Texas Jury Acquits Man Who Forced Teens to Kneel in Front of Him and Fatally Shot One in the Back

A Laredo, Texas jury has acquitted a man who was accused of murdering a boy who broke into his home with other teens in search of snacks and sodas in July 2007. Jose Luis Gonzalez, 63, shot Francisco Anguiano, 13, in the back after making him and his three friends kneel in front of him in his trailer after catching him in a break-in. For some, it is an example of the increasing carnage under the so-called Castle Doctrine or make-my-day laws.

It only took the Texas jury of eight men and four women three hours to acquit Gonzalez of a crime that prosecutors insisted was cold-blooded murder.

Gonzalez’s trailer had been broken into several times before when he saw the boys enter the trailer from a nearby building. He went into the trailer with a 16-gauge shotgun and found four unarmed and apparently scared boys ranging in age from 11 to 15. Both sides agreed that he forced them to get on their knees in front of him. The boys testified that they were begging for forgiveness while Gonzalez hit them repeatedly with the shotgun. He then shot Anguiano in the back and the boys testified that he forced them to carry his body outside. Police would later find two mashed Twinkies and some cookies were stuffed in the pockets of his shorts.

These shootings appear on the increase as more people hear about the Castle Doctrine and the right to use lethal force in protection of one’s home. Click here and here.

From the evidence in the case, it is hard to see how the jury reached this decision. Clearly, much of a trial depends on the demeanorThe homeowner had four kids on their knees and was holding a shotgun. The wound was in the back. The concern is that more people, like Mr. Horn in the case linked above, are forcing lethal confrontation when they previously would have relied on the police to protect their property.

For the full story, click here.

26 thoughts on “Texas Jury Acquits Man Who Forced Teens to Kneel in Front of Him and Fatally Shot One in the Back

  1. Sorry, new to this story. . . what??!!! WHAT a COMPLETE OUTRAGE!! What stopped this man from calling the police instead? He’s obviously a threat to society, and now even more so with one state-approved execution under his belt. I can’t think of another form of government I’d like to have inflicted upon me, but it’s times like these when the stupidity of voters and jurors make Democracy look like a pretty bad idea.

  2. Well how the police could have “protected him” with 4 criminals breaking into his home is beyond me. Have you ever called the police?

    The police are slow, incompetent, and often more dangerous than the criminals who you need protection from.

    While its clear the guy should go to jail for shooting someone in the back who was contained and on their knees, the idea to me that he should have “called the police” with 4 criminals INSIDE HIS HOUSE, is laughable.

    What was he supposed to do with the criminals while waiting for the police. Serve them tea?

    Tip: Once the criminal is INSIDE your house, the time to call the police has long since passed. Until you’ve effectively disabled the criminals, calling the police should be the last thing on a homeowners mind. Castle laws are important, and designed to protect people in the last place in this overintrusive country we’ve created.

    When a man or woman is in their own home, and some criminal good is suddenly standing over them, what happens to that criminal at that point, is the least of my concern.

  3. As one who remembers smashing pumpkins and setting fire to bags of dog poo on neighbors’ porches, I’ll admit to being a holy terror. I even wormed my way into neighboring homes when I knew the owners were on vacation. Just to look around.

    Had I been shot to death for these crimes, perhaps I would have deserved it. But that didn’t happen.

    I lived long enough to realize that kids/teens are capable of doing all sorts of screwy things that, in hindsight, are nothing more than childish pranks.

    Texas practices a Never Never Land form of frontier justice, no doubt influenced by the trickle-down effects of a corrupt Texan pissing on them (and us) for 8 years.

    Eventually, the lightening rage that all of us are starting to feel has to be dispersed somewhere. A child shouldn’t be the lightening rod, however.

  4. This guy is clearly a criminal in that he had the boys on their knees, they were young men, really young (11 year old boys don’t usually present much of a threat) and they were clearly not threatening.

