it somehow makes it my fault.

          That’s the same BS line of thinking that leads some to say that if they’d just take the guns away, the violence would stop. That’s farcical. Remove the guns, and you remove one method of violence, but you do not remove the underlying problem, which is the contempt that some people hold for each other. Remove the possessions from my front yard, and the contempt for personal property doesn’t go away, it’s just directed toward someone else’s stuff.

          DriveBy in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

          HARPERMAN That is exactly what I have been trying to convey to you! New Orleans is not the community of your childhood, and its residents know that! And they also know better than to leave their belongings outside at night! It is just reality and common sense.

          You could put your stuff outside in NOLA, stay up watching your stuff with a loaded firearm at your side, and (apparently) you could shoot any kid that tried to grab them in his head, but…

          Harperman in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm

          So what you are saying it that NOLA is a crime ridden pit. Well that’s fine but my opinion is the best way to deal with criminals is to shoot the bastards whenever you catch them in the act. Of course I also know that isn’t legal in some places; in others, where sanity still reigns, it is. However the truth is that a few shootings will make the low life’s think a little.
          In Texas if someone comes onto your property and steals something you can shoot him as he flees.

          Milhouse in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 5:43 pm

          You could put your stuff outside in NOLA, stay up watching your stuff with a loaded firearm at your side, and (apparently) you could shoot any kid that tried to grab them in his head, but…

          And your problem with that is?

      LMT in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      I think the dog did his job. He alerted his owner to a problem. However, my point related to legal/defense issues. The intruder was on Landry’s property despite a locked gate AND a barking dog. He lives in a mixed neighborhood with a young child and pregnant wife. Considering the racial rhetoric post-Zimmerman, he may have reasonably assumed that an intruder who does not flee a barking dog is there, not to steal kid’s toys, but to cause him/his family harm.

        DriveBy in reply to LMT. | July 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        I respectfully follow your line of thought. But in the French Quarter and the surrounding communities people get drunk, people get stoned, and they walk home that way – every night of the week. Some people take breaks and sit down on your front porch or steps, they are called “stoop sitters;” you can Google it or watch a video on YouTube. New Orleans residents are used to this, if the dog starts barking you listen carefully for the voices of people sitting on your front stoop chatting, or you might peek out the window, or most likely not do anything because people pass the house every night numerous times causing the dog to bark. If on the other hand you hear your gate or door rattle, that is a different problem requiring a different reaction. New Orleans is unique in many other ways too…

          LMT in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

          Yeah, the devil is in the details. The particulars of this neighborhood may make the barking dog not that relevant.

          Harperman in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm

          DriveBy make an art out of excuses for criminal behavior.

          The habitual thief was not sitting on the guy’s front stoop. He had broken into his enclosed yard by scaling a fence. Bit of a difference there.

          I live in a spot which lends itself to photography, especially sunsets, sunrises and storms. I’m cool with people parking or walking around either in front or back of my house for hours, during the day. But I have gates both front and back delineating my private property, and the only way you can get up near my house at night when they’re locked it to willfully breach them. Some stranger’s up near my house willfully trespassing at 2 in the morning, my dogs are going to go off, I’m going to grab a gun, and the sheriff’s going to get a call. That’s just the way it is.

      dalepres in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      On a side note, If I take my life savings out (the whole 12 dollars) and leave it sitting on my porch, and you come into my yard to get it at 2:00 in the morning, then expect bad things to come of it. I do not have to hide inside of my home.

      You know nothing about Boxer dogs. They are not “teddy bears”. I was raised with Boxer dogs in the family home. They are not always friendly dogs.

    If the burgler is intent upon entering a house, and there is a dog, then one never knows what will happen to the dog.

    A very long time ago, my parents house was burgled with the thieves getting through my bedroom window. That was no mean feat. We had a dog, and the burglers hit the dog over the head with a wooden oar that was in the yard.

    A barking dog should have alerted the would be thief that this was not a good idea, but I have seen no mention of the dog being injured, so this time the dog was lucky.

      “If the burgler is intent upon entering a house, and there is a dog, then one never knows what will happen to the dog.”

      Most of my life I have had German Shepherds who do bark and are subject to being harmed. Five years ago I added a Rottweiler. They are not prone to bark and at 100 to 150 lbs they can take down just about any intruder and they will be quite a surprise.

      I live on over 100 acres, half a mile off the road. Deliver people are often afraid of both breeds. I always tell them it is ok, that I already fed the dogs.

      The dogs are fine with strangers during the day we someone is home and not anywhere near as friendly otherwise.

[…] Posting at Legal Insurrection, Andrew Branca has posted the known facts on another self defense case, this one the Merritt Landry case from New Orleans, Louisiana. […]

JohnPomeroy | July 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm

John Kerry’s wife Theresa was born in Mozambique of American parents. Making her a White African-American?

