Illinois George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin 2.0 Self-Defense Trial Underway

Courtesy Galesburg Register-Mail.

The first degree murder trial of James Love began Tuesday in Galesburg, IL.  Love, a 59-year-old respected local farmer, claims he fired in self-defense.  This, after a drunk, unarmed 19-year-old body-builder named Xavier Hartman allegedly attacked him following a roll-over accident near the farmer’s home.

The evidence strongly suggests a righteous use of force in self-defense.  Meanwhile, the prosecution is hellbent on gaining a first-degree murder conviction on a very dubious case.  In fact, a grand jury refused to indict Love altogether on the first degree murder charge.  After that, the assistant state’s attorney took the unusual step of re-filing the case himself.

Prosecutors file new murder charge in Galva shooting

GALESBURG — In a rare move, the Knox County State’s Attorney’s office has again filed a first-degree murder charge against James Love in the June 19 shooting death of Xavier Hartman.

According to Knox County court files, prosecutors filed the same charges as they initially sought in a new case Wednesday, July 18. The charges are: first-degree murder with a mandatory firearm enhancement; Class X felony aggravated battery with a firearm; and felony aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Kerr doggedly wants a first degree murder conviction and 40 years in prison for the farmer.  Some folks say Kerr also wants this scalp to help get himself elected to replace his retiring boss.

Other folks say you can hear Kerr’s contempt for gun owners at every turn.  Not surprising as Kerr tried to suggest at a preliminary that Love loaded his magazines with hollow points because he wanted to kill someone.

We covered this last summer as part of a warning to gun owners.  “Shoot an ‘Unarmed’ Attacker in Self-Defense, Expect to be Prosecuted.”  Prosecutors today seem inclined to take a self-defense shooting of an unarmed attacker to a jury.  Especially when politics enters the deliberative process.  And doubly so for local prosecutors who do not believe in self-defense.

As we also reported last summer, the case has a lot of other George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin narratives happening beyond a political-fueled prosecution.  Like the Trayvon Martin case, a white man shot an “unarmed” teenager, in this case a half-black Hartman.  Also like the Trayvon case, the unarmed teenager attacked an armed individual before getting fatally wounded.  And then the dead kid’s family presented a boyish picture of the kid to the media, claiming the farmer murdered their boy.

Image courtesy UK Telegraph.

Courtesy Peoria Journal-Star.

Oh yes, and the attacker’s family blamed the NRA and its members as well for Hartman’s death.

Courtesy Facebook

The state’s “star witness” testified Wednesday.  Colyn Glisan testified that he and Hartman both had a lot to drink that night, but he had Hartman drive because he thought Hartman the less intoxicated of the two.  Despite his eye-witness testimony as the state’s key witness, Glisan didn’t do such a great job for the state.  The defense worked successfully to undermine and/or impeach his testimony on a number of points.

The Galesburg Register-Mail reported on the balance of Glisan’s testimony.

Hartman lost control of his truck and it rolled onto its side along a rural road near Love’s residence. The two tried to jump on the side of the truck to get it to flip back over when a man asked them their names and then turned and walked with them to a house, Love’s home.

Glisan and Love were walking side-by-side while Hartman was behind them. Hartman asked Love why he wouldn’t help them and Love reportedly said he was goint to call the police, Glisan said.

At that point, there was a scuffle between Love and Hartman, and Glisan, who previously worked at Springfield Armory assembling guns, and owns firearms himself, heard a slide being racked, or a round being chambered, in a pistol.

“I was thinking, ‘why would there be a gun?’ I jumped in the ditch and heard a gunshot,” Glisan said Wednesday.

After that first shot, he heard Love yell, “damn it, keep your hands off me,” Glisan said.

After hearing the shot, he stood up out and took off running through a field. Before that, he saw Hartman and Love with their hands on each other, almost in a wrestling stance. He heard the second shot as he was running away.

“I didn’t know if I was being shot at. After that one, I heard, ‘goddamn it, I told you to stop’,” Glisan said.

He said there were about two to three minutes between the two shots and that nothing was said until after the first shot, which has been called a “warning shot” in previous descriptions.

Indeed.

Knox County Deputy Paul Cates also testified that he interviewed Love.  He transported Love to the Galesburg hospital to get a whole slew of stitches from where Hartman had beat him about the head prior to the fatal shot.

Even after his Miranda warnings, Love said he left his home to check to see if anyone needed medical assistance after hearing the crash and yelling.  On his way out of the house, he picked up his Ruger LC9S, and a spare magazine.  The gun had an empty chamber.

After arriving on the scene, things deteriorated and he was approached by Hartman “in an aggressive manner.”  He told Hartman to stop, but the kid kept coming and striking him, even after Love fired the first warning shot into the roadway.

Love told the officer that while back-pedaling from a continued attack from Hartman,  he fired a second round into the ground.  Even then, Hartman pressed the attack, punching the farmer in the face.  Whereupon the farmer fired the third shot at very close range.

That round would rupture the intoxicated Hartman’s femoral artery.  Hartman ran a short distance after that.  He collapsed and soon bled out long before police or an ambulance would arrive.

Thursday may see Love himself testify.  The defense team says their side of the case will take about a half-day or so.  All sides expect the case to wrap up by the end of the week.

