June 30, 2008

Wow. Grand Jury No Bills Joe Horn
— Dave in Texas

Me and the Man of Substance been watching this one. I sure didn't think it would fall this way.

To recap: Joe Horn, a resident of Pasadena Texas observed two men (illegal aliens as it happens), burglarizing a neighbor's home, and he called 911.

He spent some time on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, waiting for law enforcement to arrive.

They didn't, and he grabbed a shotgun and went out to confront them.

According to the transcript, the 911 operator repeatedly urged Joe to stay inside and wait for law enforcement. Joe waited a while, then said 'he did not believe it would be right to let the burglars get away'.

"Well, here it goes, buddy," Horn can be heard telling the operator. "You hear the shotgun clicking and I'm going."

He went out, told em to stop. They didn't. And he shot both of them, in the back.

I pause to mention that I have taken the training required for a Texas CHL. This was stressed as a huge no-no, although I did take the class before the "Castle Doctrine" law passed. Allah calls this a huge migraine. Can't argue, but I got some Excedrine.

The lawyer for Joe did his lawyerly duty, talked about how Joe wishes he had stayed inside, it's "affected him", and the other bullshit you offer up in defense of your client (gotta be PR, you go before the grand jury in Texas by yourself, if I recall correctly it's been a few years, ahem).

Now, the interesting part to me, and something we won't get out of secret grand jury testimony (I have that correct, don't I? I'm not a lawyer, but I think the proceedings are not public, so put me some knowledge. Are there records I need to fret over?), is that a plainclothes detective watched the whole thing go down.

I have to think he mighta testified.

This is the statement that persuaded me the most:

"The detective confirmed that this suspect was actually closer to Horn after he initiated his run than at the time when first confronted," said Corbett. "Horn said he felt in jeopardy."

If he felt threatened.

It sounds like that's where the grand jury came down on this.

UPDATED: Commenter jmarsh added this: "I think the grand jury effort, if there's the same forcible felony "out", was actually more of an effort to indemnify Joe Horn."

Yup. The Castle Doctrine law in Texas provides for something called Affirmative Defense, protection from civil litigation if the shooter's actions were justifiable under the law. jmarsh might be right.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 03:17 PM | Comments (145)
Post contains 446 words, total size 3 kb.

1 <a href="http://tractioncontrol.well-regulatedmilitia.org/?p=1127">"Shooting bad guys is a time-honored tradition"</a> in Texas.

Posted by: USCitizen at June 30, 2008 03:29 PM (5pDev)

2 Oops - hyperlink help needed.

Posted by: USCitizen at June 30, 2008 03:30 PM (5pDev)

3 a plainclothes detective watched the whole thing go down

What the fuck? This is the asshole who needs to get shot.

Posted by: Retired (Not Gay) at June 30, 2008 03:35 PM (TKTME)

4 Would any jury have ever convicted Horn anyway? By declining to send this case to a trial, the grand jury probably just saved the taxpayers of Harris County tens, if not hundreds of thousands of wasted dollars.

Posted by: Joshua at June 30, 2008 03:39 PM (LgQF7)


I thought New Orleans released Horn to Atlanta

Posted by: toby timetraveler 928 at June 30, 2008 03:59 PM (evdj2)


Would any jury have ever convicted Horn anyway?

Pasadena, TX is one of the greatest concentrations of illegals as well as legals in the Houston-area so a trial jury very-well could have convicted him.

There is a world of difference between the grand juries here and the trial jury that would have locked him up for many years.  There were some backroom conversations that assured 'ol Joe knew exactly what to say and how to act.

Makes me proud that not everyone is rolling over and dying so that the criminals from the southern border can take over.

Posted by: slug at June 30, 2008 04:44 PM (0J7FN)

7 Key phrase...deported in 1999, Departed in 2007. Aparrently these were not, as  J-Mac would say, "all Gods Children".

Posted by: hutch1200 at June 30, 2008 04:52 PM (gHkHa)

8 As one of the people who helped get Minnesota's carry permit law passed, I fear that the Horn decision will only add to the public's dangerous misunderstanding of the realities of self-defense. Bottom line? Who cares what "Castle Doctrine" says? If you're in a relatively safe place, STAY THERE. Never intentionally place yourself in harm's way over "stuff" - the only reason to enter a situation is for the purpose of protecting HUMAN life.

Oh, well, we'll see what happens......

John Caile CFI

Posted by: john caile at June 30, 2008 04:58 PM (6xI76)

9 Commenter 3 has a point.  Where was the detective as this was going down?  He should have taken down the suspects.


Posted by: chsw at June 30, 2008 05:07 PM (X6n2D)


Horn waited 6 or 7 minutes on the phone with 911 before acting. A felony in progress in an area as concentrated as Pasadena, TX that police didn't show after 3 - 4 minutes is a noteworthy fuckup on the part of the local police.  6+ minutes no-show on a felony in progress deserves a reprimand and/or investigation. A sh*t response from Pasadena PD put Joe Horn in a tough spot and he acted to protect himself and his neighbors... it's as basic as that. I'd be glad to have him as my neighbor.