Richard Aubrey | July 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Thing about thieves is they want your stuff and think they have a right to take it. If you resist, they’ll probably try to beat you or even kill you. They might run, depending on circumstances, but they want your stuff and if they have to run over you, presuming they think they can, they’ll do it.
Every thief is a potential killer. Just lucky so far.

    DriveBy in reply to Richard Aubrey. | July 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Quote:
    “Every thief is a potential killer. Just lucky so far.”

    By that logic on this topic, “Every homeowner is a potential killer.” “Just lucky so far” for Mr. Landry.

    How young does an unarmed juvenile trespasser, vandal, thief, etc… have to be when he is shot in the head by a freaked out homeowner before he can be called a Kid and the homeowner can be called a Reckless Moron or worse? 13 years old, 12 years old, 11 years old, 10 years old? What age!?

    Next thing you know we will find out that Marshall Coulter turned 14 years old two weeks ago.

      Harperman in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      How old does he have to be? Old enough to know what he is doing is wrong.

      Rick in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Any street cop or infantry combat veteran can tell you a 10 year-old will kill you just as dead as an adult.

        DriveBy in reply to Rick. | July 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm

        True, smart comment by you. But it would have been really good for Mr. Landry if Marshall Coulter had a gun, or a knife, or a bottle, or a can of iced tea in his hands when Mr. Landry shot the teenager in the head. Just saying..

          Harperman in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm

          Actually what would be even better would be if LA law allowed you to shoot people who steal. Sorry I am pretty unbending in this. I say if you are going to commit crimes then be prepared to pay the price for them.

          DriveBy in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 5:13 pm

          Harperman – So a kid suspected of or caught stealing can or should be legally shot by the homeowner, and if the kid’s death is a result of that shooting, so be it. That is actually harsher than the amputation of a thief’s right hand that is so common in many f*cked up countries. Do you support the amputation of a 14 year old’s hand, if a law provided for that? If not, then…

          Milhouse in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm

          Why? How could he know whether the intruder in his yard at 2am was armed? The prudent and sensible default assumption was that he was.

          rantbot in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 6:30 pm

          “So a kid suspected of or caught stealing can or should be legally shot by the homeowner”

          There’s a great deal of distance between “suspected of” and “caught”.

          more dumb questions Driveby. Maybe you need to do some searching because the black Mr. Scott shot and killed David Cirvini who was attempting to steal things from a car.

      Angela Corey charged a 12-year-old boy with murder — as an adult. One of the kids up in Georgia who recently walked up to a mom pushing her toddler in a stroller and shot him in the face was just 14:
      http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-03-25/story/teen-defendants-brunswick-babys-shooting-death-court

        DriveBy in reply to Amy in FL. | July 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm

        LOL! Amy! Angel Corey??? The crime was committed in Brunswick, Georgia and reported by the Jacksonville paper that you posted as a link.

        Quote:
        “Under Georgia law, Lang may be tried as an adult in Superior Court. Johnson said she has not made that determination yet.”

        Besides, Marshall Coulter was a 14 year old that was shot in the head by a 33 year old moron, not vice versa.

          The 12-year-old killer in Florida and the 14-year-old killer up in Georgia are two different people. I should have thought that was clear.

          And the point of yours I was rebutting was your insinuation that 14-year-olds are too young to cause anyone any harm. Ask the mom of the toddler shot in the face by one about that.

          Twelve to fourteen year olds are absolutely capable of committing serious crimes.

          Cristian Fernandez was the 12 year old charged by Corey as an adult… try to get your facts straight.

          Two different incidents were mentioned.

          Milhouse in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm

          Yes, Angela Khouri. The very same one who prosecuted Zimmerman. And you are apparently incapable of comprehending simple English.

        tonyg in reply to Amy in FL. | July 29, 2013 at 6:03 pm

        It was clear, to those of us that have a brain and some comprehensive abilities, you made a very valid comment.

This guy is going to prison. He won’t get a jury of 6 white women. He’ll get a jury of 12 mothers of little angels who do the Lord’s work at 2:00 AM in the dark alleys of New Orleans and all sing in the church choir.

I’m sorry to say it but this one isn’t going to turn out like Zimmerman.

    Rick in reply to dalepres. | July 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Afraid you’re right; the best we can hope for here is one or more hung juries.

    Landry’s life is ruined in any case.

      I doubt he is going to prison. Louisiana is hardly a cry-baby state, and no way there isn’t going to be a hung jury, at least. Maybe several of them.

      Of course, if the little thief does survive, and can talk, his story about what he was doing over the fence should be interesting. Maybe he was playing jacks in the drive way and the ball bounced there in foursies. Or, he was trying to rescue a small kitten from the dog. Whatever, it should be a hoot.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    rantbot in reply to dalepres. | July 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Really? The case is actually much clearer than Zimmerman’s. There’s no possibility that the perp was simply walking home and minding his own business armed only with Skittles; that bit of obfuscation isn’t possible here. This is breaking and entering at night; even the most rabid race-baiters can’t claim that a black juvenile has a fundamental civil right to do that.

