Texas is proud of its laws allowing citizens to shoot and kill intruders into their homes under so-called Castle Doctrine or “Make My Day” laws. However, critics have charged that these laws have encouraged homeowners who are predisposed to use violence as the first response to intrusions as in the recent cases of Joe Horn and other homeowners. Those critics may have another case in Sheila Muhs, 45, and her husband, Gayle Muhs, 45. The couple did not wait for a home intrusion before allegedly killing seven-year-old Donald Coffey Jr. and seriously wounding Patrick Cammack, 30. Five-year-old Destiny Coffey and her father and Donald Coffey Sr. were also wounded. The family (including a 5-year-old sister) were off-roading when they stopped to allow the kids to go to the bathroom.
The Muhs live in a small house with rebel flag flying from the roof and a sign that reads: “Trespassers will be shot. Survivers will be reshot!! Smile I will.”
The boy was hit in the head.
It is not clear that the off-roaders were actually trespassing. Sheila Muhs reportedly fired once with a 12-gauge shotgun and then handed it to her husband, who also fired once. Sheila told a dispatcher that “They’re out here tearing up the levee, so I shot them.”
What is notable is that with a shotgun, they could not have been too far away to cause this level of injuries — close enough to see the children. By handing over the gun, they also showed obvious pre-meditation.
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