Posted by: Mook at June 30, 2008 05:29 PM (abxWb)

11 Texas is still the #1 state in the Union considering the approved use of deadly force. I'm certain the grand jury decided that Mr. Horn had waited a reasonable time, was just looking out for his neighbor, his own property, and the community at large, and that those two burglars had it coming to them, illegals or no illegals. I would love to have Mr. Horn for a neighbor. I'd pay his bail without flinching, so I would.
Of course, I suppose the local bleeding heart leftards of Texas will shed bitter tears over the punitive extinction of two goblins. I mean, it's a truly great shame that two scumbags living illegally in Texas in violation of state & national law committed an illegal & criminal act, and then got blown away while they were scurrying away to live & commit another illegal & criminal act another day.

Posted by: exdem13 at June 30, 2008 06:13 PM (fenBi)


Hey, Joe, where you goin with that gun in your hand?

I'm goin down to shoot a couple of scumbags...


BTW, is it my pc, or is the font screwed up on the new site? I get rectangles instead of most punctuation, which makes it too annoying to switch over.

Posted by: Gundo at June 30, 2008 06:26 PM (yHBP0)

13 i hate chinese food, especially menu item #9

Posted by: scrood at June 30, 2008 06:38 PM (1dOyI)


And they were illegal immigrants.  And the girlfriend of one of the illegals wanted Joe prosecuted for taking the law into his own hands.

No way in hell a jury of his peers is going to vote to indict him under those circumstances.

Posted by: FUBAR at June 30, 2008 07:32 PM (HrVHr)

15 Sounds like a a bit of jury nullification. Not sure where I stand on that issue quite yet...

Posted by: Xander Crews at June 30, 2008 07:44 PM (A2zj6)

Corbett said one man ran toward Horn, but had angled away from him toward the street when he was shot in the back just before reaching the curb.

"The detective confirmed that this suspect was actually closer to Horn after he initiated his run than at the time when first confronted," said Corbett. "Horn said he felt in jeopardy."

Look I'm not sorry these two guys are dead, but this was a bad shooting.

Both of these guys were shot in the back while running away. He might pass the reasonable man test on the first guy, but it's very hard to argue that for the second guy who apparently didn't even enter Horn's property at all.

Posted by: Maetenloch at June 30, 2008 07:44 PM (hn7Rm)

17 Shot in the back? Why isn't this at least manslaughter?

Posted by: Jones at June 30, 2008 07:47 PM (XNzgD)

18 Its rather Darwinian.  When a man with a shotgun tells me to stop, I'd stop.

Posted by: toby hussein 928 at June 30, 2008 07:48 PM (PD1tk)

19 IIRC there had been a rash of burglaries in that neighborhood carried out by these, and other, illegal immigrants (perhaps that is why there was a plain clothed detective nearby).

I can't say that I feel sorry for the the dead guys.  They were criminals multiple times over and if law enforcement had been doing its job in the first place, Mr. Horn would not have been put into this position.

Posted by: Blarg the Destroyer at June 30, 2008 07:54 PM (PcJ/l)


I live in Texas and I'm MUCH more compassionate than that.  First shot is rock salt.  Second, third, fourth and fifth shots are 00 Buck. 

No way I could live anywhere other than Texas.

Posted by: coleman at June 30, 2008 07:59 PM (19xMs)

21 I wouldn't have pulled the trigger myself, but as Franklin said "time is the stuff life is made of."  It takes some portion of your life to accumulate possessions, so when someone steals from you he's essentially stealing your time.  These kinds of property crimes aren't "minor".

Posted by: Ace's liver at June 30, 2008 08:01 PM (XIXhw)

22 This did take place near Houston. Perhaps Horn became confused and thought he was helping to reenact the Battle of San Jacinto?

Posted by: Lightbringer at June 30, 2008 08:04 PM (5Ym7Z)



According to the article he didn't have time, and was worried about being mistaken for the getaway driver for the burglars.

This looks like a case of jury nullification to me, but I'm fine with that.  The burglars needed killin'.

Still- he should've stayed in his house.  Protecting the neighbor's TV isn't worth what he's had to go through.

Posted by: Hollowpoint at June 30, 2008 08:07 PM (rf03a)


Maybe we can take up a collection to replenish his supply of ammunition.

When I took my deadly force class with my city's police department it was stressed that we could not shoot a fleeing suspect if they were not presenting an immediate and deadly threat to ourselves or other bystanders.  In the back?  Not a good shooting and obviously, as this case demonstrates, presents real legal system risks for the shooter.

However, I don't feel at all sorry for the perps.

Posted by: cranky at June 30, 2008 08:11 PM (GSjxr)


Still- he should've stayed in his house.

