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    VIDEO: Police Chief Provides More Detail on Case of CA Woman Shot in Back

    VIDEO: Police Chief Provides More Detail on Case of CA Woman Shot in Back

    Claiming self defense when shooting woman running away in the back — good luck with that even in California.

    I just came across some brief TV news coverage with additional details on the case of 80-year-old CA native Tom Greer pursuing and shooting in the back 28-year-old Andrea Miller. We covered the case the other day, Pro-Tip: Shooting Fleeing Women in the Back is NOT Self-Defense.

    Miller and 26-year-old Gus Adams had invaded Greer’s home and began to ransack the residence. When confronted by Greer, they attacked him, breaking his collar bone.

    Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell reports in a television interview (video embedded after break) that at that point Adams went to try to break into Greer’s safe, while Miller continued to assault Greer. They both Miller and Adams believed Greer to no longer be a threat and left him alone to continue to ransack his home.

    Greer, however, managed to retrieve a pistol and confront them in turn. As he began to fire at them inside the house, Miller and Adams flee with items stolen from Greer. Greer pursued them down an alley and fired at them again. Miller was struck, fell to the ground, and died at the scene.

    Greer  told local media that he shot Miller twice in the back as she pleaded for her life, and as she claimed (it turned out falsely) that she was pregnant.

    Adams made good his escape, but was captured by police a few days later. Both Miller and Adams had an extensive history of burglary, and police believe they may have previously broken into Greer’s home on three prior occasions, stealing cash and items.

    The police will, as is the norm, be submitting their investigate report to prosecutors, who will in turn make the decision whether to criminally charge Greer for Miller’s death.

    –-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    P.S. The newest Law of Self Defense University Video/Podcast has just been released:  “#004: The Intersection of Tactics and Law.” Enjoy!

    Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces free online self-defense law educational video- and podcasts at the Law of Self Defense University.


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    sequester | July 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Lawrence Rosenthal, Professor of Law at nearby Chapman University, a former Federal Prosecutor and Clerk for Justice Stevens said the following to Foxnews

    Under California law, homeowners have a right to protect themselves with deadly force inside their homes and in the immediate vicinity — such as a patio — if they feel they are in imminent danger of great bodily injury or death, said Lawrence Rosenthal, a former federal prosecutor who teaches law at Chapman University.

    But this case enters a gray area because Greer, by his own account, chased the burglars and fired at them outside his home as they were fleeing, Rosenthal said.

    “The problem here is that all this happens very fast and his legal right to use force probably ended just a few seconds before he did use deadly force,” Rosenthal said. “So the question is should you charge somebody on the basis of what really was a series of split-second decisions when he’s just been robbed and physically assaulted?”

    He might have some insight into how prosecutors are thinking.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to sequester. | July 27, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      You can bet that all the prosecutors are all running off trying to find someone to palm this one off of.

      It’s career poison. First off all, while theoretically a jury should convict, it is going to be very tough to find such a jury. It’s more likely you will find a jury that wants a pin a medal on hiom and send him home. Most probably is a hung jury where the numbers don’t favor you.

      Second if you do get a conviction you are going to wind up with a large chunk of the population hating you. You may not nr planning a political career, but a judgeship?

    Anchovy | July 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Go for a jury of female liberal arts college professors and explain that the theft and beating were “triggering incidents”.

    ThomasD | July 27, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Who knows, maybe the guy wasn’t in his right mind when he shot her in the back. Nothing like a beating to make one lose their moral bearings. Maybe he felt actual remorse once the stress passed, so confessed to something worse than what actually transpired.

    I suspect the state will go for second, if not first degree murder, but settle for something lesser – not like he needs a long sentence for it to equal life.

    Seems to me the surviving perp needs to face at least as severe a charge as the victim, if only on the basis of equity. But he’ll have a hard time pleading diminished capacity or heat of the moment.

      “Seems to me the surviving perp needs to face at least as severe a charge as the victim, if only on the basis of equity. But he’ll have a hard time pleading diminished capacity or heat of the moment.”

      Easy-peasy felony murder case.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Gremlin1974 in reply to ThomasD. | July 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      I am fairly certain that Adams will go down for the murder charge, which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

    MarkS | July 27, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    At what point in their questioning of Greer are the police required to tell him he has the right to remain silent, etc?

      When they place him under arrest, or any time they’re afraid what he might say would be excluded in court because they hadn’t yet Mirandized him.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      JCC in reply to MarkS. | July 28, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      @ Mark
      Specifically, Miranda applies when the interview/questioning becomes a “custodial interrogation”, which means the person being questioned is not free to leave, regardless of whether anyone has said the magic words “You’re under arrest.” This would include the opinion of the person being interviewed, so if that person felt he/she was not free to go, no matter what he/she had or had not been told, then Miranda applies. If the person being questioned can get up and walk out, then Miranda is generally not required. It can be a grey area, depending on what’s in the mind of the parties, and sometimes, it becomes a kind of second-guessing game later on, when the statements become an issue.

        pjm in reply to JCC. | July 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm

        And the key, of course, is that Miranda is a REMINDER or rights you already had, you were born with them (, well, since the Miranda decision clarified that fact, anyway).

        It is NOT an instantiation of any rights you didn’t have yesterday, or last year. And you can claim your rights at ANY TIME, whether they reminded you or not.

    paulejb | July 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    It appears to be a clear case of pest control.

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