High School Teen Charged With Manslaughter After Strangling His Mother’s Abusive Ex-Boyfriend To Death

choke16n-1-webThere is a tragedy unfolding in the Bronx where Luis Moux, 18, a football high school player is facing manslaughter charges.  He allegedly choked his mother’s ex-boyfriend to death Monday after discovering his mother’s abusive ex-boyfriend beating her. It is the prototypical heat of passion case and the prosecutor elected to charge for manslaughter rather than a high class of homicide. However, there remains the question of whether he should be convicted for killing the man and whether this might be a case of jury nullification where jurors simply refuse to convict on these facts.

 

The problem for the prosecutors may be the manner of death. It took two minutes for Moux to strangle the life out of Stanley Washington, 43.  However, Moux also received injuries including bite marks on this forearm and knee.

His mother passed out during the attack.

Washington had 26 prior arrests, two for domestic violence against the teenager’s mother.

The penal law expressly anticipates killing under “extreme emotional disturbance”:

A person is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree when:

1. With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person;  or

2. With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person under circumstances which do not constitute murder because he acts under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance, as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 125.25.  The fact that homicide was committed under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance constitutes a mitigating circumstance reducing murder to manslaughter in the first degree and need not be proved in any prosecution initiated under this subdivision;  or

3. He commits upon a female pregnant for more than twenty-four weeks an abortional act which causes her death, unless such abortional act is justifiable pursuant to subdivision three of section 125.05;  or

4. Being eighteen years old or more and with intent to cause physical injury to a person less than eleven years old, the defendant recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of serious physical injury to such person and thereby causes the death of such person.

Manslaughter in the first degree is a class B felony.

Moux’s coach and principal and teammates joined family members in the courtroom for Moux’s arraignment to support him.

What do you think should be done in such a case?

104 thoughts on “High School Teen Charged With Manslaughter After Strangling His Mother’s Abusive Ex-Boyfriend To Death

  1. Unless I’m missing something, and maybe I don’t have the true story, but if his mother was being attacked so violently that she passed out, isn’t there a Common Law principle that he can use deadly force in self defense of in defending the life of another?
    This man didn’t spit in his mother’s face, he beat her! What was the teen to do? Grab her assailant, strangle him a bit and ask him to say “uncle”?
    Instead of wasting public funds pursuing this young man, they should be looking to provide counseling services to him and his mother to help them get past this horrific trauma.
    I’m not seeing a crime here. Hopefully the charges will be dropped.

  2. Can’t a person be arrested for even talking about jury nullifacation?….and what is extrem emotional disturbance? Crime of passion I thought had to be immediate rage….like coming home and seeing another man in your bed. Or in this case he came home and momma was gettin beat.

    • Isn’t there a state …wisc….maybe that specifically lets family members thump on wife beaters….to run them off before things go to tradgedy.

    • I’m glad I live in Oregon, where Jury Nullification was written into the State Constitution at statehood, and it’s still there. Jurors in other states have been thrown in jail for coming up with a verdict the judge didn’t like. It’s unconstitutional, but sitting judges can’t be punished under ordinary law for bench decisions, they can only be censured or removed by other judges.

      • Jurors in other states have been thrown in jail for coming up with a verdict the judge didn’t like. I

        Don’t think you could find one example.

  3. If I was in this boy’s position, and started choking a man who was about to, seeing she was already unconscious, kill my mother, I would I certainly would try to choke him to death because I know for sure that if he ever got up he would most definitely try to kill me.
    Killing in the defense of a life, your own or someone elese’s, is not a crime.

    • Had he ever hit the kid before..

      Why would he get up and kill him? Was he about to kill the mother? Too much missing for nulification.Menendez brothers.

  4. Can we wait for the NYPD and the Bronx DA to sift the evidence before giving this youth a get-out-of-jail free card?

    As for Stanley Washington, he’d been arrested 26 times in New York. Of what was he convicted?

    Here’s a question, why was Lorena Sesma, 37 year old baby mamma to the sire of Luis Moux, making time with Stanley Washington? It’s a reasonable wager that a 43 year old man who has been arrested about once every 15 months or so since childhood is not the most congenial individual you could find. When you’ve answered that question, you may have some insight into the source of violence-prone relationships.

