John White, an African American homeowner, claimed that he was merely protecting his home and his son from a racial attack when he shot Daniel Cicciaro in the face. A jury disagreed and convicted White, 54, of second-degree manslaughter. It is a case often cited in relation to the Castle Doctrine, allowing homeowners to repel invaders with lethal force — one of two current cases (with the Horn case in Texas) of shootings on the lawns of homeowners.
White could received as much as 15 years for the crime after the jury came in with a guilty verdict after four days of deliberation. In his testimony, White raised the racial fears that he experienced growing up and hearing about how the Kl Klux Klan burned his grandfather’s home. He said that the teens had followed his son home from a party and that his son told him that they were shouting racial epithets. White said that he was pointed the gun at Cicciaro when it went off accidentally. The confrontation between the boys began with an internet hoax where a MySpace entry said White son, Aaron, wanted to rape a neighborhood girl.
The case is cited by those who claim that the so-called Castle Doctrine should allow lethal force, including entry on the curtiledge surrounding the home. The problem is that the doctrine does not normally extend this far and White was left with either an accidental discharge defense or self-defense.
For the latest on the White case, click here The controversy involving homeowners using lethal force is also involving in the Horn case.