Strong point.  If he'd used a rifle he could have picked them off from his recliner.  Work smarter, not harder.

Posted by: coleman at June 30, 2008 08:13 PM (19xMs)

26 Joe Horn, a resident of Pasadena Texas observed two men (illegal aliens as it happens), burglarizing a neighbor's home, and he called 911.

100 points for using the correct term. Burglary is a surreptitious form of theft, where robbery is theft by the use or threat of force. The local news broadcast has not gotten the terms right once in as long as I've been watching.

Posted by: Xander Crews at June 30, 2008 08:26 PM (A2zj6)

27 I have a pretty strong suspicion that the prosecutor was looking for a no bill. Would you want to be the guy prosecuting nice ole Mr. Horn? They say a DA can get an indictment on a ham sandwich. The converse, that a DA can get a no bill on Charlie Manson might be true as well.

Posted by: XBradHusseinTC at June 30, 2008 08:28 PM (qtGpA)

28 Yeah, he should have stayed inside.  With that being said, I like the decision.  This is a great state.

Posted by: brak at June 30, 2008 08:29 PM (iYqf4)


I don't know that I would have done what Mr. Horn did, but as far as I'm concerned, if you break into a man's home you deserve whatever comes your way.  That door is the boundary between civilizized behavior and primal protective instinct.

I've got a family.  My primary purpose in this life is to protect them.  Someone comes into my house, they're dead. 

Posted by: Warden at June 30, 2008 08:33 PM (QoR4a)

30 Joe Horn is The Man.

Posted by: Charles Bronson at June 30, 2008 08:35 PM (1Mq7K)

31 I fall down the same way.  I would not have done it, but if you come close to my house with this shit, uh, good luck.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at June 30, 2008 08:35 PM (eiOZw)

32 Thievery should be a very, very, very, dangerous occupation. It has become a damn easy hobby in too many parts of this country.

Good on Mr. Horn for making his neighborhood a deadly choice for burglars, regardless of whether it was a bad shooting or no.

As far as I'm concerned, thieves give up their right to life as they transcend the door of their victim.

Posted by: lauraw at June 30, 2008 08:37 PM (DbybK)

33 #2 , when you insert "Shooting bad guys is a time-honored tradition" don't use the quotes , I thought even you , knew that , almost all morons do .

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at June 30, 2008 08:41 PM (Bivii)

34 Most morons use commas better than [Bill D. Cat ] , as well .

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at June 30, 2008 08:43 PM (Bivii)

35 I can has penis butter sammich?

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at June 30, 2008 08:52 PM (1Mq7K)

36 I'm confused.  I thought one walked towards him in a threatening manner while the other turned away?

Posted by: Kaitian at June 30, 2008 08:53 PM (a5qbk)

37 I love the 'Needed Killin' defense.  As far as I'm concerned, the two perps fell into that category.  Hopefully Mr. Horn isn't really all that broken up about it.  It's no small thing to kill someone but if this was a bad shooting, it was a good killing.

Posted by: Cautiously Pessimistic at June 30, 2008 08:55 PM (ltwze)


Bill d cat:

NoPrisoners approves your message. 

Kick in the door; lose your life.  Good on Mr. Horn.  These kinds of killings are very easy to avoid - don't rob someone's house.  Problem solved.

Please note:  Mr. Horn took no prisoners.

Posted by: noprisoners at June 30, 2008 08:57 PM (eqMup)


Great jury decision.  100% easier on everyone if they are shot in the front.  Back shooting is not to be tolerated even in Texas, but in this case I think it's just fine. 

Seems like the key in this case is that he was under a lot of stress, and felt threatened, and outraged that his neighbor's house is being violated.  That's a bad combination to put someone into, and especially someone with a shotgun.

Posted by: Mephitis at June 30, 2008 08:57 PM (8vJF0)


Hopefully Mr. Horn isn't really all that broken up about it.

Oh don't worry about Mr. Horn.  He's decided to sue the expired thieves for "theft of about 3.5 ounces of lead".

Posted by: coleman at June 30, 2008 08:58 PM (19xMs)

41 This was a bad shooting. No question. In other jurisdictions, Horn would be indicted and most likely convicted.

That said, do I feel sorry for the burglars? No.
Do I think they got what was coming to them? Yes.

So I'm all conflicted and distressed. Think I'll spend the rest of the evening pounding you's squeakhole.

Posted by: OregonMuse at June 30, 2008 09:03 PM (vEl+m)


Well, Gentlemen -

[removes sunglasses off]

It looks like our victims' backs are wet.

Wet with blood.