The prosecution, feeling nervous about their case, reached out to Love’s attorney Tuesday with an offer of a plea bargain – 2nd degree murder.  Love promptly rejected the offer.

We will continue to monitor this trial and will report on the verdict.

In the meantime, stay safe out there.

comments

  1. avatar WhiteDevil says:

    What’s the contact information for Brian Kerr? I’d love to give him a ring.

    1. avatar Don from CT says:

      Here’s his facebook page, with a bunch of other info.

      https://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Kerr/100007435279451

      1. avatar Fit2Btyed says:

        It looks like a nothing burger to me. Must have taken most of his personal information down.

      2. avatar Hans says:

        I tried to email gun hater Kerr and their
        servers blocked the request. It appears
        that his department is getting a lot of bad
        feedback.

        Kerr, can go to hell. He should go to work in
        Chirack, where he could practice his gun hatred
        work.

    2. avatar Don from CT says:

      Here’s his office contact info. Note his name about 2/3 down the page.

      https://co.knox.il.us/states-attorney/

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      the lesson is clear…stay in your house and call the police….getting involved beyond that point just isn’t worth it…

      1. I get it. But what if it’s you in the ditch having a heart attack? We want to help. It’s human nature.

        1. avatar Bob Jones says:

          Sorry, but between democrat prosecutors and democrat trial lawyers, helping strangers is a very risky business. You will probably get sued or end up in jail. Better to call 911 and let the pros do their job.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Gotta go with Victoria, here. If you’re a farmer in the boonies, it might be an hour before 911 gets someone there, and most people are not assholes. In his position the only things I anticipate doing differently would be 1) I’d have a shell in the chamber before I left the house and 2) I won’t fire warning shots.

          BTW, first degree is really ridiculous, since I get the impression that at point-blank range he shot the doofus in the leg. Two warning shots and a .380 to the leg does not sound like deliberate murder.

        3. avatar Hans says:

          Good point, Victoria!!
          I would not want Frank as my neighbor
          as his first and only concern is himself.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I would not want Frank as my neighbor
          as his first and only concern is himself.”

          Lying in a ditch, having a heart attack, yes, I would want help. But I don’t expect it, and accept the risk. Not to mention that very few people have been instructed, much less are competent in, CPR.

      2. avatar StLPro2A says:

        Decades ago, I lived in Burlington, Iowa just west across the Mississippi River from Galesberg, IL. That region on both sides of the river is largely farm country. People rush to help people when they are in an accident. That is just the way they are programmed and imprinted. They also carry a gun because evil and violence exist. And, there you have Love’s perspective. He probably smelled the alcohol on the others’ breaths and felt if he helped right their vehicle, they would probably have a worse accident down the road….possibly themselves or another local. Good riddance from the gene pool of another fool. Sadly, Love will probably be sued by Hartman’s family for protecting himself.

    4. avatar Christine says:

      He’s been found NOT GUILTY

  2. avatar Yarbles says:

    Good luck, Mr. Love.

    Start a Go Fund Me page and I’ll support you.

    We need a good legal precedent in NY. Lots of good people still live in that Socialist, NY City dominated state.

    1. avatar Enuf says:

      I searched but did not find a GoFundMe for Mr. Love. Hope he is doing alright on that score.

      Other point, the NYC / NY State is liberal and stupid about guns but not Socialist. This is a common misunderstanding. Socialism is strongly in favor of the common worker being armed to the teeth. That includes any man who can do so owning artillery. So said Karl Marx.

      Marx and Socialism were not anti-gun, they were very seriously pro-gun. The evils of Socialism are found elsewhere.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        Marx is theory, ivory-tower pontificating. Everywhere his ideas were taken seriously, where the boot met the face, gun confiscation was a priority.

        1. avatar Enuf says:

          Yes, everywhere Socialism has been tried, that is true. Marx also defined Capitalism, but only to be against it.

          The point is that each time Socialism fails it ceases to be Socialism. Doesn’t matter that the tyrant in charge holds onto the title, it is a lie. Every attempt at Socialism ends in that lie, becomes a dictatorship, a single party tyranny, secret police and gulags and all that. None of it is Socialism anymore, that died when the leaders of the glorious workers/people’s revolution realized the people were not going along with all that central planning and central control of everything. The dream of Socialism being a stepping stone into Communism always turns out to be a nightmare where the dream dies, lies take over and brutality wins.

          One where all the high minded utopian philosophy of Marx and Engles and others becomes the fodders for for propagandists. For a dictator to lie about.

          The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for example was neither Socialist nor a union of Republics. Perhaps very briefly, if at all. Maybe for several minutes way back in 1917.

          Then, they began shooting their own people, and their relatives, possibly their pets too.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Socialism is always a rousing success at the point where the free stuff is distributed, not so much at the point where you are supposed to show up and work without pay.

        3. avatar Purity of Essence says:

          Got it. Socialism is wonderful and when it is no longer wonderful it is no longer socialism. Socialism is the ism of the stupid, the lazy and the envious. It fails everywhere, everytime because it is unworkable. It is just another scam used to put strongmen in power and bilk the masses out of the fruits of their labor. When you get right down to it not much different than feudalism.

