Make My Day Laws and the Ohio Case of the Spooky House

A recluse has been charged with shooting two girls who came on his property on a dare. His house is viewed by the community as something of a haunted house, leading the girls to dare each other to go close to the dwelling. They did not get far before running away. However, one of the occupants fired a rifle at them. Thinking that the shots were fire crackers, the girls circled and were shot from the house.

Many states have “Make My Day” laws that had led to such shootings, including a terrible case in Baton Rouge where a Japanese student was shot and killed through a front door when he became confused about the address. The common law did not allow the use of lethal force to protect property. It could only be used to defend oneself and had to be a level of force that was roughly equivalent with the threat.

In this case, the man insists that he was just trying to scare the girls. For the story, click here