[Puts sunglasses on]

{cue "We Won't Get Fooled Again"

Posted by: Horatio Caine at June 30, 2008 09:03 PM (UeP9e)

43 Apologize for #28 , I started off on the right path , but the inner moron is strong ..... too strong at times .

Posted by: Bill D. Cat at June 30, 2008 09:08 PM (Bivii)

44 I even have the guilty pleasure of thinking what message this sends to bad guys in Texas, to wit: "hey, even if the shooting is blatantly bad, your sorry, burglarizing ass will still be dead, and we won't even indict the guy who shot you. How does that grab your frijoles, esse?"

Yeah, I like it.  I hate it, but I like it.

Posted by: OregonMuse at June 30, 2008 09:10 PM (vEl+m)


Closer to Horn than when he started?  Both of them?  Wow, Columbian burglars can run backwards towards the sound of a shotgun slide.  They must be the FARC Columbians.

Posted by: combat18 at June 30, 2008 09:12 PM (onLkk)

46 I'm glad Mr. Horn won't be prosecuted, but, yeah, shot in the back leaves a bad taste in my mouth, too.

Posted by: Trimegistus at June 30, 2008 09:13 PM (p67Nu)

47 So, from someone who's been following the case, what's with this Quanell X character?  I read the Wikipedia on him, but, well, you know how Wikipedia is....

Posted by: notropis at June 30, 2008 09:33 PM (NFXyo)

48 He's a local Houston Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton wanna-be

Posted by: brak at June 30, 2008 09:39 PM (iYqf4)

49 Shot in the back, feh. *Illegal* Immigrants engaged in the act of burglary get no sympathy from me. They should have known better than to burglarize a Texas home in broad daylight. It's almost as dangerous as wearing a SF Giants jersey to a LA Dodgers game. Almost.

Posted by: h2u at June 30, 2008 09:52 PM (gp/if)


Oregon Muse #37:

Before you start pounding MY squeakhole; I want to know "how may ass taste"!  You the man to judge!

Posted by: noprisoners at June 30, 2008 09:57 PM (eqMup)

51 Quanell X (love the name) is a local agitator who tried to arrange a race riot in Joe's neghborhood.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at June 30, 2008 10:04 PM (eiOZw)

52 Mr. Horns' neighbors being burglarized were a Vietnamese family that ran a local dry-cleaners. 'Some recall seeing a silver truck with the words Ortiz Painting which was not found' so it seems the driver got away, girlfriend? Hernando Riascos Torres was a convicted drug dealer who went through the system and got 20 years, served 5 then was deported. He had used false Puerto Rican papers. His real name was Miguel Antonio DeJesus. (Hello, homeland security.) Some reported that they heard Mr. Horn saying 'say hello to my little friend' just before he shot. I might have made up that last part.

Posted by: republicangirl at June 30, 2008 10:12 PM (d20qX)

53 So while some question Mr. Horn on his "Shoot in the Back" technique and chastise him while acknowledging that we're generally pleased with the outcome, why the muted condemnation of the no billed victim? Here we have felons, very likely repeat offenders, invading private space and serving as a public threat. Are we to say "Oh well, 'taint worth it to defend the neighborhood. It's only property and the threat wasn't that dire. I have great hindsight and I know that to be true."

I call BS. The state cannot defend the homeowner adequately and justice is very often not served. The retreating criminal typically escapes to commit a crime - again - perhaps even returning to the scene of the crime to exact revenge on the guy who stopped their previous heist.

The authorities, if they don't catch the thieves, file yet another worthless report that gets piled on yet another stack of unresolved property crimes that will remain unsolved because it isn't considered high enough priority to follow through. Lack of funds and insufficient threat to public you see. Or, if the perp is caught, they'll very likely get a minimal sentence, the length of which gets extended only after repeated offense. What are the odds that happens in this day and age of individuals wondering whether they have the right to defend themselves?

No, Horn did the right thing. It was a citizen's arrest of an inarguable crime and the criminals lost their gamble. I don't think we should worry ourselves about this "vigilante" justice; rather, I'm glad the Horn outcome did not provide for burglars a legal out to their crime - namely, if caught, make sure your back is turned on the victim you're targeting at all times and proceed to the nearest exit for a safe getaway. Continuing to hold on to the goods is optional. Do that and you'll be free as a bird 'cause the legal authorities are too busy stopping "real" crime.

Posted by: AnonymousDrivel at June 30, 2008 10:12 PM (sI5Ho)

Quanell X (love the name) is a local agitator who tried to arrange a race riot in Joe's neghborhood.

Yep, here's the video. It gets good about 1:15 in.

Posted by: cruzer at June 30, 2008 10:13 PM (GpFDF)

55 Once again the morons have it right.
Would I have done the same thing ? Doubtful.
Is two fewer illegal thugs a good thing ? Absolutely
Moral = You fuck around you ain't 'gonna be around.

Posted by: Aubrey at June 30, 2008 10:13 PM (o521D)

56 And Horn did the right thing. If you don't want to get shot, don't break into peoples houses.

Posted by: cruzer at June 30, 2008 10:15 PM (GpFDF)

57 The criminals (or, their families, now) get no sympathy from me. They earned that death. Good for Mr. Horn. I'd be happy to have him as a neighbor.