    • DSS, given that the young man was charged at all, it does seem probable that the prosecutors might be holding relevant information back from the press.

      Consequently, speculation and conjecture regarding “the source of violence-prone relationships” is no more warranted than a presumption of justifiable homicide, for the same reason that prosecutors may be holding relevant information back from the press.

      Nevertheless, prejudice is still permissible speech on this or any other blog.

      • Consequently, speculation and conjecture regarding “the source of violence-prone relationships” is no more warranted than a presumption of justifiable homicide, for the same reason that prosecutors may be holding relevant information back from the press.

        I don’t work for you Diane. Go hang.

  5. I view this as self defense and the defense of his mother. He should not be charged.

    However, that said, this statement jumped out at me:

    “Washington had 26 prior arrests, two for domestic violence against the teenager’s mother.”

    It seems common for women to stay in abusive relationships, for a variety of reasons. The end result is that they are abused in front of their children, or their children are abused in front of them. Was Moux also harmed by Washington in the course of his mother’s relationship with him? How did it affect him to see how this man treated his mother, aside from finally strangling the life out of Washington when he’d beaten his mother into unconsciousness. I am distressed that she stayed in an abusive relationship, unless he was in violation of a restraining order and not invited into her life. I am upset that her son was put into the position of watching his mother get beaten into unconsciousness, which means she was in danger of dying. He had to step up and defend them both. He was in the right, but nothing changes the fact that this young man had to kill someone. He shouldn’t have been put in that situation in the first place. I’m so glad he’s OK, and that he saved his Mom. I’m glad he clearly has a protective instinct towards women, instead of going the other way. It is my understanding that many men who abuse women watched their mothers get abused growing up.

    But I really wish more women would leave these toxic relationships to prevent it from harming either themselves or their kids. I’m not blaming these women. There are intense psychological feelings of inferiority and a laundry list of reasons why victims just can’t bring themselves to leave. But it’s heartbreaking and I wish we could reach out to them better.

    • It seems common for women to stay in abusive relationships, for a variety of reasons.

      The variety is as follows:

      1. They are the abuser

      2. They find the abuse attractive

      3. Both.

      4. Some other reason (e.g. economic dependency).

      • https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/romance-redux/201303/why-do-people-stay-in-abusive-relationships

        When someone stays in an abusive relationship, it’s inexplicable to those of us on the outside. The solution seems pretty simple and nothing to agonize over. And yet, most victims stay.

        1. The victim believes they deserve it, either through their own abused childhood or through grooming by their abuser. Psychopaths seem to have an innate knack for picking out those who are vulnerable. They think the fights are their fault, that they made their partner mad, etc. Teenage girls, especially, are susceptible to Beauty and the Beast relationships.
        2. The relationship usually doesn’t start out beastly. It slowly erodes, a bit at a time until the victim is wondering how things got so bad. Their tolerance for cruel behavior slowly got higher and higher and higher.
        3. The abuser has often alienated her friends and family, leaving her with no support group
        4. The abuser threatens to kill her or her kids if she leaves. 70% of domestic violence, including murder, happens when the woman leaves.
        5. Sometimes mothers don’t know how they are going to feed their kids. They feel like it’s impossible for them to leave and put food on the table. If they only can keep from making him mad, maybe they can make it until the kids are out of high school…

        The best way to protect a daughter from an abusive relationship is to be a good male role model for her. Most women look for mates who stand up (or down) to the standard of character of their own father. If their father made them feel that they were worthy and special, then that will feel normal in a mate, too. If their father made them feel worthless, then that will feel normal in a mate. It makes you wonder what kind of relationship abused women grew up with.

        I’ve never heard of anyone staying because they actually liked it, or they just thought the guy was really handsome.

        The first time I realized this phenomenon was when I went to riding camp with a girl who had fork mark scars on her stomach. Her mother had changed their names and was in hiding, she was so terrified of the guy. She hadn’t left right away because she believed that she couldn’t. It freaked me out on a visceral level, because my own dad would fight tigers for his kids and his wife. It was frightening to think a dad would actually harm either his wife or child. I think that’s why I found the movie The Shining so disturbing – the father was the evil villain.