    This guy clearly deserves to go to jail, but I also think its important we don’t overcompensate on these anti-castle laws. While they can be abused, like all laws, they also provide a homeowner with some modicum of security, in that he or she can defend their homes instead of having to wait a half hour or more for a cop to show up.

    If someone breaks into your home, you should be able to use whatever force necessary to subdue the intruder and contain the situation. NO AMERICAN should have to “retreat” in his own home. We are not a nation of trembling sheep relying on our badge wearing shepards to protect us. The police are more of a penal organzation these days then a protecting one.

    Who here has ever been helped by a cop? I mean really, think about it. Who?

    I can honestly say in my half century on the planet I’ve never, ever, ever ever ever been helped in the slightest way by any police officer in any way whatsoever. The police have done nothing for me, my family, my families familes, and no one I know. I know no one who has ever been helped or protected in the least by a cop.

    While I’m sure it happens, it doesn’t happen often. This bullsh$t about them “risking their lives to protect us” is just this. Bullsh$t. Police selodom help people. Which is why if you put 100 Ameircans on a Polygraph and ask them if they are more afraid of the police or the criminals, 100 responses will point to the police.

    Thus, I am in favor of castle laws, and the constitutional right of every American to defend their homes from the scum and riff raff in this world, because no one else is going to do it for them.

    The police sure as hell aren’t going to do it, and people relying on the police for help, are going to be sorely disappointed. That is assuming they survive whatever incident they relied on them for help with.

  5. Actually, bartlebee, my house was repeated vandalized by a roving band of teenagers two years ago. The property was so badly vandalized that, after calling the police, they arrived, called for backups, and also called in photographers to record the crime scene.

    They went to every house in my neighborhood, and eventually unholed the bad guys, a pack of teens ranging from 10 to 15 years old.

    The police hauled the teens and their parents to my front lawn, at 11 pm. Mind you, lights were flashing around the neighborhood, flash bulbs were going off, and it looked like something out of a Hollywood movie.

    The teens were ordered to clean up all the damage they had done, they were forced to apologize to me in front of the entire neighborhood, and the police ultimately left it up to me to decide if I wanted to press charges.

    I forgave them and asked them not to do this anymore to me or to anybody else, because it really hurt me deeply to see what they had done.

    I’ve never had a problem since.

  6. Think of it this way. The laws have been relaxed for the police to the point that shooting a pregnant mom in the stomach with a taser is acceptable if the cop is “afraid she’ll do something to him”.

    The police are trained to shoot first, ask questions later. They are backed up by other police, high freqency radios, 9 mil semi-automatic weapons, shotguns, tear gas, mace, clubs and batons, slapjacks, tasers, kevlar protective vests, Canine dogs, helicopters, etc. This is what the police have as they travel out to “risk their lives” for us.

    Us citizens on the other hand, have nothing. No guns. No clubs. No Weapons of any kind, no protection, no kevlar, and no mandate to use any of it if we did.

    We have to go out into the world, daily, effectively naked, walking amongst the same criminals the police walk amongst, and yet we are not permitted to defend ourselves, but must “flee”, like snibbling, cowering sheep at the first signs of trouble.

    I disagree with this mentality, and believe it was not what the framers of the constitution intended. I believe they believed in the rights of the individual to protect themselves, their property, and their families and friends from criminals, and even corrupt authority, and I think we’ve lost our way on that one.

    The police make mistakes daily now, injuring and killing innocent civilians, and overreacting and maiming and killing petty criminals over petty acts, yet no ones taking their guns, or authority. In fact, we’re increasing it.

    Why we’d want to reduce the power of ourselves to protect ourselves, which is a human right, not just a Constitutional one, is beyond me.

    Castle laws because they are sometimes misused, are not inherintly evil, or wrong. Castle laws are the last refuge of the individual to protect themselves from the criminals the police clearly cannot protect us from.

  7. Buttercup
    1, September 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    The police hauled the teens and their parents to my front lawn, at 11 pm. Mind you, lights were flashing around the neighborhood, flash bulbs were going off, and it looked like something out of a Hollywood movie.

