Family of Father Slain in Home Defense Shooting Forgives Killer During Trial

Robinson Family (via Screenshot / KENS5)

Displaying unimaginable strength of their Christian faith, a Texas family said, “We offer forgiveness” during the trial of 19-year-old Jonathan Perales, who shot and killed a beloved member of their family, Michael Robinson.

KENS5 reports that Perales broke into the Robinsons’ home on October 10, 2017, armed and with the intent to commit a burglary. Upon entry, he was confronted by 51-year-old Michael, who was a respected physician’s assistant in Universal City (outside San Antonio). Michael died during the gunfight, shot fatally by Perales.

“He was the best big brother and son,” said Michael’s sister. “He was patient and protective of us.”

“I had to walk down the aisle without my father next to me,” said his daughter, who got married this past summer.

During the trial, Perales testified that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone; he was just high on Xanax and looking for stuff to steal. He had picked the home at random, entering through an unlocked back door. Before the gunfight, according to My San Antonio:

Perales … had already been into the house twice, loading items into his car outside when the family discovered there was an intruder. Robinson’s wife told her husband someone had broken into their home, and he grabbed his Glock and yelled out for the intruder to leave. Perales testified that he yelled back that he was leaving and was trying to find his way out of the darkened house when he opened the Robinson couple’s bedroom door by mistake, heard gunfire and fired back before running away.

In spite of the violent circumstances of their loss, Michael’s family stood united in the courtroom, offering forgiveness and stating that they were leaving Perales’ fate in God’s hands.

“I know it was his right to shoot at me and I was in the complete wrong,” Perales said in court.

Perales was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Here is a video detailing the trial and a brief quote from the prosecutor:

Below is a video of Perales taking the stand, relating the events.

“You take a few [Xanax], it messes with your memory,” Perales said. “It makes you do things you really, most of the time, wouldn’t do… but in the back of your mind, you do know right from wrong.”

“It could have gone both ways,” Perales’ mother said tearfully following the trial, “but God chose my son to live, and I believe this is his second chance to redeem himself and to live for the purpose of God.”

Would you be able to forgive someone who killed a family member?

comments

  1. avatar GS650G says:

    No. Next question

  2. avatar MLee says:

    He could have gotten the needle for that in Texas. He’s lucky he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      I heard they are not so tough on young people who commit crimes. They rather seek to rehabilitate through god or something.

      1. avatar New Continental Army says:

        You sure? Texas executes more people and does it faster then all other states combined. Rick Perry signed more death warrants then any governor in all of American history.

        1. avatar CZJay says:

          I watched some documentary about prison programs for the youth to try to rehabilitate and set them free instead of keeping them in jail. It was based on using the Christian religion. I don’t remember if it included teenage murderers. It seemed kind of ridiculous to allow people to go to prison church and get off easier for doing so.

        2. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Hmm. Bizarre.

  3. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Hell to the fuck no. Hang the bastard and cut him up for organs, then give the organs to someone who’s life actually matters.

  4. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    I’ve never heard of xanax making people act like this. Do you have to take an entire bottle?

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      I’ve never taken it, but the actions of people I’ve seen on it is not “break into a house and steal shit”. It’s generally, “blah” and more “blah”. Everything is very melancholy. His sounds more like meth, Oxy, or some other energy bound stuff.

      1. avatar BlakeW5 says:

        Having seen enough people on Xanax, it does tend to mellow most people out. There are definitely some however that get 1) violent 2) confused 3) delusion or any combination of the above. A confused/delusional and violent person is capable of doing things you wouldn’t believe, and they flip right back to normal once the drug wears off. It’s really something you have to see to believe it’s possible. Do I believe the perpetrator is one of those? Well I can’t say he is or isn’t.

        I didn’t watch the videos, but based on the quotes the guy does seem to be at terms admitting he’s totally in the wrong. Doesn’t take the damage away, but he’s a helluva lot better (relatively) than the average murderer/criminal. If you can’t honestly accept fault for your actions you’ll never change.

    2. avatar el Possum Guapo Standartenfuher " they think we're making pizza's Oberst von Burn says:

      I was prescribed Xanax, it worked for about a week then I became violent. It worked for me in reverse of what it was supposed to.

      1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

        So you would have murdered people because you were taking Xanax? Scary. If Xanax has this effect, why are doctors still prescribing it? It should be off the market and illegal.

    3. avatar Danny Lover says:

      You spread a little bit of PCP on it

  5. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I’m a forgiving sort. Ask me after I shoot him 3-4 times, during the 30 minutes I’d then let him simmer before calling EMS. I’d probably forgive him.

  6. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Tough question.
    I would try, but I’m not sure if I could. I know it’s the right thing to do, but…

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Honest question, Tom: why do you believe forgiving someone who did this to your family is the right thing to do?

      1. avatar Other Tom in Oregon says:

        Protip: if you spend your entire life hating someone for the wrong they did to you, you can very easily make yourself a victim twice over. It is natural to hold onto that hate until there is a conclusion but it’s sure as hell not going to help once the person is in prison for life or in the ground.