        • When someone stays in an abusive relationship, it’s inexplicable to those of us on the outside. The solution seems pretty simple and nothing to agonize over. And yet, most victims stay.

          Thanks for the Woman’s mag list, Karen. It’s rather Rube Goldbergish though, serving just one purpose : not looking the woman in the eye and seeing a person who has agency. Without agency is how women tend to see themselves when things go sideways in their domestic life.

          It doesn’t seem to occur to you that claims of ‘abuse’ can be largely fabricated, can gloss over her contribution to violent domestic arguments, and can be a means of retrospectively re-interpreting relationships.

          Here’s a suggestion: she stayed with him because she fancied him, and the features contributing to his temper she actually finds a turn on.

          • DSS, Karen S specifically found fault with the mother for staying in the abusive relationship. That is not a denial of the mother’s agency. It is an attempt to understand the problem without presuming the woman’s moral turpitude.

            • Diane – when I taught college, I had a couple of women in abusive relationships, each for their own reason. It was not my job to get them out, but I did get them information of safe-houses they could flee to if necessary. Both of them finally did. Ran into one of them ten years later working as a registered nurse. She thanked me for finding a way out for her. Sometimes they just need to know they are not alone.

              I don’t blame the mother for staying in the relationship, I do not know what the relationship dynamics were.

            • DSS, Karen S specifically found fault with the mother for staying in the abusive relationship.

              She didn’t. I cannot help it that the plain meaning of her remarks eludes you.

              • Karen S said she was not blaming women who stay in abusive relationships. But she also said she was deeply distressed by it, upset that their children witness it, and that she wishes more women would leave those toxic relationships.

  6. Not guilty

    I’d nullify that charge in a New York microsecond if I was on the jury.

    This is the reason why our state has a law where if a person is found not guilty of assault and the trier of fact enters a finding of self-defense, the state is liable for paying all the defendant’s reasonable attorney fees and costs. This has had an effect of prosecutors declining to file formal charges due to the cost risk of a finding of self defense.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.16.110

    On another note don’t elect liberal prosecutors or injustices like this will usually follow. They tend to not take kindly to victims using force to defend themselves.

    • I’d nullify that charge in a New York microsecond if I was on the jury.

      What if you found out the mother was a ghastly shrew who whored around on him; that the 26 arrests were for disorderly conduct, leaving the scene of an accident, third degree assult, failure to appear &c; and that it took several minutes for him to kill Washington? (Because, btw, it does take several minutes of applied pressure to kill someone, as a rule).

      • DSS – I would apply the ‘red mist’ theory. A red mist comes over you and makes you continue to do it. There is another theory. You never let a guy like this get back up once you have them down.

            • The number of petit jury trials in superior courts New York in a year is fewer than 10,000. I doubt a jury ever sees this. While we’re at it, New York’s courts don’t take five years to process straightforward homicide cases with gobs of forensic evidence. You have to go to Arizona for that.

              • DSS – we are usually much faster than 5 years, but some attorneys can d**k around. 😉 I was on a robbery jury that was 60 days. We can fast-track trials and if the main judge thinks things are pokey, he will fast-track it.

      • “What if you found out the mother was a ghastly shrew who whored around on him;”
        ~+~

        It is totally irrelevant. You might want to review Rape Shield laws to find a analog response to this question.

        • No it is not irrelevant. The dynamic that ensued between those two is something she was a regular and repeated participant in; he got arrested and she didn’t. That’s often public policy. Starting stuff and then using her son as her enforcer is rather wicked. Am I being unfair? Well, I am. But I’m not the only one putting frames around dry bits of data. We don’t have a video of one of their brawls end to end.

  7. Self defense. I could walk him in a new york minute. This is a law blog. Self defense, defense of mom, defense of wifi, pork steaks, whatever else was in the home.

    • He did? You’ve got the video? You may be able to infer that from testimony and physical evidence, but were rather early in the day to be making categorical statements.