    Well thats a lovely story.

    And it doesn’t change the fact that the police have never, ever, ever helped me, or anyone in my family, my families families, or anyone I know.

    In fact, my 83 year old aunt was mugged, beaten bloody, and locked into a car trunk after calling the police about some suspicous characters in front of her home. The police showed up, saw the damage to the front door, 54 minutes later, and left. It wasn’t until a neighbor heard her screams and pounding from the trunk of an abandoned car parked on the street that she was saved. She was taken from the car, bloodied, battered and half dead, by the people of the community, not the police. She was taken to the hospital, by the people of the community, and not the police.

    And thats just one example. I could give you dozens, but I won’t. The fact is while I realize there are people out there who have been helped by the police, the truth is most people help themselves and each other, and the police usually do more harm than good, which is evident in this blog if you just look at the never ending string of stories of police brutality.

    Some would turn us into a nation of sheep, being herded by our badge weilding shepards, but this is not what the founding fathers intended.

  8. Years back when I worked for the Dept of Veterans Affairs here in DC, I was mugged on 14th street up by Thomas Circle. I was going for a hotdog and a walk and suddenly two guys jumped me, clubbed me in the head and took my wallet.

    The DC cop who was dispatched to the scene took close to an hour to show up. When he did, he seemed agitated, as if I were wasting his time.

    When I asked him if I did something wrong he said, “You should have beat their asses”.

    That is a true story, and the fact is police apathy to victims is the danger on the rise in this country. They don’t care about you or me. They don’t care about your family, your property, or your life.

    They care about THEIR lives.

    Not yours. Not mine.

    And when Americans start realizing this, maybe we can do something to reform the way we police our communities, and get away from the corrupt organized badge wearing “gangs” we’ve created, who every day injure and kill as many of us as the criminals do.

  9. Here’s some examples of the police and court system ‘protecting and serving’ Americans just in the last 3 months, and just as reported in this blog alone. This is not by any means a compilation of all the events that took place over the last 90 days, reported or unreported, nor does it necessarily represent the most aggregious of the events.

    Its just what has been reported in this blog over the last 3 months.

    Problem Solved? New York Police Taser Naked Man on Ledge Who Then Dies in Fall

    Published 1, September 25, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    New Mexico Officer Accidentally Shoots and Kills Himself

    Published 1, September 25, 2008 Bizarre , Society 1 Comment

    Flatulent Felony: West Virginia Man Charged with Gaseous Battery on Officer

    Published 1, September 25, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Court Drug Coordinator Arrested as Mole for Drug Dealers

    Published 1, September 20, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Do Not Assume the Position: Florida Police Taser Naked Man Walking a Dog

    Published 1, September 17, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Florida Cop and Sexual Predator Chases Two Teen Boys at Over 100 Miles An Hour, Allegedly Rams
    Car and Causes Crash That Kills One Boy — Colleagues Clear Him in Accident and Charge the Other Teen

    Published 1, September 4, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Justice ,

    Belt or Bust: Florida Police Arrest Man for Wearing Baggy Pants

    Published 1, September 3, 2008 Bizarre , Constitutional Law , Criminal

    New York Police Bust Police Detective as Notorious “Bling Bandit”

    Published 1, August 31, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Federal Judge Samuel Kent Indicted for Sex Crimes

    Published 1, August 29, 2008 Bizarre

    ABC Reporter Arrested While Trying to Take Pictures of Lobbyists and Donors Partying at
    Democratic Convention

    Published 1, August 28, 2008 Media , Politics , Society

    Citizen Takes Picture of Cop in Traffic Violation and is Promptly Arrested and Jailed

    Published 1, August 21, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Politics , Society

    Two Bronx Cops Charged with Road Rage Assault

    Published 1, August 20, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society , Torts

    Police Officer and Former Correctional Guard Accused of Fraudulent Bigfoot Story
    Published 1, August 19, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Environment ,