        1. avatar GS650G says:

          Even when they are laughing about what they did while on trial? Yeah those types are out there too.

    2. avatar Patrick Hall says:

      For me personally, it’s more the wise thing to do. Not so much the “right” thing, as Christians are taught.

      People who have been through the murder of a loved one report that an enormous burden is lifted from them. As if they had been toting around a ton of lead. I tend to believe them.

      Now,the original question was “could you forgive him?”. The only honest answer is, “I have no idea”.

      I’ve never lost someone to murder. I would like to be as good as those people who manage to forgive. But I just don’t know how I would react.

  7. avatar RA-15 says:

    That’s an absolute ” NO “

  8. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Forgiveness is a powerful thing. It’s not about absolving the guilty from punishment or responsibility. It’s about freeing your heart and not allowing bitterness to consume you.

    After the massacre at the Amish school in West Nickel Mines, PA, the Amish community’s emphasis on forgiveness and reconciliation was much talked about. There’s a lot about the Amish I don’t understand or agree with, but they could teach us all a thing or two about forgiveness.

    Forgiveness is about letting God handle the vengeance. God has given us more important things to do.

    1. avatar el Possum Guapo Standartenfuher " they think we're making pizza's Oberst von Burn says:

      They could also teach us how to steal from the thrift shop too. I’ll tell you what though, some of the aimish wemon look pretty hot to me.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Forgiveness is … about freeing your heart and not allowing bitterness to consume you.

      Forgiveness is about letting God handle the vengeance. God has given us more important things to do.

      And Curtis in IL wins the award for best Intertubez comment of the year!

      Forgiving an attacker’s wrongdoing is about YOUR well being, not their well being.

    3. avatar olivehead says:

      Excellent comment. That’s about as eloquently as I’ve ever heard it put.

  9. avatar Kendahl says:

    No. If there was no possible doubt about the defendant’s guilt, I would want him executed, his corpse cremated, and his ashes set out for transport to a landfill with the rest of the garbage.

  10. avatar el Possum Guapo Standartenfuher " they think we're making pizza's Oberst von Burn says:

    Them cops sure did a good job of stemming the blood flow, with just a towel thrown on the suspect??? Is it bullshit or not? …… I would forgive him and let an all merciful and loving God condemn him to hell were he will be tormented for eternity

  11. avatar Gregolas says:

    Personal forgiveness, absolutely. Jesus commands it. Matt. 6:14-15. BUT, clemency should never be granted to criminals. God’s grace, but the perp must still bear he consequences. The Bible is all about personal responsibility. My legal career taught me that clemency merely convinces a sociopath that he’s gotten away with it again.
    We forgive, not b/c it will necessary change the offender, but b/c it will change us. Luke 6:35-38.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Serious question, about forgiveness, and no I’m not an atheist either, is God going to forgive Lucifer after Armageddon?

      1. avatar el Possum Guapo ect. says:

        Haven’t read the Bible in a while, but I think Lucifer/Satan is tossed in a lake of fire, damn now I’m going to have to go look that up. It’s like when you’ve got the name of someone on the tip of your tongue but just can’t remember.

        1. avatar el Possum Guapo ect. says:

          Yup thrown in a lake of sulphur where he will be tormented for eternity. Now that’s coming for a loving and merciful God, forgiveness? Complicated isn’t it.

    2. avatar SouthernShooter says:

      +100

    3. avatar Patrick Hall says:

      A small percentage of criminals meet the definition of “sociopath”.

  12. avatar jwm says:

    On my fathers side of the family I’m a Hatfield. On my mothers, I’m a McCoy.

    Foregiveness ain’t really in my dna.

    1. avatar el Possum Guapo ect. says:

      My father was German, my mother was Jewish. I hate myself 😉

    2. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “On my fathers side of the family I’m a Hatfield. On my mothers, I’m a McCoy.”

      As Waylon once said :

      “This successful life we’re livin’
      Got us feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys”…

    3. avatar Blurb says:

      No, but apparently loving your enemy is.

  13. avatar former water walker says:

    I would try to forgive. Christ has forgiven me but that NEVER absolves me from the consequences of my actions. Even JESUS forgave those who crucifird HIM but he’s coming back with a sword(In righteousness he doth judge and make war). And rule with a rod of iron for1000 years. Never had a cretin kill a family member so I haven’t had to face that situation…

  14. avatar New Continental Army says:

    I believe the universe has a creator but I’m not a religious person per se, but I’ve always wondered what happens after the 1000 year reign. Renewed conflict for the throne?

    1. avatar el Possum Guapo ect. says:

      Satan is chained for a 1000 years. He is freed to test mankind again, eventually God pitches him in burning sulphur forever.

  15. avatar JoeVK says:

    I’m surprised and pleased that Perales owned up to what he did. At least his mother taught him something. Even though he chose the wrong path in life, he knew he was wrong and admitted it. He deserves a little respect for that. It’s just a shame he admitted it during a murder trial and not a burglary trial.

  16. avatar M1Lou says:

    Unfortunately the taxpayers now get to pick up the tab on this negative resource sink. 50-70 years of taxpayer money thrown away to house, feed and clothe this kid.