        4. avatar Enuf says:

          “Purity of Essence
          Got it. Socialism is wonderful and when it is no longer wonderful it is no longer socialism. Socialism is the ism of the stupid, the lazy and the envious. It fails everywhere, everytime because it is unworkable. It is just another scam used to put strongmen in power and bilk the masses out of the fruits of their labor. When you get right down to it not much different than feudalism.”

          I would never say Socialism was wonderful, not even for second. I don’t think it the ‘ism of stupid people either. Some truly brilliant minds have gone down that rabbit hole. Marx did brilliant work on Economics, he literally wrote the definition on Capitalism. But beyond that he failed to see the weakness in his thinking.

          The common man or woman tends to have dreams of making their lives better. The utopian push to make everyone essentially equal runs afoul of natural human drives. It is the seed of “Counter-Revolutionary Thought” that proponents of Socialism and Communism could not grasp.

          They are lost on the fog of their own brilliance, thinking they have found the way to global happiness.

          Next come the brutes, the Stalins, the Lenins, the Castro’s and the Maduros. They come in real fast too, because it is the natural math of the thing.

          It is a trap for utopian thinks from the mid-19th Century,

      2. avatar JohnQPublic says:

        The goal of socialism is communism.
        – Vladimir Lenin

        History shows genocides in countrys like Cambodia occurred after citizens were disarmed. So sir you are terribly misinformed natural rights aren’t permitted in workers paradises.

        Good speed Mr. Love liberty and justice for all

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          There was the stated goal that socialism plus electrification equals communism. Therefore mathematically electrification equals communism minus socialism

      3. avatar DaveP. says:

        Just four easy examples

        United Soviet SOCIALIST Republic.
        National SOCIALIST German Worker’s Party.

        Cuba- Government: Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party SOCIALIST republic.
        China- Government: Unitary Marxist-Leninist one-party SOCIALIST republic.

        Yeah, socialism is all about the worker, all right.

        You’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

      4. avatar ChuckinIL says:

        Socialism. It works everywhere it’s tried, with the exception of everywhere it’s tried.

      5. avatar Aaron says:

        are you out of your freaking mind?

        everything you just said is wrong. Marx SAID the proles should be armed in order to oververthrow the existing order, but what communists actually DID everywhere upon tsking power is disarm the populace of privately owned weapons. and this actually makes sense because when communism became the NEW existing order, marxists didn’t want the proles to overthrow it. sure, the proles could have arms…WHEN CONSCRIPTED INTO THE “PEOPLES’” ARMY.

        communism’s appeal is built upon a scaffolding of lies and its precepts are in opposition to human nature, while its actual implementation is perfectly aligned with human nature: power corrupts.

      6. avatar GS650G says:

        “Socialism is strongly in favor of the common worker being armed to the teeth”
        Socialists support the peasants being armed as long as they struggle against the productive. They aren’t in favor of the masses being armed when it all goes south.

        Lenin referred to them as useful idiots on occasion.

  3. avatar Sam I Am says:

    A fine example of why no one needs self-defense, or liability insurance. There legions of fine, experienced self-defense attorneys who will defend you for a pittance, if any fee at all. Being right means you win because you are right.

    OK, for all you out there who skim read…..SARC !!!!! Get it? SARC!!!!!

    (Kinda takes all the fun out of it, eh?)

  4. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    sounds like intent to maim. no artery, no plea offer.
    kerr is a podunk. two warning shards, attempt to retweet, feared for his lyft.

    maybe love knew him. maybe that’s love’s dog walker taking the selfy.

    i’d have gotten the come along and righted the vehicle. i would have been armed. boys will be boys. and they should keep their hands to themselves.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      oy, with the edit button. darn autocorrect subbed podunk for f*ckt*rd.

      1. avatar SoBe says:

        Let podunk enter the Urban Dictionary as “Podunk, n., sing., f*ckt*rd. As in, “Kerr is a Podunk.”

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      There are a slew of hilarious autocorrects in there besides that! “Warning shards… attempt to retweet… feared for his Lyft…”

      Gold, man, gold! Also, TTAG, edit button or move to Disqus or something.

      1. avatar KreebleN'Krag says:

        Lol. I was reading that thinking, WTF!? Thought he might have been having a stroke.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Having a stroke, or maybe having a smoke (wink wink)?

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I thought “attempting to retweet” was the best one.

      2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        i don’t have a smartphone or auto correct. and my ‘puterbox has spellcheck disabled.

        1. avatar Marc says:

          Have you heard the news? You can buy bread now that has already been sliced!

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          not my challah you don’t. plus i get to slice wit scary sharps. bread knives waste unless you need crumbs.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Does your sliced bread tell your government where you are located at all times?

        4. avatar TheBruteSquad says:

          I wish I could go back to my kosher baker. They kicked me out for asking, “what’s the challah cost?” Miss their everything bagel with the lox, capers, purple onion mmm

        5. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          there is no irony in a kosher bakery acting as bread nazi’s.
          a lot of marble rye around here. but no longer do any of them make salt rising bread.

        6. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          you should have asked them, “how much to just pinch a loaf?”

  5. avatar Jeremy D. says:

    I’m 99.99% that the thug attacked him to avoid having the police called and being arrested.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      a fate worse than death.

    2. avatar rosignol says:

      Yup. Cops show up to an accident scene, driver is intoxicated, that’s a DUI arrest.