Posted by: AngelEm at June 30, 2008 10:21 PM (FTbYM)

58 Here we have yet another case of a bunch of right wing bigots piling on to condemn people who just came to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Why, if it weren't for illegals undocumented workers, there would hardly be any crime at all in that part of Texas. This clearly proves that these fellas were just here doing jobs that Americans won't do.


Nice shootin' Horn. But next time make sure you can see the numbers on the front of their jerseys before you pull the trigger.

Posted by: Andy at June 30, 2008 10:25 PM (23Gys)

59 I like all the folks who are so outraged over the "back shooting."

Guy runs towards you.
You line up on him.
He sees the gun.
You pull the trigger
He starts to turn.
"Back shot."

Forensics people can go through whole elaborate theories  -- and protracted debates in testimony -- about the angle of bullets through bodies and their interpretation of the movements and postures of shooter and target.  But some folks here are sharp enough to know what's what from a single sentence in a blog post.  Cool.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at June 30, 2008 10:33 PM (3TkxB)

60 Bad shooting? He hit them both, for God's sake......

Posted by: Dr. Remulak at June 30, 2008 10:41 PM (KwWeL)

61 "...people who just came to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families." And who, in the process, bypassed all the good, honest folks from other nations waiting patiently for their chance to become Americans. Line-cutters also get no sympathy from me.

Posted by: h2u at June 30, 2008 10:44 PM (gp/if)


But some folks here are sharp enough to know what's what from a single sentence in a blog post.  Cool.

Well some of the more clever morons are able to follow the link to the newpaper article which includes quotes from a police detective who witnessed the entire shooting and made it clear that the first victim was running away when he was shot.

Posted by: Maetenloch at June 30, 2008 10:47 PM (D7Mah)

63 I can't say what he did was right but I'm pretty sure I'd be OK with Joe Horn as a neighbor. And I'm very I can't see a pair of brazen burglars as victims.

Posted by: VRWC Agent at July 01, 2008 12:03 AM (Z3AmO)

Posted by: anoni mouse at July 01, 2008 12:06 AM (d20qX)

65 I think I'd like to revise and extend my previous comment based upon further review of the facts in evidence.

The grand jury may well have been sending a second message as well- this one to Mr. Quannell X, to wit, "Fuck you".

Secondly, in an age when judges and justices seem to find emanations and penumbras throughout our founding documents that mere laymen such as myself are not cognizant of, the grand jury may well have thought this a very reasonable extrapolation of the "castle doctrine." Had the shooting been done by the owner of the house burglarized, it never would have gone to the grand jury. Perhaps here the grand jury sees Mr. Horn acting as the proxy for the owner well within the scope of the intent of the law.

Posted by: XBradHusseinTC at July 01, 2008 12:09 AM (ezH8K)


Some of the girls at the gym tonight were wearing volleyball shorts, very tight volleyball shorts, and I'm focussed on, well, Not the internet, Not this post, . . . . . .

Three questions that seem to have not been addressed are:

1) At what point do repeated burglaries in a neighborhood become demoted from serious felonies to misdemeanors, due to repeated "no response/ response too late" results, by law enforcement, hired security or local citizenry, setting a precedent?

 2) Given enough repeated failures of law enforcement, at what point do citizens have the right to enforce the law?

 Burglary, in every human society, is a major crime, and always has been. Just look at the penalties. But given the way our legal system works (or does not work), a shrewd lawyer just might be able to twist things . . . .

More to the point, at what point do repeated failures of law enforcement (or repeated crimes; your choice), in this case, right next door, give citizens have the right to act? (Pay particular attention to the use of commas and italics in the preceding sentence; they give additional intensity to the sentence when spoken.) (Bonus: how many caught my use of the ; ?)

Who’s next, and when? Will the perps simply take what they can get, or will they do more, like maybe burn the place to cover their tracks?

 This may sound trivial, and sitting at my monitor, the situation doesn't seem all that threatening.  But I didn't have to face this situation, and my neighborhood is relatively safe.  I think the way this sequence of events happened is unfortunate, but for the better.

3) #49 noprisoners : Is "how may ass taste" a British euphemism of some sort?

It’s gonna leave a mark, in a very Oscar-Wilde-ean sort of way, on someone who’s ". . . all conflicted and distressed."

My complements, Sir; short, to the point and no French words needed, not even French salad dressing..

Posted by: Arbalest at July 01, 2008 12:19 AM (feDJw)

67 So, let's recap.
A man's home is his castle.
You have the right to defend it with deadly force.
You don't have the duty to retreat.

So, since this is Ace's "home" away from the hobos, homelessness, what ever, that means he has the right to use deadly force to protect it.

So quit being suck a suck-ass pussy Ace, and start swinging the ban hammer like Joe Horn used his shotty.