  8. As an illustration, from scripture using animals, goats & pigs don’t get along with sheep. Neither do dogs & cats. Put a cobra & mongoose in a box, they will fight. Choose your friends wisely. The mother & Moux fell into same old snare. In the animal world it’s for survival. But for humans it’s called murder.

  9. I don’t know for sure. Was the dead black man armed??? Because if he wasn’t, then this is even worse than George and Trayvon, because Trayvon was trying to kill George, and this dead guy was just slapping his ho around some.

    And, don’t forget that Black Lives Matter! And, the it is going to be a lot more difficult now for the dead guy to vote for the Democrat of his choice. The Party will have to find somebody to pull the lever now, and that could affect a primary where Democrats face other Democrats.

    And, if this whole comment seems silly to you, then you are very perceptive. Because I am being silly. Of course this kid should skate, if the facts prove out. But tell me that you wouldn’t hear this exact kind of stuff if Luis was a white kid.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    • They’re probably Dominican, a mix of Afro, Spanish and French. But is the dead strangler is black, the prosecutor will declare the boy is a “white Hispanic,” a la George Zimmerman, and charge him with murder. If the kid were black, it would clearly be ruled justifiable homicide under the “defense of others,” doctrine, i.e., that he was entitled to use the same amount of force as his mother would in self defense, assuming she had not been choked out. And it’s really a shame that the mother allowed some violent loser with 26 priors into her home, and as a result her son is facing manslaughter charges. The prosecutor is over charging in hopes of getting a plea deal, but the defense should call his bluff and take it to a jury. No jury is going to convict this kid.

  10. I don’t think he should be convicted, but there should be charges against the mother for putting her son and herself in such a volatile situation.

    • Good luck with that, because this is a fairly typical scenario in single black mother homes. Quite often the dude du jour that she is shacked up with is beating and molesting the kids. Particularly the little black girls.

      There ain’t enough social workers and foster parents in the Universe to tackle the problems in these single black mother homes. The kids are often on their own from age 5 onward. Why do you think you have Free School Breakfasts? Because the mother is getting food stamps, but she is too lazy or hungover to get up and fix breakfast for the kids. Doritos and orange drank is the meal for many black kids. Mamma needs the food stamps for hair weave. Why do you think the dropout rate is so high among blacks? Because there is zero support for education among most single black mothers. And the ones that do give a hoot, still have to send their kids to school with a bunch more little black heathens who will disrupt class to the point the ones who want to do better can’t learn.

      And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      • Good luck with that, because this is a fairly typical scenario in single black mother homes.

        It isn’t, but never mind.

        • FWIW:

          Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk; they are 20 times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents.3

          Race and ethnicity are an important factor in identified sexual abuse. African American children have almost twice the risk of sexual abuse than white children. Children of Hispanic ethnicity have a slightly greater risk than non-Hispanic white children.3

          https://www.d2l.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Statistics_4_Risk_Factors.pdf

          Also:

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          • Crime statistics are generalizations derived from known, previous offenses with known, previous offenders and known, previous victims that cannot be applied to specific, current offenses involving other offenders and other victims that are still under investigation without, at a minimum, committing a fallacy of composition or, worse, prejudging the verdict in a trial.

            Such prejudice is, however, permissible speech outside of a courtroom.

            • Huh??? Are you trying to say these single black mother homes are a good thing??? If so, then how come their kids aren’t graduating school, aren’t getting off welfare, aren’t ending the cycle of unwed motherhood, aren’t tearing down the cities they live in? Spend an hour listening to this in the background:

              Squeeky Fromm
              Girl Reporter

          • They’re at ‘higher risk’, but that’s rather like saying they’re at ‘higher risk’ for esophageal cancer. They’re at higher risk for things fairly unlikely to happen to them.

            Some years ago, Michael Kinsley noted that an ‘eager beaver government study’ by HHS had concluded that 1% of all children were suffering ‘abuse and neglect’ in domestic situations.