      Doesn’t matter that no other vehicles or pedestrians were involved.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        One that’s fairly easy to beat in most circumstances. That’s what makes this so stupid. But then drunks are not known for their brilliant insight into what’s going on.

      2. avatar anonymoose says:

        Underage DUI, no less. God help him, he might spend a night in the cooler and have to spend a year without a driver’s license. Oh wait punishing him in any way would be rayciss.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Might, but he very likely might get out of it too.

          The number of people who wreck then claim they got drunk because they were freaking out about said wreck “to calm their nerves” and are therefore intoxicated at the scene but “weren’t drunk when they were driving” is shockingly high. They also get away with it because it’s pretty hard to prove that what they’re saying isn’t true and it’s not a case the jurisdiction is going to waste a ton of resources investigating to prove that they’re lying.

          In some cases cops don’t even bother throwing a charge at them because they know all that will happen is that they’ll tick off the DA.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Strych, I knew a guy who did *exactly* that, his case was even easier. Prior to cell phones, driving home from work in the middle of the night while flat out plastered, he slid off the interstate driving on solid ice and down the steeply inclined median in a foot of snow, then couldn’t get out. Way below zero outside and miles from town, very little traffic, he just stayed in his nice warm car, drinking for about 5 hours until a cop came along in the morning to call for a wrecker. I don’t think the cop even gave him a ticket.

    3. avatar Fully Involved says:

      Sounds about right ,except the “thug” description (he’s just a stupid young guy who made a series of bad decisions that ended up costing his life).

      1. avatar Big E says:

        Wrong. Attacking someone to cover for your idiocy/criminality makes you a thug. Actions matter.

        1. avatar Fully Involved says:

          On second thought, yea you’re correct. My mistake.

        2. avatar Jeremy D. says:

          They could’ve skidaddled and maybe get picked up the next when theyre sober. Hard to prove it wasn’t an honest accident but instead this

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Apparently he even attacked the guy *from behind*.

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      you never know who you’re dealing with…always assume the worst…and keep your distance….

  6. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    If he di=dn’t shoot the ute he could have ran for office like Beto!

  7. avatar Kyle says:

    Prosecutions like this should come with extreme consequences to the state.

    Illinois should be required to pay every single dime of lawyers fees, expenses, and I mean EVERY SINGLE EXPENSE that the accused has incurred as a result.

    Did he have to hire someone to feed the cattle at his ranch? state pays. Did he have to buy a new pair of socks for trial? State pays.

    And after every single dime has been squeezed out of the state, punitive damages should stack on top.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Replace “State” with “prosecution”. It won’t matter if the tax payers have to cough up some cash, there should be permanent consequences to the person abusing the legal system to bring false murder charges.

    2. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

      I absolutely agree.

    3. avatar Edward Rogers says:

      There should be personal consequences for the prosecuting attorney. It is rumored that the Romans branded malicious prosecutors with a “K” on their forehead.

      This knucklehead deserves a boatload of bad Karma. I’m still waiting for lighning to strike Gavin Newsome…

      1. avatar TrappedInCommiefornia says:

        We can only hope he will be standing next to Pelosi when it does…..

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      they make the laws..and you have to play by their rules…don’t go looking for trouble….

  8. avatar Enuf says:

    These two cases are very different.

    In Zimmerman versus Martin, you had a wannabe cop, wannabe hero behaving stupidly. The 911 operator told him to let it go and he followed Martin anyway. On the other side of it, Martin probably thought he was being stalked by some nut job, and he did exactly the wrong thing about it by beating on Zimmerman. In the end I believe Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin but it was still a situation that Zimmerman created. He lit a fuse he had no cause to light and he was lucky to survive the explosion.

    In the Love versus Hartman case you have a Good Samaritan who wasn’t looking to do anything but see what the heck just happened in front of his home and offer help. If he made a mistake it was saying he was calling the cops. You should never say that out loud, you should simply do it. That’s something I was taught as an EMT and rescue squad member, be very careful when dealing with drunks. You just never know what they are going to do. Alert 911 but quietly, even if you have to step away from the scene.

    What is common in both of these cases is that a much younger, stronger, more capable in a fight attacker went off on an older victim. Bigger age difference in this new case, but it’s true of both. In an unequal fight the risk of deadly injury does not require any weapon beyond fists. So the weaker, less capable person is entirely justified in using a deadly weapon, as he or she really has no other option.

    I think about that myself. Being an older person with some health and fitness problems. What choice would I have in such a confrontation other than my gun? I could not out run a committed attacker. Sure as hell could not out fight him. For me an attack by a 19 year old body builder using only his fists is no less a life ending threat than if he had a bat, a knife or a gun.

    In such matters guns are equalizers. That is the point of the things.

    1. avatar Ripescribe says:

      I watched the entire trial, and your first paragraph is not true. Martin ran to his dad’s girlfriend’s house then doubled back to ambush Zimmerman. Also, evidence shows that Zimmerman started walking to his car after the operator said “you don’t need to do that”. The operator also testified that they can not tell a caller what to or what not to do.

    2. avatar Aaron says:

      @enuf: zimmerman did not “light the fuse”, travon martin did by physically assaulting him. nothing zimmerman did justified a physical assault.