    Forgiveness is a way to not let something eat you alive. I think it’s a process you have to go through, and also its not something that should be done too soon. You have to process what happened first.

  17. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    Forgiveness is the Lord’s. Kill one of my loved ones and I’ll send you on a fast track to face the Lord.

  18. avatar BlakeW5 says:

    I’m not sure how I would handle the situation. I’ll agree, there’s catharsis in forgiveness, I hope I’ll never be faced with that choice though. I’ve forgiven plenty of people in my life, but I’m capable of holding quite the grudge as well.

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    “God chose my son to live, and I believe this is his second chance to redeem himself and to live for the purpose of God.”

    Interesting. I didn’t know that god ran with the Mexican Mafia.

  20. avatar Mary Prather says:

    For the purposes of self-sanity – yes. I think you’d eventually have to put that burden down. But forgiving him does not require absolving him. He still needs to do his time.

  21. avatar Danny Mann says:

    I BELIEVE I would OFFER forgiveness. It would be on him to accept it. I’ve NEVER seen a convict(and, I’ve seen a WHOLE, BIG, BUTTLOAD of them)that either DIDN’T do it, had a pitiful sob story about WHAT MADE them do it(Xanax….HA! I take Xanax for anxiety and panic attacks. I’ve NEVER gotten “HIGH” from them! AAMOF, they actually make me a MUCH more pleasant person to be around, more like the person I was before the anxiety started, and makes me a little sleepy), OR they were SORRY that they did it. The Psycho’s and Socio’s BRAG about it, write books and get movie deals, thus getting EXACTLY what they wanted: ATTENTION(NEGATIVE attention is STILL attention). And career criminals talk about how they’re going to do it NEXT time, and NOT get caught.
    Anyway, like I said, I WOULD offer forgiveness, shake his hand, embrace him, whisper in his ear “I forgive you”, and then snap his fucking neck. There. Done. Forgiveness AND justice, at the same time. AND NEVER EVEN BLINK. And it would be just like Curtis in IL and uncommon_sense said, my heart would be free, and there would be no bitterness to consume. It would sort of be like former water walker said about Jesus with the sword and iron rod, except it would be just me and my own two hands. And before anyone mentions it, I would accept any consequences the God of MY understanding presents, open and freely. I couldn’t give a shot less about what the law would do to me in regards to this.
    So. Sorry about the rambling rant. I guess I’m a LITTLE more sensitive than I thought I’d be about this kind of thing. You know, breaking into my house, stealing and murdering my family kinda shit.

  22. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    He deserves to be executed, too bad he survived to be put on trial. Not execuiting him is as affront to justice.

    Yeah I’d forgive and move on, after he is under the ground.

  23. avatar anonymoose says:

    Depends on which family member we’re talking about. :^)

  24. avatar Evey259 says:

    The magnanimity of everyone involved in this trial is honestly weird. Hopefully that young man turns his life around behind bars and does something productive. Unlikely, but hopefully.

    As for forgiving… Eh… I’m not sure. I’m not the forgiving sort and I have carried grudges and let go of people in my life for a very, very long time. Still, I think the hate and anger might eventually drive me nuts, so I’d at least try.

  25. avatar luigi says:

    It’s the right thing to do, following Christ’s example, but I don’t think I could.

    Perales should’ve been sentenced to death. Instead he’ll live on three square meals a day while a family suffers.

  26. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    I look forward to seening “gun violence” proposals that make it harder for people like now-a-convict, there, without harming or restricting people like that family. Really, I don’t think they are the problem.

    Perhaps “anti-gun violence” efforts have been such spectacular failures because they restrict the wrong people, things, n activities. Of course, gun control efforts have been pretty good at controlling guns (here n there, now n then, where they’re looking, a little); maybe that’s the point … mostly for peaceful, responsible people who don’t do violence unless they’re victimized first; maybe that’s the point.

  27. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    We can make everyone who uses a gun a criminal by making every gun use criminal.

    Then, it doesn’t matter what we do to them, or what they think. They’re criminals. Problem solved.

    It’s like there’s a plan, or something.

  28. avatar Bob999 says:

    Forgive? I am more of a “do the crime, do the time” kind of guy. I leave “forgiveness” to those who think it will make them feel better.

  29. avatar Cthulhu 2020 says:

    No

  30. OK folks, before I comment you should know that I am a strong pro-2A supporter who can and would defend his home and family with deadly force if the need should arise. I also carry every day.

    I am also a retired minister. I have experience with a parishioner being murdered and his wife choosing to forgive his murderer. This is not an academic issue for me. So, here are my thoughts:

    1) First and foremost, forgiveness is about setting the person who has been wronged free. Hatred is corrosive, it will destroy the person who holds on to it.

    2) Forgiveness has absolutely nothing to do with the just punishment of crime. According to scripture, this is the business of government , not individuals. As in this case, forgiveness did not alter is just punishment.

    Hopefully, the choice of forgiveness will help this family heal – and perhaps this criminal, having failed at being a good citizen , can become a good prisoner for the rest of his life.

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