    The ICE Man Cometh: ICE Sends Notice to Wrong Home, Then Arrests Him for Failiure to Respond, and Holds Him Until He Dies From Untreated Cancer

    Published 1, August 15, 2008 Criminal law , Politics , Society , Torts

    Miami Man Pounds on Doors Screaming for Help When Police Arrive and Taser Him to Death

    Published 1, August 16, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Louisiana Officer Charged with Manslaughter Over Taser Killing

    Published 1, August 14, 2008 Criminal law , Society 8 Comments

    Don’t Tazerberry Me, Ma’am: Another Cop Suspended for Demanding Free Starbucks Coffee

    Published 1, August 10, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Charges Dropped After Video Shows Denver Police Beating Man

    Published 1, August 13, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Shock Video: Florida Deputy Resigns After Captured on Tape Beating Handcuffed Suspect

    Published 1, August 12, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Bad Dog, Bad Dog, What’ya Goin’ To Do: Prince George’s Police Accused of Pattern of Blundered
    Raids and Dog Shootings

    Published 1, August 10, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    In Mistaken Pot Raid, SWAT Team Members Shoot Mayor’s Two Dogs, Bust Into Home, and Handcuff
    Mayor and his Mother-in-Law

    Published 1, August 3, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Shock Video: South Carolina Deputy Charged
    After Beating Teen

    Published 1, August 9, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Man Knocks On Doors Screaming Someone Was Trying to Shoot Him: Police Arrive and Shoot Him

    Published 1, August 7, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Justice , Society

    Shock Video: Police Officer Under Investigation After Video Shows Him Body-Checking Bicyclist

    Published 1, July 30, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Ohio Officer Acquitted After Allegedly Shooting a Woman Who Was On Her Knees Holding Her Baby

    Published 1, August 5, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Justice , Society

    Police Officers Honored After Raiding Wrong Home and Shooting Up House Occupied by a Family of Eight

    Published 1, July 30, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Using Tasers Over Mace: Police Taser Teenage Boy With Broken Back Up to 19 Times

    Published 1, July 26, 2008 Uncategorized 49 Comments

    The Thin Blog Line: Memphis Police Chief Godwin Sues to Learn Identity of Anonymous Bloggers

    Published 1, July 25, 2008 Criminal law , Politics , Society

    FBI Accused of Trying to Bury Findings That Raised Questions Over DNA Claims

    Published 1, July 23, 2008 Criminal law , Justice , Politics , Society

    Ohio Police Taser Blind Woman Suffering From Cancer

    Published 1, July 21, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Justice , Society

    San Diego Police Rescue and Then Shoot and Kill Man Who Fell From Gay Pride Cruise

    Published 1, July 21, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Don’t Tazerberry Me, Bro: Cop Threatens Starbucks For Cutting Off Free Coffee

    Published 1, July 17, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Florida Judge Finds Police Entrapped 94-Year-Old Man With Dementia in Prostitution Sting

    Published 1, July 16, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Justice , Politics ,

    Georgia Police Officer Arrested for Kidnapping and Rape

    Published 1, July 16, 2008 Uncategorized 1 Comment

    Next Time Send a Card: Teen Jailed After Police Falsely Accuse Him of Giving Them Drug-Laced

    Published 1, July 11, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    California Police Shoot and Kill Woman Approaching Them With Crochet Hook

    Published 1, July 14, 2008 Bizarre , Criminal law , Society

    Thats protection we can do without.

    Two fish were swimming along in stream one day and decided to swim out to the gulf to explore new waters and meet new and exciting sea life.

    As they’re swimming along, they suddenly realize they’re surrounded by all sorts of urchins, squid, octopus, etc.

    The one fish looks at the other and says “with friends like this, who needs anemones?“.

  10. bartlebee stated:

    “The police are trained to shoot first, ask questions later.”

    I adamantly disagree with your statement. All of my training was diametrically opposed to your “belief” to the extent that others and I wondered if our hesitation to draw our firearms until the last split second–and only if we intended to fire our weapon in a deadly manner–could result in the criminal firing off the first fatal round.