      Harperman in reply to rantbot. | July 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Wanna bet? race baiters will claim anything regardless of how ridiculous if it forwards their agenda and there are always people ready to go along with them.

        rantbot in reply to Harperman. | July 28, 2013 at 6:14 pm

        “race baiters will claim anything regardless of how ridiculous”

        Oh yes, they’ll try, but that won’t actually change the facts of the case. Errr, which we don’t really know yet, since the reporting comes to us via the MSM, which implies that it’s larded with large doses of fiction, and facts may be few and far between.

          pjm in reply to rantbot. | July 28, 2013 at 9:07 pm

          Race baiters ‘Wont’ change the facs’ ? Really ?

          They changed ‘the facts’ for GZ from ‘no charges’ to ‘a year with his life on the line’, if I recall.

          rantbot in reply to rantbot. | July 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm

          Don’t be stupid. Those are charges, not facts.

          Laura in reply to rantbot. | July 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

          Racebaiters “changed the facts” in the sense that now everyone “knows” that George Zimmerman is a racist white guy who willfully, brutally murdered a helpless child innocent of everything except buying iced tea and candy after dark.

          Thanks to the Big Lie technique, all of those “facts” are widely accepted now. That’ll happen with Landry, too.

          FWIW, Landry’s family is reasonably well connected politically. It’ll be a little harder to railroad him than it was Zimmerman.

          Rick in reply to rantbot. | July 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm

          Laura, Landry might be well-connected, but unfortunately so is NOLA mayor Mitch Landrieu.

          Laura in reply to rantbot. | July 29, 2013 at 9:02 am

          Don’t get me started on the Landrieu family, lol… they are just as corrupt as the Morials, but they’ve been at it longer and are better at hiding it. I’m not saying that Landry is so well connected that he can’t be prosecuted. Just that unlike Zimmerman, he’s not _entirely_ without resources. Not a “civilian,” as it were.

          @pjm — No, no, no — Rantbot didn’t say the RACE-BAITERS won’t change the facts; he said their CLAIMS won’t change the facts; he said “THAT won’t change the facts,” not “THEY won’t change the facts,” meaning that facts are facts, which are not subject to interpretation or change. The definition of “fact” in this context is “a piece of information presented as having objective reality” or possibly “something that has actual existence,” or “an actual occurrence” — denoting ACTUAL occurrences and evidence, not things that are alleged or believed.

          The media and race-baiters may (and probably will) twist and turn everything, and even fraudulently edit and even change video evidence, like the media did in the Zimmerman case — but eventually, as in the Zimmerman case (for everyone who was paying attention ONLY to the official versions of the evidence, anyway), the truth will come out through exposition of the facts. The ACTUAL facts. The ones THE JURY (not the family of the deceased) decides are true. Supported by actual evidence — not by Al Sharpton’s racist, emotion-charged rants, or the media’s blatant fraud in sharing misleading bits and pieces and even wholly fabricated information.

      DriveBy in reply to rantbot. | July 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Quote:
      “This is breaking and entering at night…”

      Rantbot I have been watching for new developments on this and I just don’t see anything, no more details all day, which is very odd for NOLA. “Was the kid shot in the back of his head” is one question that I would like to know the answer to. But why do you need to jump to breaking and entering? He was trespassing, no doubt, but the police arrest warrant for Mr. Landry did not mention anything about a kid “breaking and entering” Landry’s home. IIRC breaking and entering the home was not attempted and the shooter was 30 feet away from the kid (suspected little thief for all others) when the shot was fired. And the kid may have been trying to flee, based on the blood platter at the street entry gate where he was apparently shot.

        He scaled the fence. Technically that is breaking and entering and not trespassing.

        Milhouse in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        He had already broken into and entered the yard.

        rantbot in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm

        No. Trespassing is a drunk guy wandering onto your porch, banging on the door, and demanding to be let in because his key won’t work. Trespassing is a kid wandering through your yard looking for her cat. Breaking a lock on a fenced-in property and entering said property is breaking and entering. Bypassing a lock in other ways, such as climbing the fence, is also breaking and entering.

          amatuerwrangler in reply to rantbot. | July 30, 2013 at 2:37 am

          This subtopic would benefit from a strict definition of “burglary” under LA law. It varies from state to state. CA requires a “structure”, i.e. 4 walls and a roof, but locked or secured is not required. “Entry with intent” of a theft or felony suffices.

          This can go back and forth with no resolution until the LA rules are determined. How do they view curtlege?[sp?] Is a climb-over viewed differently from break-through?