            Around the time that study was completed, the census of youngsters in the foster care system in New York State was about 27,000. That incorporates those in residential care and those with foster parents. That amounted to 0.56% of all juveniles in New York. Let’s posit that none of the abused and neglected children were in the system. That would suggest that 1.56% of all juveniles were (in New York) living in disagreeable circumstances of this sort, give or take. Let’s posit further that the prevalence of this matches the prevalence of homicide (which suggests that two-thirds of these youngsters are living in slums or would be living in slums if the DSS hadn’t removed them from their parents). That suggests that perhaps 10% of slum youngsters (at any one time) would be candidates for removal (given that around 10% of the population lives in slums or in sketchy neighborhoods adjacent to slums). And, again, about 1/3 of the black population does not live in these sorts of neighborhoods and is not at elevated risk.

            The big problem in slums is a weak authority structure which makes the streets and the schools unsafe. You need vigorous law enforcement to address that. Women who beat their children or leave them living in filth are a problem, but not a highly generalized one.

            • You are a very smart person, and I love most of the things you say. But I really think that you overdo the statistical approach sometimes and miss the forest for trying to statistically analyze the trees. Look at this story:

              http://foxbaltimore.com/news/project-baltimore/6-baltimore-schools-no-students-proficient-in-state-tests

              That 100% of the students in six dang schools, which are probably at least 90% non-white. I actually have to interact with real live black people when I work for Penelope, and I assure you that it is more than 1% or 2% of black kids who are being raised in grossly dysfunctional homes. And it is going to get worse.

              Because currently a lot of the grandparents who are taking care of black kids are dying off as a “cohort.” These people were likely raised in more stable two parent homes prior to 1965 or so. They are better off financially and morally. But, there is a huge bulge coming up to where the grandparents are increasingly going to be from the generations brought up during the 50%+ single black mother years, and then from the 70%+ single black mother years, which trends are still going on.

              With the early pregnancy trend in black girls, you are already seeing it, to where the grandmother is in her early 40’s which puts her birth post 1977. Remember this chart:

              IMO, that is going to lead less financial well being and less stable grandmothers, which is only going to exacerbate the problems.

              Squeeky Fromm
              Girl Reporter

              • Squeeky, all I’m saying is that crime statistics don’t apply to specific cases. Also, one should consider the total size of a given crime problem as well as the relevant sample populations.

                For instance, in 2015, for the country as a whole, there were 999,995 people per 100,000 pop. who did not commit any known homicide offense minus a few who may have committed an unsolved homicide offense. That’s almost 200,000 times as many people who didn’t commit a homicide as people who did.

                Likewise, in cities with 250,000 people or more, in 2015, there were 999,990 people per 100,000 pop. who did not commit any known homicide offense minus a few who may have committed an unsolved homicide offense. That’s almost 100,000 times as many people who did not commit a homicide as people who did.

                Surely those numbers urge caution in the use of crime statistics in specific cases for any type of crime.

                • Diane – it may just be my eyes, but you seem to have put a comma where you should have put a period. Therefore, you made the populations 10x actual size. 🙂

                  • Paul, 100,000 minus 5 equals 999,995 divided by 5 equals 199,999 plus 1 equals 200,000. Likewise, 100,000 minus 10 equals 999,990 divided by 10 equals 99,999 plus 1 equals 100,000.

                    My point is that in any given year, there are many times more people who don’t commit homicide offenses than those who do. Of course, about a third of homicide offenses are not cleared in the year they were reported. And, in any case, you could take a cumulative approach like the one DSS took.

                    For instance, ten known homicide offenders per 100,000 pop. in cities with 250,000 people or more over the course of, say, thirty years would yield 300 known homicide offenders per 100,000 population after thirty years; in which case you’d have 99,700 people per 100,000 population in cities with 250,000 people or more who were not known to be, nor to have been, homicide offenders over the course of that thirty year period. Divide 99,700 by 300 and you’d have only 332 times as many people who had never been known to have committed homicide offenses as those who had been known to have done so over that thirty year period.

                    Admittedly, homicide rates are not often presented in the manner in which I presented them. I did so explicitly to dramatize the commonplace of refraining from committing homicide. For 332 to 1 per 100,000 pop. against meeting up with a homicide offender in a city of 250,000 people or more doesn’t strike me as especially risky unless or until you compare that risk to a lower one in a rural area.

                    • Diane – seriously, your math sucks. Put your figures in Google and see if you get the same answer.

