Can You Guess What This Person Was Charged With?

21036031-largeWell, the real question regarding James Edward Hatley should be what he was not charged with.

On Monday night, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies were sent to investigate a possible burglary and were told that Hatley had broken into the house. A woman said that she had told Hatley not to come by but he showed up in her front yard and hit her in the face (breaking her nose). He then entered the home and proceeded to stab a man inside with a pocket knife and hit him in the head. But, wait, there’s more. When deputies found Hatley hiding in the woods, he resisted arrested in struggling with the deputies. On the way to the jail, however, he passed out because he had swallowed heroin.

So the final bill is: first-degree assault, second-degree assault, first-degree burglary, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and attempting to elude police. The drug charge is absent since, unlike the other case this week, he does not appear to have coughed up a bag of evidence.

15 thoughts on “Can You Guess What This Person Was Charged With?”

  1. James Comey has recommended that no charges be brought against James Edward Hatley because he did not intend to commit any of the crimes that he has been unjustly accused of. Certainly, no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges under these conditions, according to Comey.

  2. America needs a penal colony. Ship em there and never let em back in. Russia would be good. They would rent us out some territory. Cheaper than prisons.

  3. Burglary is entering or remaining in a structure with the intent to commit a crime–in the most basic sense. If a defendant simply enters a building unlawfully but does not cause damage in entering, yes, it would be a matter of trespassing. But when the suspect commits another crime during, or in the immediate flight therefrom, it raises a trespass into a burglary.

    In this case the alleged facts present the following crime elements being met:

    When the victim woman told the defendant to not come by her residence he did so anyway. (hence upon arrival, he committed a criminal trespass. ). I speculate the disorderly conduct stemmed from the confrontation outside the house.

    The next crime would be the second degree assault, since he caused a fracture of the victim’s body.

    When the suspect entered the house, and committed an aggravated assault against the male victim, (the stabbing, it elevated a criminal trespass up to a burglary. (no permission to enter building, and committed a crime inside.) Since the building was a residence, that elevates an ordinary burglary into a First Degree Burglary. And the level of assault, and possibly coupled with Residential Burglary makes the assault First Degree due to these aggravators.

    Many states have burglary statutes that make each crime involved in burglary to be separately prosecutable. What that means is that since with many crimes, requisite element crimes can only be used in aggregate to elevate another crime to a higher degree, with burglary the legislatures recognize that many terrible crimes can be conducted under establishing the intent element. Without this separately prosecutable attribute to burglary. As an example if a person broken into a dwelling and raped three women they could only charge First Degree Burglary because the rapes are elements of burglary used to establish intent to commit a crime.

    Having clauses making each offense committed in the furtherance of a burglary prosecutable makes the defendant responsible for each of his crimes.

  4. I thought entering the home uninvited was trespassing, unless something was taken. Or is this a case of overcharging to there’s room for a plea deal that gives him punishment for his actual crime?

  5. No indication he took anything. Doesn’t burglary require that something is taken? Or is just entering a home uninvited sufficient?

  6. Karen S

    Have you ever seen that old film “Papillon” starring Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen? That’s a solution IMO. Periodically drop H2O and some seeds and vitamins and let them do whatever they want to do away from civlization

  7. He really does sound like a lovely human being. All incarcerated criminals are really misunderstood, political prisoners, especially if they are addicts. There are all these humanitarian measures, especially here in CA, that reduce prison sentences due to overcrowding. Heck, short of murder, it’s pretty hard to get locked up. And then the rest of us get to deal with them on the street. Perhaps, instead of spending $65 billion on a vacation train with low projected ridership and an anticipated subsidy required in perpetuity to keep it running, we could build more prisons, more rehabs, more shelters, more reservoirs, redo hardscape to sink rainwater into underground aquifers. I get positively gleeful about public works I personally would want to do.

    This is also the ugly side of addiction – the irrational, sometimes violent behavior, crime, overdosing… But you cannot force change from without. Forced rehab is just a waste of everyone’s time. So what to do? Keep them running amuck in society?

  8. Haven’t seen any good behavior out of this guy so far !

    One factor behind the “out in a week” view is that prisons are dangerously overcrowded in many jurisdictions, and judges are under extreme pressure to not add to the problem. So, what to do?

  9. If he gets a liberal judge he’ll probably out in a week for good behavior.

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