          For the “threat” issue, often you don’t know your opponent has a gun until you see the muzzle flash, especially at night. Some people (foolish as it might be) will feint a drawing motion in hopes of bluffing their way out of a tight spot; it fails catastrophically when the other guy really has a gun.

        To “break” means to “force entry into.” To “enter” means to “go or come into,” or “access.” The legal definition of “breaking and entering” requires that a person transverse a physical barrier (“break”), but does not require that the barrier be damaged in the process, or that the barrier be latched or locked, plus actual physical entry of a part of the person’s body beyond the barrier. Jumping a fence, in this context, constitutes “breaking and entering.”

        This is based on the common law concept of breaking and entering. Various jurisdictions will have specific statutory definitions for trespass, burglary, unlawful entry, etc., that may include their own definition, and that definition might vary from the common law concept.

poppa india | July 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm

DriveBy, Nearly every comment you’ve made, here and on the Zimmerman threads, has been to find an excuse for the behavior of young men out late at night, no matter how objectionable or illegal it was. I hope you don’t have kids, because if you’re raising them with this viewpoint, there’s going to be tears and heartbreak in your future.

    DriveBy in reply to poppa india. | July 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Of course I have kids! And I am a hardline extreme-conservative about right and wrong in my conversations with my kids. But these are real life events that have actually happened, not hypotheticals, and I am chatting on the internet with you and others and I do see both sides on any given event. I know that it would be really great for everyone here if I was another cheerleader to the mantra of “just shoot the bastards!” But, I own guns, I have killed many of God’s creatures, and I have to tell you that I would have a real problem with shooting a kid that was trying to steal some nearly worthless thing(s) that I had left in my driveway overnight.

    Regarding George, I only questioned his “going to get an address” statement. I believe that was a fabrication. He did follow and that was his cover-up to not doing what he was told and what he knew he should do, to not follow. A minor thing IMO, but a major thing for many people here when I attempted to discuss it.

    And now an update on the woman that was sexually assaulted (verbally, what ever) by the 58 years old man in Houston the other day at the gas station, or at least that was her story about why she murdered him:

    http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/22925418/2013/07/24/relatives-say-woman-and-man-she-shot-at-gas-station-were-no-strangers

      Sez I in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      “And now an update on the woman that was sexually assaulted (verbally, what ever) by the 58 years old man in Houston the other day at the gas station, or at least that was her story about why she murdered him:”

      Read the story and your speculation the “she murdered him” is not supported by the evidence presented. Killed him, sure, Homicide? Certainly. Murder? Pure speculation based on assumptions not in evidence.

      poppa india in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      I don’t think everyone here is in favor of just shooting the bastards. In this NO case, we don’t know many of the facts yet. It is possible that Landry was not worried about his things in the driveway, but about the safety of his baby daughter and pregnant wife who we are told were in the house. If the intruder got past Landry somehow, they would probably have been helpless. Tell your kids that in real life people are going to have reasons, not hypothetical, that they might not know for acting in legal self-defense. When my son was in his late teens and was staying out late, I made sure he heard from me that he would be a suspect if he put himself in certain situations and to avoid those situations.
      As for GZ, he was asked by dispatch which way TM was going. When later, he was told he didn’t need to follow TM (non-binding advice from a non-LEO), he complied and headed back to his truck.That was when the tragic encounter took place. If TM was as streetwise as he thought he was, he might have known walking through stranger’s backyards at night could draw attention to himself. And being streetwise, before attacking GZ, he should have considered what I also told my son, there’s always someone tougher, you don’t know when you’ll meet him.

        DriveBy in reply to poppa india. | July 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm

        Ok, fine.

        From George’s recreation video, link below:

        George: I actually walked all the way to this street and I was going to give them this address. (George was now at the other side of the complex, on his own street, and he could clearly see a street number address on the building and give it to NEN 911).

        George: And they said well if he is not there do you still want a police officer? And I said yes.

        George: And they said are you following him?

        George: Oh, I’m sorry, BACK THERE THEY SAID ARE YOU FOLLOWING HIM? AND I SAID YES BECAUSE.. WE DON’T NEED YOU TO DO THAT, and that is when I walked straight thought here – INDICTING HIS OWN STREET ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE COMPLEX

        Just watch it with an open mind from 8:30 –

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX1sxARNq_c

        He lied about the following thing, but I don’t care anymore and I don’t know why you do.

          Milhouse in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm

          Where’s the lie?

          poppa india in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm

          I’m not going to follow this all night, but I don’t see what the lie is either….

          Agree with Milhouse and poppa there is no lie. It is clear what was said. There was NO LIE. He had continued to the end of the walkway, got the address, headed back towards his vehicle when he was attacked by Trayvon Martin.