                    • Diane, the homicide rate is 5 per 100,000. And 100,000-5 = 99,995, not 999,995. Homicide rates are a useful barometer of risk, but the truly destructive forces in public security are robbery and aggravated assault, which are 20x as common. And, of course, inner city areas suffer much more severely. The disagreeable neighborhoods in Baltimore had (before Marilyn Mosby decided to stoke trouble for political gains) homicide rates in the range of 45 per 100,000.

                    • Paul, you are correct. I’m sorely afflicted with chronic, relapsing-remitting innumeracy. 100,000 divided by 5 is 20,000 not 200,000. 100,000 divided by 10 is 10,000 not 100,000. Ordinarily it would be intuitively obvious even to the casual of observers that there cannot possibly be a million people per 100,000 people.

                      P. S. Marinus van der Lubbe was a communist. The Nazis did not start The Reichstag Fire. And there are still more people who do not commit homicide than people who do.

                    • Diane – as Barbie said “Math is hard.” And there are people who are very good at English and horrible at math, very good at math and horrible at English and very good at both. Personally, I am in the good at English group. If I had to take College Algebra, I would still be there. Loved the precision and logic of geometry, but algebra was just some alien force sent to defeat me.

                • Diane, about 9% of the male population associated with urban slums in this country are not palpably present in those slums because they are incarcerated. They’re behind bars because they have committed serious crimes or are awaiting a disposition of a pending criminal charge. It’s lower in New York because New York invested more in police patrols and less in prisons (though it did triple its prison population too). That 9% is who is serving time here-and-now. The share who serve time over the course of their life is higher by a considerable multiple. A great many very problematic people in those neighborhoods.

                  • DSS, your points about geographic concentration of risk and cumulative, lifetime risk are well taken.

                    Nevertheless, using the 2010 census figures for the Black population at 38,929,319 and the White population at 223,553,265, plus the 2015 FBI UCR data for 5,620 known homicide offenders who were Black and 4,636 known homicide offenders who were White, there were 6,927 Blacks who were not known to have committed a homicide offense in 2015 for every Black who was known to have committed a homicide offenses in 2015. Also, there 48,221 Whites who were not known to have committed a homicide offense in 2015 for every White who was known to have committed a homicide offense in 2015.

                    One could draw attention the disproportion in known homicide offending by observing that Blacks were roughly seven times likelier than Whites to commit a homicide offense in 2015.

                    I prefer to draw attention to the observation that were 6,927 times as many Blacks who were not known to have committed a homicide offense in 2015 as Blacks who were known to have done so. Because I think the larger number (6,927x) is more significant than the smaller one (7x).

                • In line with DDS below, about non-homicidal crime, here is an interesting excerpt:

                  The Numbers in Perspective:

                  America now houses roughly the same number people with criminal records as it does four-year college graduates.

                  Nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males are arrested by the age 23.

                  If all arrested Americans were a nation, they would be the world’s 18th largest. Larger than Canada. Larger than France. More than three times the size of Australia.

                  The number of Americans with criminal records today is larger than the entire U.S. population in 1900.

                  Holding hands, Americans with arrest records could circle the earth three times.

                  https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/just-facts-many-americans-have-criminal-records-college-diplomas

                  You are correct that it is highly unlikely that I will be murdered. And like I like to say, most drunk drivers never kill anybody. There are about 1.1 billion car trips daily in the U.S, and about 2.2% of drivers are impaired on the road at any time. So, that is about 24,200,000 drunk trips per day. Yet, only about 28 people die from drunkish drivers per day. That’s about 1 per million drunk drivers. (28/24 million roughly)

                  Sooo, a lot of this stuff is just how you look at it.

                  Plus, don’t feel bad about the math. It isn’t my cup of tea either.

                  Squeeky Fromm
                  Girl Reporter

              • But I really think that you overdo the statistical approach sometimes and miss the forest for trying to statistically analyze the trees.

                That’s because you’re bad at math. Stories illustrate social reality. They cannot delineate its contours.

  11. Thankfully this brave young man didn’t use a firearm in The Peoples Republic of New York. He would be facing life imprisonment if he did.