      1. avatar OBOB says:

        lets not mention that the ‘girlfriend’ let it slip in testimony that Trevon was going to go gay bashing on the white ‘cracker!

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      guns…and more importantly, their use… are tripwires these days….these are dangerous times, bro….

    4. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      Well, you’re two for two on dumb comments in this thread.

    5. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      “In Zimmerman versus Martin, you had a wannabe cop, wannabe hero behaving stupidly. The 911 operator told him to let it go and he followed Martin anyway.”

      You. Are. Wrong.

      This was discussed here during the events of the trial and media lynching of Zimmerman; this literally is not how it happened.

  9. avatar Jbe says:

    The case is in illinoisastan, the most corrupt state in the country. Rules, laws, common sense, mean nothing when a politician here wants to get elected.
    This state is pathetic, corrupt and morally bankrupt.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      location…location…location…..times have changed…particularly in certain areas…something a lot of older folks seem blithely unaware of…….

    2. avatar Kenneth says:

      Add in the NE seaboard and the whole left coast and you will be right on it. Some sanity remains elsewhere, but the coasts are history. No intelligent life left there.

      1. avatar Illinois boy says:

        Illinois has the best politicians money can buy. Now Pritzker wants to legalize dope.

  10. avatar B.D. says:

    The only case where a witness can say “He looked like a creepy ass cracker” and be taken seriously, while the rest of the country cries racism towards blacks.

    What a fucken joke.

  11. avatar Aaron says:

    what’s the lesson here? ignore crashes outside and let crash victims die?

    1. avatar arc says:

      Pretty much. Someone runs off the road, its quite simply none of my business. The law is simply not on my side when helping people.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      Call 911 from the safety of your home and let them handle it. Also, if your neighborhood is experiencing a problem with crime, absolutely do not get involved with neighborhood watch. Save your money and move out, and whatever you do, don’t pay any attention to people who might be behaving suspiciously. That’s the proper way to handle these things.

    3. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “what’s the lesson here? ignore crashes outside and let crash victims die?”

      No.

      Look out the door/window and note a crashed vehicle, and maybe casualties; call 911. You are not a professional EMT, and may do irreversible, unintended damage. If there is only sound, and nothing you can see from the house, maybe take a few steps outside, note the location, then call 911.

      Inside your house, you are aware of your circumstances. Going outside, especially at night, you have no realistic situational awareness, and have discarded virtually all your protection in case the “accident” takes a bad turn for you.

      1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

        This is the kind of societal attitude that diversity breeds.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “This is the kind of societal attitude that diversity breeds.”

          Know, it is understanding the battle field.

        2. avatar TheBruteSquad says:

          Truth. In a homogeneous society social trust is much higher and people help each other. In a diverse society people mind their own business because they don’t trust each other.

    4. avatar Ark says:

      If you’re white and they aren’t, yes.

    5. avatar frank speak says:

      make the call…then stay small….

  12. avatar strych9 says:

    And doubly so for local prosecutors who do not believe in self-defense.”

    This. It really doesn’t matter what you do to defend yourself. Snowflake prosecutors or ones looking for political gain will always make up bullshit claims. A gun should have been used non leathally. Martial arts means you were better trained and “did not need to hurt the aggressor”. AOW was an unnecessary use of force. Using anything you have on you is premeditation.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Non-lethally, huh? “Yes, sir, I was trying to bounce a 230g , 45 acp off his forehead to knock him out, but he moved. OOoops.”

    2. avatar TheBruteSquad says:

      The media will happily lynch a white guy for freezing in place and smiling at the guy who is beating a drum in his face. It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, the left simply hates white men.

  13. avatar possum says:

    I learn something new every day; Whacking somebody up side the head with gun is a classX felony, aggravated battery with a firearm. That’s good to know .

    1. avatar Jedi Wombat says:

      Is a class x felony worse than double secret probation? Do they really run all the way through the alphabet for their felony codes? Sorry, a “class EEEEEX felony” just sounds silly to me, although I’m sure no part of it is fun at all.

  14. avatar Tim Toroian says:

    I wish bad luck upon the prosecutor. May a rabid raccoon take a liking to him.

    1. avatar Kman says:

      …his testicles, in particular.

  15. avatar TheMan says:

    The only crime I see is carrying with an empty chamber and firing warning shots. But against worthless prosecutors like this, it probably helps the defense.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “The only crime I see is carrying with an empty chamber and firing warning shots.”

      That whole “warning thing” could present problems. How can a prosecutor not have a field day with that?

      Warning Shots –
      Proves the threat was not imminent, not likely a deadly threat, either. Proves the defendant was eager to fire his gun to show he was an eager gun owner. Proves the defendant was spring-loaded to the “shoot” position. Proves the defendant escalated the problem, making the dead guy think HE was facing a deadly threat. Proves the defendant’s judgement was so impaired by his self-image as a gun-fighting hero, he could not perceive correctly if he was in danger of death or grievous bodily harm. This guy was a walking threat to society at large.

      And so on.

      Hey, that’s pretty good stuff. Maybe I can be a prosecutor.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        “That whole “warning thing” could present problems. How can a prosecutor not have a field day with that?”

        In this case they can’t because the “warning shots” are evidence that the guy didn’t want to shoot the guy which becomes problematic when you’re arguing for a premeditated murder charge or even a 2nd degree murder charge. The prosecutor is arguing that this guy wanted so badly to kill the “victim” that he loaded up hollow points for that very purpose but then intentionally missed not once but twice. How does that work?