Or swing it like a Viking, if that float your little tugboat.

Failing that, I expect vicious, cutting comments that leave offenders cut to ribbons.

Lord knows Dave in Texas isn't up to that...

Posted by: Looking to stir up the shit... at July 01, 2008 12:35 AM (FAKfw)

68 42

I'm fucking crying here.

I'm also drunk.

Posted by: DBinSD at July 01, 2008 01:16 AM (oMN0T)

69 I'm a Georgia GFL (open and CCW) holder.  Generally, we can fire on anyone involved in the comission of a forcible felony (in addition to reasonable fear for your safety).  Forcible felony involves the usual litany of things: rape, murder, attempted murder, burglary, and other such crimes.  From what I heard on the radio (in Austin), Texas has much the same blanket coverage.  I think the grand jury effort, if there's the same forcible felony "out", was actually more of an effort to indemnify Joe Horn.

Posted by: Jmarsh at July 01, 2008 01:42 AM (YXE05)

70 I hope they learned their lesson and won't burglarize anyone again.

Posted by: Z Ryan at July 01, 2008 02:13 AM (PDeVA)


To paraphrase Sir George Savile:

"Men are not shot and killed for burglary, but that property will not be burgled."

Posted by: Chipper at July 01, 2008 02:25 AM (WnVFA)


I thought Joe Horn was some guy in his 20's. He looks like an old man in this news report. I think the 2 scumbags did try to go after him, figuring he wouldn't shoot.

Posted by: liontooth at July 01, 2008 02:43 AM (n3pxb)

73 Sorry gotta disagree on this one, both men where shot in the back and one of them was not heading towards mister Horn at a minimum he should be on trial for manslaughter in my opinion.

Posted by: Oldcrow at July 01, 2008 02:56 AM (WGcw3)

74 Did this occur at night?  I was under the impression that partaking in criminal mischief at night put you in a less protected class in TX than an armadillo crossing the highway.

Posted by: MMW at July 01, 2008 04:01 AM (C3kMa)

75 D'oh...broad daylight.  Never mind, as you were.  Something tells me we're not getting the whole story, though.

Posted by: MMW at July 01, 2008 04:06 AM (C3kMa)

76 Let's say you're one of these poor folks that the Dems keep saying we all hate. You make US$ 24,000 a year, and just bought a new big screen TV for US$ 1,000.

That represents two weeks of work for you and probably your biggest investment in quality of life for a low income earner. If some thief steals it, he's basically just stole two weeks of your life. That seems pretty serious to me, and maybe worth protecting.

Posted by: Aaron at July 01, 2008 05:11 AM (UGsbS)


Horn had a shotgun, which means there isn't one hole, but many.  The difference between back and front is the line that bisects you from the side, which runs roughly through your ear and down your arm to your ankle.  Did they count the number of holes and find the majority of them were on the back side of that line?  Or were they all on the back side?  Were they centered at 6 o'clock, or were they centered at, say, 8 o'clock? 

I'm definitely not in favor of what he did.  But he was not anywhere he shouldn't have had the right to be, and we can't expect him to have the instincts of a well trained officer.  If you are in a place where you have a legal right to be, and you are in fear of your life, you have the right to shoot.  I can understand the jury's decision, but it could have very easily gone the other way and have been a valid decision.

Posted by: mcgurk at July 01, 2008 05:34 AM (n3Ozc)

78 This was a technically illegal shooting, but it was a lot closer to legal than a lot of people think. Texas Penal Code 9.42: A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property: ... (2)(b) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and ... The "wrong" thing that was done here was that this went down in the middle of the day. I don't think it was much of a stretch for a grand jury to decide not to lock up a guy because his actions were only illegal due to the time of day.

Posted by: ArmedGeek at July 01, 2008 05:43 AM (2r+Ku)

79 Oh wow. What the hell ?

Posted by: ArmedGeek at July 01, 2008 05:44 AM (2r+Ku)


Thankfully this is not a matter of opinion.  It is clearly covered in Texas statute.

justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
tangible, movable property:
(1)  if he would be justified in using force against the
other under Section 9.41;  and
(2)  when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A)  to prevent the other's imminent commission of
arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime;  or
(B)  to prevent the other who is fleeing
immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
(3)  he reasonably believes that:                                            
(A)  the land or property cannot be protected or
recovered by any other means;  or
(B)  the use of force other than deadly force to
protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Shot in the back is pretty good evidence of attempted flight.

Posted by: ThomasD at July 01, 2008 05:53 AM (21H5U)

81 In the comments over at thelawdogfiles.blogspot.com, one of the folks there mentioned that the deceased had been part of a group who'd been targeting dry cleaner owners, presumably as part of a protection racket. If that's the case, then the detective on the scene was probably intending to follow the punks so the PD could take down the whole group in one swell foop. Best laid plans, and all that...