    I understand your frustration with LEOs and the courts; however, some of your statements are overgeneralizations.

    Many of the LEO related problems result from the lowering of the entrance qualifications for new officers and retaining current duty officers when they should be fired for ethics, codes of conduct, and oaths of office violations.

    As a former LEO, I support Castle Doctrine laws, although accompanying those laws must be clear restraints and culpability of the homeowner for using excessive force. Mr. Gonzolez far exceeded the intent of the law. He deserves punishment more so than if he had rigged a deadly firearm booby trap that resulted in a death, which might be ruled as manslaughter. In fact, from the available evidence, I think he murdered that young man in cold blood.

  11. Former Federal LEO
    1, September 28, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I understand your frustration with LEOs and the courts; however, some of your statements are overgeneralizations.

    Well, I’ll concede I do take some broad strokes to drive the point, the nature of my concerns are certainly warranted, even if based solely on the 3 month laundry list above, which they’re not.

    As for the case above I’ve already stated that I agree the man should be put in jail. What he did was a crime. My only point was that we need to be sure to not throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak, with regards to castle laws. The police routinely respond slowly to home invasions, and it is unlikely that a police officer will be able to be called, dispatched and arrive on scene in time to protect you from an intruder. And even if he did, theres a chance you’re likely to be mistook for the intruder yourself, until the situation is contained, placing you in extreme danger.

    Police take threat to themselves or their partners as a grave and serious concern requiring extreme measures. However those same police insist unarmed citizens take threats to themselves casually, and to not take extreme measures, and instead rely on them to “handle it”. Which they seldom do until some damage has been done. So we’re left to fend for ourselves as citizens, unarmed, without backup and at the mercy of the criminals and oftimes, them. If a citizen gets caught in the crossfire then its “too bad”. If a cop gets shot, then its a national tragedy.

    Everyday people get up and go to work on jobs with far higher fatality rates than police, and they do it without pomp, bravado, praise being constantly heaped on them and all sorts of spectacle for their “risk”. Its all a risk, and given the odds a roofer or a window washer has a better chance of being hurt or killed in his service to the country, than does a cop. But I see no one erecting monuments or stopping traffic for them. Most people praise the police because they’re afraid of them. No one will of course admit it, but thats the truth.

  12. But so theres no doubt, let me restate that I think this guy murdered that kid and the jury in this case was out of their minds.

  13. CMM,
    I am glad that you cleared up your comments. Self Defense only goes so far. This murderer had control of the situation and could have safely called the police. I have commented many times on this blog about the crazy police actions during the last few months, but when your are being attacked or robbed, you do need to call the police. If it is a true self defense situation, I don’t think anyone would have complained if someone took reasonable and legal measures to protect himself and/or his family. I think the word that comes to mind here is vigilante.

  14. rafflaw
    1, September 29, 2008 at 12:05 am

    but when your are being attacked or robbed, you do need to call the police.

    What does that mean? You “do need to call the police”? Usually if you’re being attacked or robbed the attacker or robber tends to prefer it if you don’t use the telephone.

    And even if there is a telephone available and if the nature of the attack permits you time to reach that phone and make a call, in what sort of attack does the attacker stop his attack and wait for the police to arrive 15 minutes later or more? Often response times depending on coverage can be up to an hour, even in heavily populated cities. Is there some technique you’re supposed to use to keep the attacker occupied until the police arrive? Other than beating your head in with a tire iron, or pumping bullets into your skull? I mean do you entertain them? Tell jokes? What magic trick am I missing that stops a murderer or rapist or violent robber from acting until the police arrive?

    Also, how often do people end up getting killed because instead of taking defensive measures they were trying to get to the phone and call the police? Not everyone has cell phones. Especially old people who are unfamiliar with the technology and just use a landline.

    I agree IF someone has the luxury of making telephone calls in the middle of a robbery, rape, or murder, then by all means they should call the police.