        In case for illegal discharge of a firearm then the prosecutor could have a field day were it the only charge, and they are charging him with “felony aggravated discharge of a firearm” which, reading the Illinois statues, subsection 2 would seem to fit the bill here if the defendant didn’t deem the “victim” as a threat.

        If you read the statute it would seem however that “felony aggravated discharge of a firearm” really can’t be applied here either because the applicable section of the law says he has to discharge the firearm “in the direction of” another person or a vehicle/building he knows or should know to be occupied. A warning shot is, by definition, not in the direction of the person.

        So if it’s a warning shot then it can’t rationally be “felony aggravated discharge of a firearm” due to missing intentionally and therefore not “knowingly firing in the victim’s direction” and at the same time if he fired warning shots then it can’t be premeditated murder.

        This looks to me like the prosecutor took a list of the maybe, possibly applicable statutes, picked the ones with the harshest sentences and then tossed them all together hoping to get a plea he could mark as a win.

        I don’t like to place bets but if I was forced to do so and, having been on a jury for a serious set of charges, I would wager that a jury even half as serious as the one I was on would find this guy not guilty of every charge on this list but might have been persuaded, had it been included, to find guilty on a lesser charge that made the warning shots illegal.

        In this case, were I on that jury, I would argue to my fellow jurors that the current charge for felony discharge isn’t applicable to this kind of situation due to the way that the law is written.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “In this case they can’t because the “warning shots” are evidence that the guy didn’t want to shoot the guy”.

          A warning shot is evidence that the defendant was so intent on using his gun to kill, that he demonstrated this intent by showing he was willing to shoot another human. Shooting a warning shot is the equivalent of brandishing a firearm as a means of intimidation. People should be so unwilling to shoot another person that they will do everything to avoid shooting until there is no other option to avoid being killed themselves. That means shooting only when the attacker is directly upon the defendant, and there is no other means of deterring the attack (demonstrated by the unsuccessful use of other options).

          Oh, I rather doubt someone who is a vocal defender of the right to self-defense would be permitted on a jury.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          This is no doubt what the prosecutor will often argue.

          It’s also absurd and will be torn to shreds by competent defense counsel when the charge is premeditated murder as it is in this case. The prosecution’s argument on that charge is laughably weak in this case and I suspect the jury will find it so.

          “Oh, I rather doubt someone who is a vocal defender of the right to self-defense would be permitted on a jury.”

          That depends on how smart that defender of self-defense is. If they’re stupid enough to openly say something like this without being prompted then the prosecution will probably use a strike to get rid of them but prosecutors only have so many of those strikes and unless the person in question has already decided that the case is self-defense and that they’re going to vote “not guilty” there is no line of questioning the prosecutor can employ that will get that person to disqualify themselves from that jury unless the prosecutor themselves is going to suggest that even if the jury finds that the defendant did act in self defense they still have to convict because self-defense is itself illegal.

          That would almost certainly prompt a motion by the defense for prosecutorial misconduct because it would require a blatant misrepresentation of the law to the jury. Even if a judge did somehow allow such a thing the conviction would almost certainly be overturned on appeal and the prosecutor would be in danger of losing their license over the whole thing.

          Yes, a prosecutor can strike people from a jury for no reason, as can a defense attorney but they’re limited in the number of times they can do that and if those are used up and a potential juror says “If it’s not self defense it’s illegal and I would have to vote to convict at that point” there isn’t much the prosecutor can do to get them off the jury at that point because the potential juror isn’t admitting to bias that would prevent them from convicting the accused if a crime can actually be proven to have taken place.

          This is exactly the kind of nuanced shit the jury I was on had to deal with. It wasn’t fun but the whole group was pretty damn professional about it and really considered the details of the evidence because we were quite well aware that at the advanced age of the defendant the minimum sentence would have meant he’d die in prison. I would certainly hope that most juries would be at least partly comprised of people who take the matter as seriously as we did.

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Been on jury duty in three states. In all three cases, the jury pool was given a list of questions prior to calling anyone into the courtroom. After about an hour, many jurors were dismissed without explanation. One of the questions on the form was whether the prospective juror was a gun owner, related to a gun owner, a member of NRA or sport shooting organization (there may have been one more category). Given that about 10% of the prospective jurors were eliminated before any Voir Dire, always wondered how many were just dufusses, and how many with connections to guns or “gun people”.

          As I understood things at the time, the lawyers had limited peremptory challenges, but unlimited “for cause” challenges.

          Lying on the form seemed a personally risky proposition.

        4. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I don’t think you’d get far in Texas with that “warning shots are illegal” crap, the guy was on his own property and most likely not inside city limits, he could sit on the back porch firing a rifle for target practice if he wanted, never mind putting a BB into his own ground.

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “I don’t think you’d get far in Texas with that “warning shots are illegal” crap, the guy was on his own property and most likely not inside city limits, he could sit on the back porch firing a rifle for target practice if he wanted,”

          That type of shooting wouldn’t be related to a self-defense action. Question would be if warning shots are considered justifiable in whichever jurisdiction a self-defense event takes place. Here, warning shots are prohibited by law (demonstrates lack of imminent deadly threat). Here, in a self-defense case you can be charged with discharging a firearm inside town limits, regardless of self-defense acquittal.

