A homeowner in Foley, Alabama, had to use deadly force to defend himself from a home invader who first broke into his home and then threatened to take his life. The incident occurred on the morning of Tuesday, June 11, at around 11:10 am.
That is when Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the residence, where they found an unarmed and unharmed homeowner and a deceased would-be burglar dead at the scene of the alleged crime. The deputies were responding to a burglary call and were told, en route, that the homeowner had shot the intruder. The intruder was identified as Noah Hastings, a native of Foley, Alabama.
The homeowner and other witnesses at the scene told the BCSO deputies that Hastings had broken into the house, which three adults and five small children occupied at the time of the unlawful entry. The homeowner, one of those three adults, armed himself and demanded that Hastings leave the home.
Hastings did so and walked out, though he then walked into the home’s front yard and began destroying property. While destroying the property in the front yard, he threatened to murder the homeowner. At that point, the homeowner said that he feared for his life and the safety of his family members, as he felt the threats Hastings was making were credible. So, because of that fear, he shot the intruder.
The sheriff’s office has not filed charges against the homeowner, though the office said that it will turn the investigation over to a grand jury when the investigation is complete to see if a charge or charges are warranted in the case.
The homeowner likely has Ala. Code 1975, § 13A-3-23. It allows the use of “deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person” in certain scenarios. Those scenarios include when the person using the deadly physical force “reasonably believes that another person” is “Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force” or is “Using or about to use physical force against an occupant of a dwelling
while committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling.”
Another scenario given by the code for when the use of deadly force is permissible is when the person against whom the deadly force is used is “In the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered, a dwelling, residence, business property, or occupied vehicle, or federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is in the process of sabotaging or attempting to sabotage a federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is attempting to remove, or has forcefully removed, a person against his/her will from any dwelling, residence, business property, or occupied vehicle when the person has a legal right to be there, and provided that the person using deadly physical force knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act is occurring.”
Further, the law provides that “The defendant does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his/her ground so long as he/she is justified in using deadly physical force and is not engaged in an illegal activity and is in a place where he/she has a right to be located.”
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