A 27-year-old man appeared in court on Jan. 27 after allegedly burglarizing a home only one week before. Court documents report that the 63-year-old homeowner shot the man in the leg during the incident, causing his femur to shatter.
The alleged burglary occurred on Jan. 20, when court documents say that the man who owns the home was trying to hold the defendant at gunpoint after catching him in an attempted burglary on the second floor of his home. However, the man reportedly charged the homeowner, and after the homeowner pushed him away, he shot the defendant in the leg. After the gunshot, the man tried to leave down the stairs but fell, breaking his arm. The gunshot victim spent five days in a Seattle hospital, and police did not detain him upon his release. Instead, the sheriff's office allowed him to go home on an electronic monitor for two days.
During the court appearance, the judge noted that the gunshot victim has pending felony charges of second-degree theft and transfer of stolen property and a charge of fourth-degree assault. The judge considered a claim that the man should be allowed to stay home on electronic monitoring due to the high cost of providing him with medical attention while he remains in custody. The judge almost agreed until he discovered that the man does not have a land telephone line, which is required. It was then ruled that the man will remain in jail until court officials verify that he has secured a land telephone line.
People who face felony theft charges may be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor in some cases if they return the allegedly stolen items. Although this is not a defense for theft charges, it could result in reduced penalties for the charges.
Source: The Seattle Times, 'Wash. homeowner, 63, shoots intruder in leg," Seattle Times Staff, Jan. 22, 2014
Source: The Olympian, "Burglary suspect shot by Thurston homeowner appears in court ", Jeremy Pawloski, January 27, 2014