    But if they do not, then they have every right to take whatever actions they feel necessary to protect themselves. Just like the police do when their lives are in danger.

  15. I agree that this situation was vigilante justice and was an outright murder, but I don’t see how it should be used to leverage tightening castle laws. This was simply a screwed up individual breaking the law and trying to use the home defense laws to get away with murder.

    So tightening already tight restrictions on home defense should not apply here. Its already pretty limited on what you can do to defend yourself and when you can do it so I don’t see how those laws, like the article suggests, are in question here. If we take away homeowners rights to defend their homes it still won’t stop criminals like this guy from doing stuff like this, will it? Unless we take the guns.

    And while I’m all for restrictions on guns in towns and public places I think its pretty clear the Constitution intends for homeowners and property dwellers to possess firearms, and I know Professor Turley agrees with me there. I’ve read his argument on the subject and he does feel that the Constitution is clear as to basic gun ownership. So we can’t take rifles and shotguns away from homeowners and responsible tenants and renters and such. The Supreme Court has said the sanctity of the home is not in question and every individual has the right to defend their living space. They even extended that to the automobile, as an extention of the home.

    I think this was a murder and this jury was crazy but thats the danger of a jury trial. Juries are weird and unpredictable so I think in this case its clear that the jury should have been overruled but apparently the judge didn’t think so. If murder was clearly established then he should be in jail.

  16. CMM,
    Maybe I am not making myself clear. The castle laws as you are referring to them as, don’t need to be changed or altered. I did not suggest that they needed to be amended. I responded to an earlier posting that suggested that once the defender/home owner had control of the situation he should have included the police into the situation. I agreed that if he had control as the story seems to indicate, he is a murderer for shooting a helpless intruder. The intruder was helpless because he was kneeling in front of the armed owner. It seems that we see these kind of vigilante style shootings in Texas alot. I wonder why?

  17. rafflaw
    1, September 29, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Maybe I am not making myself clear. The castle laws as you are referring to them as, don’t need to be changed or altered. I did not suggest that they needed to be amended

    I was responding to the articles statement;

    For some, it is an example of the increasing carnage under the so-called Castle Doctrine or make-my-day laws

    So I was taking the position that this is not an example of increasing carnage under the so-called Castle Doctrine but instead was merely a crime.

    As for Texas having a lot of these incidents occur, I imagine because of the prevelance of guns in Texas and a general attitude of “redneckery”.

    A lot of people don’t know this but prior to taking Texas from Mexico it was part of a special area of old world Mexico known as “Inbreedia”.

  18. Looks like thieves and criminals better reconsider their profession. An armed society is a polite society. I agree the shooting of the child in the back is a bit much. But dont we impress on our (I did mine!) children that no good comes of illegal acts? Sorry about the loss of live. If the two illegals were on the side of the border that they belonged on they would still be alive. Right?

  19. I agree with the old man, they might a been teens but what happens when those teens grow up. then they might come back with guns and brake in your home then what are you gonna do. I have 4 little girls and I protect them in my home dearly. the man just flat out right had enough. in the past burglaries he probly did involve the police, but as we all know police can rarely do a damn thing. if someone forcibly breaks into my home with intent to steal or harm me or my family I will kill them. the castle doctrine law is a perfect deterrent. it’s very simple if you don’t want to die stay out of where you don’t belong. I was raised in the country where everyone who owns guns, and it did make me think twice before doing something wrong on someone else’s property. the law isn’t much at all anymore, the government is out for your money not for your safety. look at what’s going on overseas, 8 year olds carry automatic weapons. it’s not like back in the day were too men can go outback and ge old fashioned ass whipping. people will kill you. so my advice is to get a gun to protect you and your family and pray to god that the castle doctrine is around forever, because if they take that law away there’s gonna be a lot more break-ins and a lot more violence

  20. 4 things that everyone should remember:
    1) you don’t mess with a man’s woman.
    2) you don’t mess with a mans ‘s money
    3 you don’t mess with a mans’s famaily
    4) you don’t mess with a man’s twinkies.

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