          In case you have not understood, Trayvon Martin had plenty of time to reach the condo where he was staying. Had he gone inside then that would have been the end of the matter, but NO, Trayvon Martin turned back to the T and then attacked George Zimmerman. Yet you say George lied. I call b.s. on your claims.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to poppa india. | July 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        I’ve thought all along that Landry’s concern was for his pregnant wife and baby. It’s primal.

        Any red-blooded man who doesn’t take all steps necessary to prevent entry by some thug at 2am when he’s got a pregnant wife and infant child inside is a wuss and a disgrace.

        Thug was reaching for his hip or waist after Landry told him to freeze – bam, you’re done.

      Matt in FL in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      “I would have a real problem with shooting a kid that was trying to steal some nearly worthless thing(s) that I had left in my driveway overnight.”

      Hindsight is great, isn’t it? How would you go about determining that (a) it was a kid and (b) they were there to steal stuff and (c) that was all they wanted to do?

      In this situation, you know two things: (1) someone is on your property, and (2) you did not give them permission to be there. That’s all you have to make a decision.

      In this case the homeowner had the benefit of also knowing that (3) the person on his property, who did not have permission to be there, ALSO had to go to extreme lengths to be in that position, i.e. jumping the fence.

      Milhouse in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      OK, now we know you’re a damned liar.

      I only questioned his “going to get an address” statement. I believe that was a fabrication

      On what basis do you believe it to be a fabrication?

      He did follow and that was his cover-up

      And you know this how?

      to not doing what he was told

      And here’s the damned lie that exposes you as what you are. You know very well that he was not told anything. He wasn’t even suggested anything. The dispatcher merely advised him that he was not required to follow Martin. That left it entirely up to him whether he chose to do so or not. He says he chose not to, and I see no reason not to believe him. You, for some unexplained reason, think he chose to follow. That’s as may be, but you have no right to claim that anyone told him not to.

      and what he knew he should do

      Now we’re back to unfounded opinions rather than outright lies. Why “should” he have stopped following? He did, but there was no reason why he should have. Had he chosen to continue following Martin, that might have made him imprudent, perhaps even foolhardy, but it would also have made him heroic. Knowingly risking (even a little bit) his own safety for the sake of increasing his neighbours’ safety would have been admirable. But of course he had every right not to be a hero, and he says that’s what he chose, and I see no reason not to believe him.

        DriveBy in reply to Milhouse. | July 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        Quote:
        Milhouse “OK, now we know you’re a damned liar.”

        A “Damned Liar” because I have an opinion and an observation that you do not?

        Fuck you, and see my post above.

          Milhouse in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm

          No, you’re a damned liar because you knowingly made a false statement of fact. “To not doing what he was told” is not an opinion or an observation, it’s a statement of fact, and it’s one that you know to be false.

          Must you drop the f-bomb on a blog like this, Driveby? That’s really ugly.

What was a 14 yo doing wandering around at 2AM anyway? Why should a homeowner assume someone who climbed over his locked fence was a minor? Why should he care? As has been pointed out before, kids as young as 10 have murdered.

    DriveBy in reply to rabidfox. | July 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    ^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^

    I completely agree! Just shoot all of the little bastards in the head regardless of what actual threat they pose! That will send a message to all of them, and it will end this cycle of whatever! Yes!!!

    (Sarc)

      poppa india in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      “…regardless of the actual threat they pose!” Why shouldn’t the homeowner believe a person who scaled a locked gate at 2 AM in spite of a barking dog isn’t a threat? Why should he put the intruder’s safety before his own and his family? I think there are still too many unknowns, for you to feel there was no reason to perceive a threat.

        DriveBy in reply to poppa india. | July 28, 2013 at 7:53 pm

        Wow! You guys and gals need to get out there and shoot somebody, justifiably of course – in your own minds, and then get in to our criminal and civil legal systems. It is so much more fun in real life than it is online!!!!

        Have at it and report back to us. 😉

          poppa india in reply to DriveBy. | July 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm

          I’m talking about situations where someone is in fear for their or their family’s safety. You do understand that people have these fears, often justified, don’t you? I don’t know if Landry is in the right or wrong, but unlike you, I think it is possible he had a right to shoot. Or is his and his family’s safety worth less than that of the intruder? How close would you let him get to your kids before you would take action? It would have been some real life fun for his wife and daughter if the intruder had disabled Landry and got past him, wouldn’t it? (big smiley face)

      Oops. I didn’t see the “sarc” before I up-thumbed you.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      (sarc)

    rightcoaster in reply to rabidfox. | July 29, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Landry’s legal assumption would be that the intruder was an adult, since there is a curfew for minors, and the legal curfew is far earlier than 2am. Remember this in the future when folks keep harping on the fact that Coulter is 14 years old. This kid had no business being out in the middle of the night.

At least Louisiana has a decent governor, unlike that piece of shit in Florida

He’ll be pardoned. Lots of pissed off Cajuns down there.

