|Suspect Jaime Lewis|
When you are an elderly woman, you are likely to have more leeway in how you interact with criminals. It’s partly a matter of being more vulnerable and partly a matter of the statistics reinforcing the stereotype that women are less aggressive than men. In Georgia, 73-year-old Hilda Douglas shot an intruder through her bedroom door, after he had broken into the house. She heard the doorbell ring a little before 10pm, but didn’t answer. Douglas saw a truck parked in the middle of an intersection, and called 911 . . .
Moments later, however, she heard glass shattering and then the pottery she placed in front of her backdoor breaking so she grabbed her gun.
According to the report, Douglas stayed in the bedroom but she “could see light from a flashlight getting closer from under the door. When she heard the doorknob turn, she fired one shot through the door.
“She then heard a scream on the other side of the door and the subject fled downstairs. Douglas went downstairs and saw the subject in the kitchen looking for the back door. She fired several more shots in the general direction of the subject as he ran outside.”
Georgia has a castle doctrine law that allows for a person to use force, including deadly force:
A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;
(2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or
(3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
It appears to me that the necessary conditions are met for paragraph (3).
Suspect Jaime Lewis eventually turned up at a local medical center with a bullet wound to the chest.
I also believe that Ms. Douglas enjoys good relations with the local police department, which never hurts. She was at the police department parking lot, handing out snacks, when reporters approached, and she left.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.