          Glad the defender in this instance was acquitted.

        6. avatar LarryinTX says:

          “Warning shots” are used as an exemption when a gun is fired in a location where firing a gun is, in itself, illegal, normally assumed to be because firing a gun is dangerous, due to congested area, buildings, people, etc. Not because warning someone that you are armed is illegal. Where you can shoot all day, warning shots should *never* be illegal under any circumstances. Stupid, well, *I* sure think so, but illegal, no.

          And yes, it is nice when a trial ends the way we wish, isn’t it?

  16. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    The other crying (criminal) shame is that prosecutors are allowed to personally override the decision of a grand jury. I am pretty sure that any rural grand jury such as in Galesburg (birthplace of Carl Sandburg) would put itself in the farmer’s shoes and make the right decision based on the perspective of the farmer when faced with a pair or group of drunks out on a back road. I think of a college acquaintance who got into a car wreck while massively intoxicated and decided to take on a half dozen small town police who got him out of the car. Back then all he got was the sh** beat out of him, which, after he sobered up in the cell, he agreed with the cops that he deserved. He was a pretty big guy and apparently got a few good ones in on the cops, so they did what they do. Nowadays, if a person did the same to cops or anyone else trying to help, there is no question the person would be shot, especially by the cops and in this case by the farmer. I do hope the farmer is exonerated and then sues the state for malicious prosecution. The prosecutor is probably brazen enough to have left a trail of emails to the effect that a conviction would help his later political ambitions. One email or text left on someone else’s phone is all it would take to have the prosecutor disbarred and the farmer on easy street.

  17. avatar Truckman says:

    The first thing he did wrong was not calling the cops before he went to check on what’s going on the way things are now.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      they sell insurance to protect you against this sort of thing…and anyone who carries ought to have it…but you make your defense doubly difficult when you don’t employ common sense…..

    2. I believe his wife called the cops.

  18. avatar J says:

    One bad side note for us living in IL. There is new legislation, Senate Bill 107, that proposes to ban all semi auto rifles, semi auto magazines, and accessories. You will have to register your semi auto rifles and if you don’t it will be a class 3 felony.

    Here is the link for more information. The end has begin in IL.

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/101/SB/PDF/10100SB0107lv.pdf

    https://www.nraila.org/articles/20190124/illinois-bill-introduced-to-ban-many-firearms-accessories

  19. avatar J says:

    I forgot to say handguards are banned also in Senate Bill 107.

  20. avatar J says:

    IL, Senate Bill 107. Felonies for the following.
    3 (1) A person who knowingly delivers, sells, purchases,
    4 or possesses or causes to be delivered, sold, purchased, or
    5 possessed an assault weapon in violation of this Section
    6 commits a Class 3 felony for a first violation and a Class
    7 2 felony for a second or subsequent violation or for the
    8 possession or delivery of 2 or more of these weapons at the
    9 same time.
    10 (2) A person who knowingly delivers, sells, purchases,
    11 or possesses or causes to be delivered, sold, purchased, or
    12 possessed in violation of this Section an assault weapon
    13 attachment commits a Class 4 felony for a first violation
    14 and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent violation.
    15 (3) Any other violation of this Section is a Class A
    16 misdemeanor.

  21. avatar J says:

    IL, Senate Bill 107. Felonies for the following. Here is a cleaned up version.
    (1) A person who knowingly delivers, sells, purchases,
    or possesses or causes to be delivered, sold, purchased, or
    possessed an assault weapon in violation of this Section
    commits a Class 3 felony for a first violation and a Class
    2 felony for a second or subsequent violation or for the
    possession or delivery of 2 or more of these weapons at the
    same time.

    (2) A person who knowingly delivers, sells, purchases,
    or possesses or causes to be delivered, sold, purchased, or
    possessed in violation of this Section an assault weapon
    attachment commits a Class 4 felony for a first violation
    and a Class 3 felony for a second or subsequent violation.

    (3) Any other violation of this Section is a Class A
    misdemeanor.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      the pattern is set…and the states that wish to.. will push it as far as they can…the “old limits” no longer seem to apply….and only the courts can probably reign them in…but they have to be prodded to do so…things are moving very fast…join and support as many gun rights organizations as you can….by the way, tumultuous city council meeting in Pittsburgh tonight…more to follow…

  22. avatar GS650G says:

    IF this occurred in Texas or any number of other Free States he wouldn’t have a thing to worry about. If you live in a state with dubious laws and hoplophoic prosecutors you might not want to get involved or leave your house.
    That sucks big time but such is the reality we live in. I don’t think Mr. Love is one bit guilty but in retrospect he shouldn’t have told the Thug he was calling the police. Better to keep that idea to himself and let Mr. Thug think he was just going to help him get the truck up.

    I don’t think that tactical mistake makes him liable but it would have gone differently if he’d dialed 911 on the cell when he wasn’t looking.

  23. avatar Kman says:

    The takeaway for most from both cases is don’t get involved.
    Don’t help, don’t intervene, don’t even witness.
    Let injuries lead to death.
    Let criminal acts go unanswered.
    Only react when it’s personal then police your brass, move on and STFU.