Someone here mentioned, I believe, that the intruder was shot from a distance of approx 30 feet away. Mr. Branca’s post says within feet of the back door. Any update on this? Might not have been what Landry was aiming at, but if he made an intentional head shot at 30 feet that would be a bit worrisome for a self-defense claim.

Also, if you confront an intruder, what should you say/yell? “Freeze” sounds a bit too Hollywood. Reminds me of the joke: BANG…”FREEZE”. Damn, got it backwards again.

    First reports said “Police said the teen was near Landry’s vehicle when he was shot. Landry’s friends said the vehicle was in the driveway behind a gate just a few feet from the house’s backdoor.”
    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/07/marigny_homeowner_booked_after.html

    Now it says “According to an NOPD arrest warrant, Landry shot Coulter from 30 feet away, evidenced by the distance between the blood found on the ground and the single bullet casing outside Landry’s house in the 700 block of Mandeville Street.”

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/07/marigny_homeowner_shooting.html

    The media doesn’t have great form for getting things right the first time around, or even the second time for that matter. Like with the Zimmerman case, like Sandy Hook, like the Boston bombing, like the Houston gas station shooting, the facts may be “evolving” for a while yet.

      Sounds like the media is spinning a story to make the situation look worse. Also it seems that the police have an agenda.

      It is possible that Marshall moved towards the gate before he fell as a result of his wounds. I have read a bit on how someone who has been shot can move a considerable distance before dying.

      I would want more information before making up my mind about this matter.

OK… A few comments.

To those of you that think this case is a more justified shooting than the Zimmerman case, I strongly disagree.

Yes, in this case you have a teenager who was obviously commiting a crime and out causing trouble late at night and on the shooter’s private property. In Zimmerman’s case, Trayvon may have been simply buying candy, talking to his girlfriend and heading home (before he decided to attack George of course), but NONE OF THAT MATTERS!

The question is, the ONLY question that matters, is was the shooter in reasonable fear of imminent great bodily injury or death. Period.

Zimmerman is a slam dunk! It is obvious that after screaming for help for 45 seconds while someone repeatedly injures you, it is quite reasonable to be in fear of great bodily injury. End of story.

This case is actually not near as cut and dry. While I believe that encountering a stranger in a confined, fenced off area at 2am is by itself reason to believe you are in danger, it is certainly not the overwhelmingly reasonable belief that George Zimmerman had.

Now, for DriveBy and others like him…
Two points I would like to make…

1. You keep saying that you shouldn’t be able to shoot someone in your fenced property just because he is stealing your stuff. What you are failing to take into consideration, is that once you confront someone, you have no idea how that person is going to behave. I think it is completely reasonable to be afraid that the thief who is stealing your property or breaking into your car will try and forcibly stop you from stopping him. And if your answer to this is that you should not confront someone stealing your stuff, well you are trying to create a society I have no desire to live in.

2. You also keep comparing the punishment a homeowner doles out to a thief caught in the act of stealing something, to how the court punishes someone after they are caught. You ask why a homeowner should be allowed to shoot someone when the judge would only throw them in jail for a few years.

Well, this answer is simple. After the crime is commited and the criminal is in custody, there is no longer a threat to people or property.

In nearly all 50 states, if someone breaks into your house, you can legally shoot them dead.
However, if they run out the front door and are captured by the police, the courts do not sentence them to death.

Do you see the difference now?
The homeowner (victim) has no idea what is going to happen next, therefore, they get more latitude in responding with greater force (punishment) than the courts do once the threats are removed and the actions known.

And yes, I wish all states were like Texas and allowed lethal force to be used in defense of property in certain situations. One should not have to cower in their house while a thief steals their car, and they also should not have to risk taking a bullet when they go outside to stop the person.

I think it is fair to assume that a thief stealing your car or burglarizing a house may greatly harm you if you try and stop them, therefore, you should be able to you use lethal force to stop them as to not put yourself or your family at risk.

DriveBy, please stop making excuses for criminals.
Where is our sympathy for the real victims????

[…] to extensively has written an article about the event and the applicable laws for Louisiana over at Legal Insurrection that is worth reading, for a better understanding on the laws of the […]

Hey, everybody, you all let DriveBy hijack about half the comments on this post. He clearly is here to provoke people, he has his own “facts” and his pre-formed opinions based on his “facts”, not THE facts–you aren’t going to make a dent, but he is distracting you all from the matter at hand–don’t feed the troll.

Not enough confirmed facts. The 30 ft thing is a big deal.

