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Wednesday killing may produce more talk of right to protect home, self



Published: Fri, May 9, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

WARREN

Trumbull County prosecutors again may have to ponder a case dealing with the rights of a homeowner to protect himself when faced with a threat.

A Warren police report regarding the noontime Wednesday shooting death of Kyran Adkins, 17, of Milton Street Southeast, reveals that the homeowner who shot him said he fired at Adkins after a confrontation outside the house.

Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, Trumbull County coroner, has ruled Adkins’ death a homicide as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

The 32-year-old Brier Street man said he was inside his house and heard banging outside, from the back. He heard the noise several times before grabbing his gun and going to the door just before noon.

When he “opened the door, a male wearing a red jacket with a gray hood had a gun in his hand,” the homeowner said.

“Another subject was behind the house and [he] did not get a good look at him,” but the homeowner said he thought the second male was wearing a navy-blue jacket, the police report says.

The homeowner “said that he was startled once he seen the gun and fired his gun” and that both males ran toward Wick Street to the south.

Police placed five evidence markers in the driveway beside the Brier Street residence, indicating the location of evidence they collected, possibly bullet casings.

A witness on Wick Street said he saw Adkins and the other male running between the houses with their hooded sweatshirts pulled up over their heads. He looked out and saw them after hearing about a dozen gunshots, he said.

Adkins collapsed in the backyard of a house on Wick Street and was pronounced dead later at ValleyCare Trumbull Memorial Hospital.

The second male continued to run into the woods behind the house and has not been located.

Police have classified the case as an aggravated burglary.

The case has similarities to two other cases involving homeowners defending themselves from intruders in the Warren-Niles area.

In the most-recent case, four burglars were convicted in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court for their role in a July 12, 2013, burglary at a house on Niles-Cortland Road in Niles in which the homeowner fired a gun through his front door, killing a fifth burglar as he tried to pry open the front door with a tire iron.

The homeowner, who said he awoke to the sound of burglars trying to get into the house, was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The other involved a 52-year-old man who fired a gun at two Warren youths who were vandalizing a campaign sign in front of his Dover Street, Warren Township house in October 2008.

In that case, the homeowner eventually was convicted of aggravated assault, a felony, and placed on five years’ probation and ordered to pay restitution to the families of the boys, one of whom was shot in the arm during the incident.

The youths, ages 16 and 17, told police they were heading home after getting a haircut at 2 p.m. on a Saturday. One of them got out of their car and knocked over a John McCain campaign sign in the front yard of the Dover Street house, yelling, “This is for Obama.”

The homeowner, who was sitting on the front porch, went inside, got a .22-caliber rifle and fired three times, hitting their car twice and hitting one of the boys once.

Greg Hicks, Warren law director, said the homeowner was charged because he had gone “above and beyond what is needed to protect your home,” so Ohio’s Castle Doctrine law did not protect him from prosecution.

In the case of the Niles burglars, the Castle Doctrine granted the homeowner the right to protect himself because he was defending himself or another person in his home or car, Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins said.

But in the Warren Township case, the homeowner “never said anything about concerns for his safety or his home” in a statement to police, Hicks said.


Comments

1billdog1(1804 comments)posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't care if this kid had a gun or not, he was trying to unlawfully enter a home that was not his. The homeowner should have a right to protect him/herself and property. Something in the law needs to protect this man. If it doesn't the law needs to be corrected. I hope they found the gun this homeowner is stating was present so there is no questions as to his innocence.

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2redeye1(4699 comments)posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

If you decide to break into my house . Please do me a favor and bring along a filled out toe tag so your momma can ID you.

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3YtownParent(350 comments)posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The laws do protect people some. Even without castle doctrine & stand your ground laws anyone can claim self-defense anytime they shoot someone. Normally, self-defense is an affirmative defense and like pleading insanity the burden of proof goes to the defense to prove that the shooter "reasonably believed their life or person was in danger." Castle law & stand your ground laws remove the affirmative claim in self-defense cases and leave the burden of proof with the prosecutor to prove that the shooter had no reasonable belief that they were in danger. It's practically impossible for a prosecutor to "prove" that a person "believed" something.

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4excel(321 comments)posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This was a vacant structure with the owner supposedly doing some work inside. The kids were surprised to see him at the door. Did the owner shoot at them as they fled? If so then this raises some serious issues. A fleeing person poses no threat. No gun was found on Kyran Adkins, the young boy who was killed.

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52muchtax(410 comments)posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a very unfortunate incident! That is that he was not a better shot! He could of rid the world of two freakin losers! One of us will get him next time around!

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6DwightK(1300 comments)posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Are we getting all the facts because I don't understand why there is any doubt the homeowner was defending himself.

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