    Sad, but that’s going to be the result of overly zealous prosecution.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Whats next Debtors Prison?

      ..and this case is really starting to sound like a prosecutor trying to make a name for himself….is why I am a firm believer in having some type of legal defense membership such as ACLDN.

      How much debt does James Love have now? for defending himself against an drunk aggressor

  24. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    As I have said before, hand-to-hand training is an invaluable skill to possess. Especially, the grappling martial arts, BJJ, Sambo, Wrestling, etc., as most fights quickly revert to grappling and ground fighting.

    Age, size, and fitness play a HUGE factor in hand-to-hand fighting, but they can be neutralized with skill and proper application of technique. Even more so with a completely untrained opponent, regardless of how many T-shirt muscles they have…

    There are some portly 50’s to 60’s age black belts at my BBJ gym who regularly and easily tune my in-shape, mid-30’s a$$ up, because they are flat out better than. My youth and fitness are easily out matched by wit and skill.

    Obviously, I am huge proponent of being skilled with your hands and as well as with firearms.

    All that being said, Father Time is undefeated and eventually youth and fitness will prevail over skill. Same goes for multiple attackers. 5 on 1 only works out well for the 1 in the movies… in both those instances, the smoke wagon is truly the only option.

  25. avatar FedUp says:

    First degree murder, meaning he premeditated somebody crashing a car near his home and attacking him?

    He (the state’s attorney) should serve 30-60 years in Joliet for this one.

    1. avatar Hans says:

      How rite you are, Fedup. Nevertheless, it helf to
      sink his case against the defended. The state should
      paid for his legal fees. Mr Kerr, is a Commie and gun
      hater. Get the POS out of office.

  26. avatar Aaron says:

    IANAL, but it seems to me that the charge of premeditated murder is going to go no where.

    How could a person premeditate the circumstances in this case?

    in fact, when the landowner told the soon-to-be-deceased-drunk-driving-roid-raging cretin, uh, i mean “youth”, that he was going to call the cops, he kinda did the opposite of premeditated murder.

    HOWEVER, the landowner should have called cops before doing anything else, just to cover his ass.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      yup, acquitted. thought that would happen.

      IANAL but seems to me that the douchebag prosecutor did one fortuitous thing: he overcharged. he might have gotten a lower felony – manslaughter or such – through the courts.

  27. John, I’m looking forward to the next GSL meeting for a any further updates. I’d also like to donate to the person running against this assistant state’s attorney. He’s not protecting the people of his county in any way with this case. If he’s “for” the bad guys/punks he’s going to attract more of that sort to his county.

  28. avatar Gary L. Griffiths says:

    The real danger here is not that the jury will convict Love of 1st degree murder, but that they will fall into the “If he didn’t do SOMETHING wrong he wouldn’t have been charged” trap and convict him of manslaughter.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “He’s been found not guilty”

      Excellent, very excellent.

      1. avatar Hans says:

        Thank you, God!!!!

  29. avatar Touger says:

    Found not guilting after only 75min of deliberation.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      not guilt after only 75 minutes of deliberation is a clear sign the prosecutor should never have tried the case in the first place.

  30. “Not guilty” Wonderful! What a relief for him….and the good people of that county. Now, I hope there’s some consequences for that asst state’s attorney. Maybe getting fired? Losing an election? Keep us posted.

  31. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Another poor innocent aspiring rapper negro child gunned down by an evil old privileged white man wearing a MAGA hat.

  32. avatar Richard says:

    I am confused. ‘The law says we can only be tried once for he same crime. If a Grand Jury rejected the case i.e.: tried the cease, then how could the same charges be levied again? Seems to me the gun haters bend the law o suit them. Oh I know, they will claim it had to be a court trial. Ah, if a grand jury is not a court occurrence what is? I guess the lawyers move the laws around to suit themselves. And a case like this would put a feather in Kerr’s hat during an election. Hmmmm, no where in the constitution does it say anything about trying someone for political reasons. Maybe we ought to put that in somewhere. That way the lying politicians would be put in their place and their using innocent people tas stepping stones would cease.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Grand Juries are not trial processes. Generally, it is all accusation, and a plea to the GJ to agree that there is enough evidence to an arrest and arraignment for proper trial. At a Grand Jury, the potential defendant is rarely allowed to speak, and defense attorneys are barred from being in the proceeding, advising the potential defendant. However, most jurisdictions have a process where a DA (or equivalent) can simply file charges on their own.

      If every suspected criminal event were to be forced onto/int a GJ proceeding, those juries would be as backlogged as the court system itself. In many cases, evidence is presented to a GJ in an effort to avoid the DA from being subjected to claims of political influence. That is, the DA, for some reason, wants to be able to claim, “Not me, the Grand Jury handed down the indictment. This is not personal.”

      In any event, you are subject to arrest and trial for every jurisdiction involved, up to and including federal. The constitution is protecting a person from being tried for the exact crime, multiple times by the same jurisdiction. For instance, the DA loses before Judge Schmuckenheimer, and files the same charge again, hoping for a more sympathetic judge. Because of this double-jeopardy “thing”, judge shopping is done before the trial, unless the jurisdiction implements a strict, tamper-proof, random judge/trial selection process.

  33. avatar Mort says:

    Not Guilty! Next Case…

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