Also notable here for home owners… owning a fence with a locked gate is a very good idea because it removes a lot of doubt about intent.

    inquisitivemind in reply to Andy. | July 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    The 30′ thing may not be a huge deal actually – semi-autos eject shell casings which bounce off hard surfaces.
    The placement of the “head shot” could be cheek area and very likely the kid turned and fell. The paralysis he’s exhibiting now is likely from subsequent swelling and the brain damage effects from this will be permanent.

rightcoaster | July 29, 2013 at 9:54 am

What I am getting out of these comments is, the people who think Landry should be convicted of any crime, think that Coulter had every right to be on Landry’s private, locked, gated property at 2am. There is no other way to interpret this, IMO.

I hope Landry walks. Anything else would be an absolute miscarriage of justice. You have the right to protect and defend your property, family, and life. Period.

I understand why he was arrested, in light of the Zimmerman case. It was to avoid another circus. Duh! Hopefully, it will be enough to keep the clowns away.

    fogflyer in reply to rightcoaster. | July 29, 2013 at 10:56 am

    rightcoaster said, “You have the right to protect and defend your property, family, and life. Period.

    Unfortunately, that is just not true.
    Only Texas allows lethal force to be used in defense of property, and only in certain circumstances.

      Alan Cain in reply to fogflyer. | July 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      I sure am glad I live in Texas.

      randian in reply to fogflyer. | July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Only Texas allows lethal force to be used in defense of property

      That greatly depends on what you mean by “defense of property”. Can I shoot somebody that’s taking a crowbar to my car while I’m in it, but who hasn’t attacked me yet? Arson of an occupied structure?

      Then there are some edge cases: theft of vital medical equipment or medicines, for example.

        fogflyer in reply to randian. | July 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

        In many states you can shoot someone trying to enter your car while you are in it. That is an extension of the castle doctrine. Also in many states you can shoot someone commiting arson of an occupied building.

        The key here, is both the car and the building have to be OCCUPIED.
        You are not defending property, you are defending life.

        Texas allows you to shoot someone to prevent them from stealing your unoccupied car, burglarizing a house, or even to stop them from escaping with stolen goods.

        As far as I know, it is the only state that allows lethal force is such situations (unfortunately).

amatuerwrangler | July 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

I want to know if Andrew has the disclaimer in the original post copyrighted/trademarked/whatevered. If the answer is yes, how do we apply for permission to use same? I see may powerful uses for such verbiage.

[…] Legal Insurrection’s Andrew Branca, who is an expert on the law of self-defense and actually wrote a book on the subject, isn’t impressed with the attempted second degree murder charge… […]

[…] if it’s not for Trayvon, and Zimmerman isn’t involved, and it’s not in […]

Age doesn’t matter, so stop with the “he was just an innocent little kid that walked elderly people across the street”….how many 14 year old kids have killed someone? Just because this was a teenager doesn’t make it any less dangerous, the majority of blame here should be the lack of parenting….after all he was already a professional thief according to his older brother, where did he acquire such a skill at the ripe old age of 14? The lesson for all you criminals is this….If you don’t want to get shot, don’t be out messing around in someones yard at 2am! This kid was up to no good, another thug in the making, but of course the family is going to say what a saint he is! This man had every right to defend his property and the lives of his family, he should have been thanked for ridding the streets of another piece of garbage that was already well on his way to being a career criminal! If I see a stranger in my yard at 2am and he makes a move as if he’s reaching for something, I’m shooting first and asking questions later, if you don’t belong there, don’t be there…it’s really a pretty simple rule to live by!

Well fancy that. Sometimes it’s okay to shoot an unarmed man in a driveway in the middle of the night.

Go and read the link, y’all. The author (Jacob Sullum of Reason.com, of whom I became a fan during the Zimmerman trial), draws the parallel anyone with even half a brain would draw between the Landy case and this latest one.

I hope the learned Mr. Branca will see fit to grace us with a comment on it as well. HINT HINT 🙂

Hello all! I am interested in this story and have checked the internet when I could today, but it almost seemed like a new conspiracy theory was in the works. I mean there were no updates at all. It was almost like Obama did not want to have another “son” or something. But I saw this a little while ago and thought that I would share it:

http://www.wdsu.com/news/local-news/new-orleans/shooting-victim-14-remains-in-icu-shows-small-signs-of-improvement/-/9853400/21235556/-/7pjvnb/-/index.html

No much younger photos, no parents, just stills of the kid in the ICU.

I keep wondering where the bullet hit him from that 30 foot shot. He has what looks like a hemovac tube coming from the back to back left side of his head, and his hair on the front left side was not shaved prior to the surgery. The back door of the home enters in to his driveway courtyard at an angle to the gate/cement wall where the kid likely climbed in and would climb back out. It looks to me that the kid was running/fleeing at the gate and got shot from behind.

Just fuzzy pictures showing very little of the patient. What’s your medical experience that we should accept your diagnosis? 30 foot shot? Where do you get that number? The story above says he was “…shot within feet from the rear door…”.

