Saturday, September 17, 2005

Jerome Reynolds II: Free as a Bird

Jerome Reynolds of Brooks, Maine, has been acquitted of charges of manslaughter and murder.

From the Bangor Daily News:

BELFAST - A Brooks man on trial for murder who admitted under oath that he shot and killed a 60-year-old woman after she barged into his home was acquitted of all charges Friday by a Waldo County Superior Court jury.

Jerome Reynolds II was found not guilty of the shotgun slaying of Janet Bacon....

Bacon, of Brooks, was killed by a single blast of buckshot from a 12-gauge shotgun moments after forcing her way into Reynolds' Brooks home on the night of Sept. 29, 2004. She was shot in the face and died instantly. Bacon was unarmed and wearing a nightgown....

State law permits the use of deadly force to defend one's home during instances when a person trespasses with the intent to commit a crime. Reynolds testified that Bacon assaulted him and pushed him to the floor when she burst into his home uninvited that night.

"I thought she was about to commit another crime ... She advanced on me, that's why I shot her," Reynolds testified on Thursday. He later added that events happened too fast for him to react any other way.

I'm not averse to the idea that people should have the right to defend themselves in their own home, but this seems a bit much. Being able to kill someone because they might push you is beyond the pale. I hope the legislature will act to raise the bar required for justifiable homicide.



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