Posted by: Cybrludite at July 01, 2008 05:59 AM (ouHKr)

82 Good find, ThomasD. I just mentioned this over at patterico.com

Posted by: h2u at July 01, 2008 06:24 AM (TZKUw)


Yeah, the country is now poorer by two illegal immigrant burglars. What a pity.

If the border patrol did their job, the victim in this case, i.e., Joe Horn, wouldn't have had to do it for them.

Posted by: John McCain at July 01, 2008 06:57 AM (hUStE)


I find this whole thing, sad. I hate burglars but the death penalty is a little steep for burglary. Plus Mr. Horn probably will suffer mentally from the incident.

In other words, it's a damn shame those boys made Joe shoot 'em.

Posted by: captkidney at July 01, 2008 07:28 AM (LhGpt)

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 01, 2008 08:05 AM (dcqty)

86 Today is the day that the feds in all their wisdom ordered the California prisons to be desegregated. How the hell are they going to do that? All these prisons have gangs which are based on race.  This is insane and it's going to make it more dangerous for prison workers who will get caught in the middle of  gang/race riots. 

Posted by: GRC at July 01, 2008 08:05 AM (HbbDz)

87 Remember this video in the weeks after this happened?
Joe Horn Supporters Run Off Black Panthers (Uncut Version)

Love the Harley's!

Posted by: Noble at July 01, 2008 08:23 AM (C6iZr)

Posted by: Tushar at July 01, 2008 08:24 AM (Q7Ugu)

Posted by: Noble at July 01, 2008 08:27 AM (C6iZr)

90 Thanks, ThomasD, for correcting that widely held misunderstanding of Texas Law regarding permissible use of lethal force in protection of property. The "you can't shoot the burglar in the back" assertion is wholly bogus, and I have to point out, Dave in Texas, that your CHL instructor was utterly mistaken and should have done a better job of reading the statutes he was teaching.

I acquired my Texas CHL under the same circumstances that you did, i.e. prior to the Castle Doctrine, and my instructor very carefully went through 9.42 as quoted above and pointed out that yes, you CAN legally shoot a burglar in the back as he's running away with your property, as long as you can make the case that you reasonably believed that your property could not be recovered or retrieved in any other fashion. It matters not what property it is, nor the value thereof, as far as the law is concerned you can pop the goblin to prevent him from running away with your Celine Dion CD collection.

That being said, he DID point out that, no matter how much you'd be legally within your rights, you'd have still taken a life, so you might want to consider whether having to live with that for the rest of your life was worth whatever property the goblin was making off with.

Posted by: Misha I at July 01, 2008 08:59 AM (HcwdY)

91 I should add that the question here then is regarding the use of lethal force in protection of ANOTHER's property, which is covered under 9.43.

I won't quote the whole thing here, it's easy to look up, but as I read it it wouldn't be very hard to make the case for Mr. Horn being justified under that one as well.

Posted by: Misha I at July 01, 2008 09:01 AM (HcwdY)


Burglary is punished slightly less than murder by the law in this state.  Persons who invade another's home may "intend" to take the tv, but end up involved in assault or murder.  Texas will never have to worry about what these two "undocumented citizens" will do to the next home or homeowner they visit.  If burglary and crimes against persons carries a high probability of instant death, without the nice arrest and upkeep of jail, criminals will choose another profession.  An unarmed law-abiding citizen is prey.  A predator at the business-end of the barrel is someone about to have that check cashed that they wrote for "up-to-and-including-death".  Anyone could predict an increase in crime when millions of illegals became unemployed from the housing crisis and energy prices.  I only hope the illegals self-deport before the next president gives them citizenship wrapped in my money, if W doesn't beat them to it.  Our government does not respect our soveriegnty.  If it did, the invasion would not have succeeded as it has.

Posted by: twolaneflash at July 01, 2008 09:02 AM (05dZx)

93 I would have shot those guys. And I hate my neighbors. And I'd probably get charged for it. Keeping the scum out of the neighborhood is more important.

Posted by: Farmer Joe at July 01, 2008 09:43 AM (tJXIv)

94 #82 -- well, since the Supreme Court is too morally evolved to let the states impose the death penalty, we'll just have to let the convicts take care of it themselves.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at July 01, 2008 09:49 AM (l3IrE)


Here comes Ye Olde "Shot-in-the-Back" meme again. 

Been debunked in courts of law repeatedly, the scenario goes like this:

Perp comes straight at you with evil intent.

You, being armed and of deliberate mindset to stop a crime in progress, do not back down.

Perp realizes this while coming at you, turns in the nick of time to flee. 

You fire, it hits turning perp "In the back". 

This all happens in a split second. 

The left uses this scenario to the detriment of LE pros as well as the armed citizen. 

Don't. Mess. With. Texas.