    DriveBy in reply to poppa india. | July 29, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Oh, whatever… He was shot in the face but the photos are so fuzzy that no confirmation of that lie nor any other contradictory conclusion can possibly be made. I agree with you 100%. (Sarcasm on full!)

      poppa india in reply to DriveBy. | July 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      My point is we don’t have the information to make a judgement yet as far as distance, wounds, location of shooter and intruder, or nearly anything else except the intruder had climbed a fence at 2 AM and was approaching the house. When Landry told him to freeze, he (Landry) says he (intruder) reached toward his hip. Landry then fired. This is not enough info to exculpate or blame Landry, but you seem ready to label him the bad guy. I hope the intruder completely recovers. And I hope more information comes out. Till then I won’t comment further on this. Will you do the same?

        DriveBy in reply to poppa india. | July 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

        No. I will not. IMO, this Landry dude is a bad guy.

        “The kid reached toward his hip and Landry fired…” WHILE THE KID HAD HIS BACK TOWARD LANDRY? Seriously?

        You may need a magnifying glass to view the screen, but I do not. I have 28 years of medical experience. But even without that, you and everyone else can see that the kid has no injury or even bandages on his face, and he has his hair intact in the front of his head on his left side (not shaved for surgery), and he has a Hemovac tube in the back to left back of his head (inserted in to the wound to collect blood), and if you look over his right shoulder you will see the Hemovac bag is full of the blood that has been collected.

        There is/are reasons that he NOPD charged this creep with Attempted Murder. I suggest that you consider that what I am saying is at the least one of those reasons!

          poppa india in reply to DriveBy. | July 29, 2013 at 11:13 pm

          Verdict, then trial…

          randian in reply to DriveBy. | July 30, 2013 at 12:06 am

          WHILE THE KID HAD HIS BACK TOWARD LANDRY?

          1) shot to rear of head != back towards Landry
          2) even if his back was towards Landry, it’s not in itself dispositive of shooting a fleeing person
          2a) Imagine the encounter started with Coulter’s back to Landry. Landry yells “freeze”. Coulter responds with a turn towards Landry and a grab for his hip. Landry reacts and shoots him. A righteous shoot even if Coulter gets shot in the back. I don’t know if it happened that way, but it fits the known facts just as much as your “fleeing teenager” scenario does.

          If Coulter did grab at his hip, why would he if he didn’t have a weapon? To instill fear that he does in fact have a weapon, or to grab a weapon he usually carries but forgot on that night.

In the video linked above, there’s an announcement of a anti-violence rally to take place in the neighborhood. I wonder if it will include pleas to young people to stay off the streets at 2 AM, and above all, stay out of other peoples property, especially if you have to climb a fence and brave a barking dog to get there. I’d like to see that, but I’m not hopeful….

So Nidal Hasan is responsible for a “man made disaster” (because our government is afraid to call a terrorist a terrorist), killing 13 Americans and wounding over 30 more at Fort Hood in a per-meditated plan. Almost 4 years later, while awaiting trial, he’s still being paid by the US Government.

Merrit Landry defends his fenced in home from an intruder at 2AM and he’s suspended without pay and accused of 2nd degree attempted murder.

What’s happening to the leaders of our country?

Welcome to Amerika

The important question is, did the kid have any Skittles on him?

amatuerwrangler | August 5, 2013 at 3:59 am

Here is an update, of sorts, I will try to paste in a link, but this computer stuff is tricky. Andrew is probably putting together something on this at this very moment.

For those who are fretting over the age of the young man in NO, I offer this item just hitting the wires out of NYC, The Bronx to be more precise: 0300hr and a 14 year old takes to shooting at people on the street and the NYPD officers on foot patrol in the area respond and confront the lad. In a fit of bad judgement he opts not to drop the gun and surrender, deciding rather to take on the cops. He died on the spot of a GSW to the head. Early reports are that he was active in “the system” with a case involving assault and weapons still unresolved. Some of you need to get over this goofy idea that 14 and 17 year olds are children and not to be feared.

Here is a link, hope it works.

http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=19866690&ref=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.google.com.\mx%252F

[Looking at the preview, the link may be flawed. sorry.]

Rick the Curmudgeon | August 5, 2013 at 10:05 am

Appears to be another Trayvon, complete with a 2 year-old photo and relatives in Deep Denial: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/cops-shoot-kill-bronx-gunman-article-1.1417158

    Notice the big focus is on “How did he get a gun??” “Where did the gun come from??” “90% of the guns we confiscate come from out of state!!”

    The anti-gunners are going to try to use this as a stalking horse to bring in NYC-style gun prohibitions in neighboring states. They’re eying Virginia at the moment.

    Forget the fact that it’s ALREADY illegal for a 14-year-old NYC resident with a criminal record to buy a gun in Virginia, and that new laws will only affect the LAW-ABIDING. That’s just a messy detail.

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