  12. This should be seen in the same light as self defense. The son defended his mother from an established threat. The mom was incapacitated. The son not only defended his mom but himself from bodily harm. If Zimmerman can skate after killing Martin, this lad should receive a medal.

  13. If this young man has no priors the prosecutor should put him in a deferred prosecution program. Those programs require no law violations for a year and then the charges are dropped.

      • DSS – he can protect anyone in the home, that is the crux of the ‘castle’ defense. Not that there was an invader. A man’s home is his castle and he can protect it and those within it.

        • Paul, if NY is like MA, there are limits to the ‘castle defense’. Here, you can still be in fear for your life, but you can not use force above and beyond what the perp is using. He uses fists, you are limited to fists. You shoot him and kill him and you’re on trial for murder. MA law only in the last several years has been changed to allow the defendant the ability not to have to retreat (hide in basement or get stuck in a second-floor bedroom with no safe egress). It used to be if someone invaded your home, you had to run away and hide. But the kicker is the invader has to be in the dwelling “unlawfully”. That did not apply in this case.

          • Cape Cod Skeptic – my mantra would be “I was in fear for my life.” And I think this kid probably was. You let that guy up, you’re dead.

            • Paul, I totally agree with you, and FWIW, I think MA’s laws are ridiculous. Gives all the advantage to the aggressor.

          • If you’re limited to the perpetrator’s means in your own home, you don’t have a castle defense. A castle defense allows lethal force.

            What looks sketchy to me re ‘castle defense’ is that she knew the perpetrator and he apparently followed her from the vestibule of the building into her apartment.

            • “A castle defense allows lethal force.” The law here is called a Castle law. However, Pro gun-rights lawyers here will tell you that a defendant is taking a risk if they invoke a castle defense. Defendant has to prove 1) perp entered illegally, 2) defendant reasonably believed he/she was at risk of death or serious bodily harm or someone else legally present was at same risk, and 3) the defendant acted with reasonable means of self-defense or defense of another person who was lawfully present. The “reasonable means” is problematic.

              http://www.goal.org/masslawpages/castledoctrine.html

              I’m simply repeating what my gun safety instructors told me. I do not know this from personal experience.
              Maybe it’s a matter of semantics.

              I agree with your last sentence, and for that reason, Castle defense wouldn’t apply if that incident happened here.

              • CCS, since you disagree with the law as it stands in MA., today, consider that the law ought to allow the use of lethal force to defend those who are incapable of defending themselves. That is part of the rationale behind justifiable homicides committed by peace officers. Admittedly the young man in this case had no investigative nor any arrest powers. But had he been vested with such powers, he could have justifiably used lethal force against the man who beat his mother unconscious.

                P. S. The use of lethal force in defense of those who cannot defend themselves is arguably part of the rationale for national defense as well.

                • Diane, you’re preaching to the choir. I come from the South, and we have a saying which goes somewhat like this: “Shoot ’em in the front yard, pull ’em through the front door.” But I currently live in the People’s Socialist Republic of Taxachusetts. The closer you move to Boston, the harder it is to get a LTC permit. That being said, I believe people show you who they actually are very early in a relationship; I do not advocate staying with an abuser for any reason, including economic ones. But I also know people are weak and/or they (particularly women) think they can change their significant others.

                  • I have become impervious to change through the usual Pavlovian processes. I don’t see why men would be any less impervious to change than I or any other drooling dog.

                    • Diane – if you are responding to Pavlovian responses, you would not be impervious to change. Find the right reward and I can make you sit up and put a dog biscuit on your nose.

                    • But, Paul, the proverbial wisdom, Paul . . . I am an old dog, you know; and my imperviousness to change extends mostly just to new tricks–not old ones.

                    • Diane – you would be surprised how you can be manipulated into learning new tricks. My dog teaches me new tricks all the time. My wife is less successful. 😉

                    • Paul, many dogs are smarter in some ways than many people are in those same ways. But I seriously doubt that your dog could teach me to do math better than I’ve done thus far. Unless it’s the so-called fuzzy math.

                    • Diane – I know my dog might not be able to straighten out you math problem, but my friend’s 10 y/o grand-daughter could give you some lessons.

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