Posted by: The Machine at July 01, 2008 09:52 AM (kLBpP)

96 So the perp turned completely around between the time Horn pulled the trigger and the time the pellets ambled over and casually struck the perp between the shoulderblades, eh?

Posted by: spongeworthy at July 01, 2008 10:29 AM (a00go)


time the pellets ambled over

Old guy, old shotugn. I could see that. Totally plausible.

Posted by: Iblis at July 01, 2008 11:53 AM (9221z)


lol 92

(and yeah, I wondered about that too, sponge.)

Although, quite frankly, I'm thrilled about the outcome of the case.

Don't burglarize Tezans.

(Or Floridians, now that we've got all the neat CFL and no-retreat laws. Hell, sometimes I leave the front door open, maybe, y'know, open the blinds, leave packaging and boxes of big-ticket consumer goods by the sidewalk, etc. I think of it as fishing.)


Posted by: jdub at July 01, 2008 12:07 PM (hUStE)

99 Home invasions create an atmosphere of fear in the entire neighborhood, especially for people with children.

This isn't about protecting property.

Posted by: sandy burger at July 01, 2008 12:30 PM (VC56G)


John Caile CFI
That would make sense unless you see that they are a physical threat. How smart is it to wait until you get bushwhacked?

Think how many folks have been mutilated/murdered by criminals while those hearing or seeing what's happening stand off and walk away out of fear or indifference.

Texas would have a lower illegal alien population if every neighbor was so dedicated. And the kidnapping missing children number would decrease.

Anyway, I'm glad that the Grand Jury let Horn go.

Posted by: maverick muse at July 01, 2008 02:02 PM (1cbR0)


AOSHQ. Content-free in July.

'cause Tuesday is the new Sunday.

Posted by: Spartan Fan at July 01, 2008 02:06 PM (7365r)

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at July 01, 2008 02:09 PM (WIxQ1)

103 Thanks, Gabe. Intertubes got crossed again. I blame the site.

Posted by: Spartan Fan at July 01, 2008 05:44 PM (7365r)

104 Home invasions create an atmosphere of fear in the entire neighborhood

There have been three drive by shootings within a mile of my house since January.  Nobody around here is in much of a mood to coddle miscreants anymore.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 01, 2008 05:57 PM (dcqty)


Hey Joe,

You can be my neighbor anytime.  They ought to lock up the invaders' girlfriends for harboring illegals too.  They ought to lock quanell x. too for supporting those burglers.  Good job joe.

Posted by: Kerry Mathews at July 02, 2008 04:30 AM (eOVZM)


So what gives with #33 bill d cat and 41 Oregon muse?

Stuck on stupid displacement?

Posted by: maverick muse at July 02, 2008 08:07 AM (1cbR0)

107 I have to say I'm disappointed with so many morons parroting the shot-in-the-back line - I guess I expected you guys to know better. Sounds like HotAir around here.

I live about 20 minutes from this town. It has one of the heaviest concentrations of legal and illegal immigrants in the Houston area.  All signs and mailers are in Spanish - citizen families have been moving out (those that can afford it), and the old people are left  (Joe Horn being one of them).   That vicious gang of illegal immigrants had been terrorizing that neighborhood for over a year, robbing and beating residents.  And yes, in some instances, even murdering them.  The police response has ranged from embarrassingly slow to not at all, and the few American citizens that are left have felt abandoned in what's amounted to a no-go zone.  (Why do you think the only cop on the scene was plainclothes?) The residents have understandably been on edge and there is a serious citizen flight going on.  You won't here about this reality on the news because it's raaacist.

Old Mr. Horn knew exactly what he was facing when he stopped those criminals. He WAS in extreme danger, and he did his town - and the rest of us - a friggin’ monumental favor.

I could only hope I'd shoot as fuckin' well as he did if I were in the same dire circumstances.   Excellent shootin', Tex.

Posted by: Redhead Infidel at July 02, 2008 09:27 AM (M2upF)


Sorry, Misha, but those two were not only committing a felony at the time of their demise, but had already entered the country illegally. I expect many lives would be actually be saved, if this were the result more often, as most of the future illegals woulf think twice about invading our country.

Further, for those who insist on wringing their hands over someone being killed over property, I would just refer you to an essay by Jeff Snyder, "A Nation of Cowards." It's available on the web. He thoroughly dismantles the idea that we should simply stand aside while the scumbags make off with our hard-earned property.Great Britain has already taken that ludicrous idea to it's logical conclusion, and the results are not pretty. Better to whack a few felons caught in the act now, and prevent the ugliness and moral rot that ensues from doing nothing.

Posted by: ginsocal at July 02, 2008 10:53 AM (6hw4x)

109 Hmmmm

Ok now the old site and the new site aren't in synch.

Posted by: memomachine at July 03, 2008 08:53 AM (VFHt1)

110 I got rid of the old site and have only saved this one and nothing new for 3 days???? At least can someone give me the link to the old one?

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