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No Justice For Stolen Pumpkin  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3403 times:

More evidence (as if we really even needed any) that the Bleeding Hearts have sunk their claws in way too deep.

As far as I am concerned, this was a justifiable homicide. The fact that it was merely a "$20 piece of plastic" is irrelevant. Theft is theft. And when it takes place on another persons property or household, that elevates the crime to burglary status, which is a felony.

So now all of you anti gun fanatics, please answer the following questions for me:

1. Where were this teenagers parents?

2. Why was this kid stealing?

3. What business did this kid have on this mans property?

4. If he had stolen a car, or attempted to assault the homeowner, would that have been more justified grounds for the shooting?

4. If you answered "yes" to above #4, does that mean that some forms of theft are "acceptable"? Why?

5. Why is this homeowner a criminal for wanting to protect what is rightfully his? What is he supposed to do? Let the kids take whatever they want, and then stand out in the street and wave his fist?


Here is the link:

http://www.ocregister.com

And here is the story:

A Buena Park homeowner who killed a teen over a stolen Halloween decoration was convicted Friday of voluntary manslaughter, ending an emotionally draining case that took three juries to decide.

Pete Tavita Solomona, 51, faces up to 11 years in prison when sentenced July 12.

The tragic tale of a gun owner intent on protecting his property and a teen shot through the brain for taking a $20 piece of plastic while cruising a neighborhood with friends made national news when it erupted 2 1/2 years ago.

After the verdict, both sides were somber.

"I know he's very disappointed," a weeping Fui Solomona said of her husband.

The Oct. 18, 1999, shooting of Brandon Ketsdever, 17, was an accident, defense attorney Milton Grimes had said.

Solomona's gun went off when he walked up to Ketsdever's car and hit his hand on the door, he said.

"Pete Solomona did not commit a crime," Grimes said.

Ketsdever's relatives were hoping for the maximum conviction of second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of 15 years to life.

Still, they felt some relief.

"(Solomona) is a murderer, he will always be a murderer, but at least we got some justice for Brandon today," said Jon Ketsdever, Brandon's father.

Jurors said deliberations were emotional and that they spent a lot of time debating the legal differences between second- degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

The first jury convicted Solomona of second-degree murder, but a judge threw the decision out on a technicality.

A second jury failed to reach a verdict. Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Carlisle-Raines praised the third jury.

"They didn't try to pass the buck," she said.




23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAviatsiya.ru From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3386 times:

More evidence (as if we really even needed any) that the Bleeding Hearts have sunk their claws in way too deep.

Rather be a bleeding heart than brain dead  Insane

This is why some Americans are so screwed up in the head that they don't even realise it.

This kid was killed over a $20 decoration. He never put the lives of the family in danger; the family was never put at threat.

Theft is no reason to kill anyone. Yes, use force to protect your property. Deadly force is someone in the family is in danger. But not over a $20 halloween decoration.


User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3385 times:

As I expected, rather than answer the questions I asked, you started on with how "that is no excuse".

Well, I beg to differ.


So.... Can you please answer questions 1-5?


User currently offlineAviatsiya.ru From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3378 times:

1. Where were this teenagers parents?

Dunno, do you know? Is this reason enough for the kid to have been shot in the head?

2. Why was this kid stealing?

We used to do stuff like this as kids as well. Yes, it is stealing, but kids will do stupid things. Still, not reason enough for him to be shot dead.

3. What business did this kid have on this mans property?

Trespass is not a reason for him to be shot dead!

4. If he had stolen a car, or attempted to assault the homeowner, would that have been more justified grounds for the shooting?

The answer is NO!! Unless of course the assault is one in which the homeowner really thought his life was in danger. And even then, this is no excuse for the kid to be shot dead...maybe injured slightly....but not killed.

4. If you answered "yes" to above #4, does that mean that some forms of theft are "acceptable"? Why?

Didn't answer yes, so I will skip this rubbish.

5. Why is this homeowner a criminal for wanting to protect what is rightfully his? What is he supposed to do? Let the kids take whatever they want, and then stand out in the street and wave his fist?

Because the law does not allow you to kill people for small theft. In fact, no theft. Only if the home occupant's life was in danger. The kid may have stood out in the street and waved his fist, but this is still no reason to take his life.

Like I said...brain dead!


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29812 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3373 times:

The teenagers obviously was brain dead, both before and after he got shot.


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3367 times:

In all fairness, there wasn't really enough detail in the story to draw a conclusion. I suspect since this happened in Matt D's hometown, he has been keeping up on the story. I agree no one should be shot over theft, but did the man not know the kid's intentions? Perhaps he felt his family WAS in danger. Even approaching the car, if someone were after my family, I wouldn't want to give them a second try. I'd attempt to stop them as they flee. If threatened at the car, then the man has the right to defend himself. If he merely chased the kid down to punish him for stealing and then shot him, then I would even think 2nd degree murder would be in order, but there's no detail in the story about the confrontation.

To answer the questions:
1). Excellent question. I don't know the answer.

2). Same as above.

3). He had no business on the man's property. None!

4). Justified in shooting for stealing a car? no. Assaulting you? yes.

5). Matt D, I think he has the right to protect his family with deadly force. But I think he should use reasonable force (i.e. not killing) to protect the property outside his home. (Inside the home is an automatic threat to the family). But even outside the home, the jury should give the man the benefit of the doubt on whether or not the homeowner felt his family is in danger. If someone is lurking on my porch and I'm uncertain of his intentions, I will feel my family is in danger, so deadly force IS justified indeed, however, if I realize the kid is just stealing something with no intention of entering my house, then I would put the gun away call the police.

There is a similar case that went the other direction. This one had been featured on one of the weekly network documentaries. The man was a Naval officer (if memory serves) and the teenager had shot a rock through the man's window with a slingshot. Upon being suddenly awakened, the man said he thought it was a gunshot (which in court was proven that the noise level resembled a gunshot). The man approached the group in the car with gun drawn. The kid quickly held his hand up as if to tell him man not to shoot, but the man mistook the gesture as the kid pulling a weapon. He shot and killed the kid. The man was acquitted for justified homicide for self-defense. After seeing details of the evidence, I agreed with the verdict.



"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3361 times:

I think my approach is more two-sided...  Smile

1. I have no idea...but they shouldn't be expected to hold his hand while he goes trick-or-treating.

2. Probably for a little fun, maybe he was "dared".

3. Absolutely none.

4. Yes, entirely! Stealing a 20$ decoration was in no way putting the life of Mr. Solomona in danger. The kid didn't inflict any damage to the property, other than his small theft, or threaten Mr. Solomona... If the kid had assaulted Mr. solomona, possibly putting his life in danger, I would have been perfectly fine with him using his weapon to protect himself.

4. It's not a question of wether they are acceptable or not, its a question of what type of punishment by law and justice they merit. Saying that a teen should be given the penalty of death for stealing something worth 20$ is like returning to the middle ages, when a person who stole a loaf of bread would be hanged. Are you saying that the kid deserved the same punishment as that of Timothy Mc. Veigh?



5. This homeowner did not use his best moral judgement when taking the law into his own hands. He was never at any point in danger, or at any risk, and further more, the kid was not armed...Mr. Solomona could have grabbed the kid, or written down the liscense plate number of the car, or (i would have been ok with this) hit the kid. He could have evn shot his gun off to show he wasn't in the mood to have kids stealing stuff from his house. He could have called the cops. Or shot the tires of the car, maybe the windsheild. Or even as a last resort, shot the kid in the leg...but in the brain? If your a good gunman, you have good aim.

-Clovis





User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3358 times:

Message to Teens: Don't FU*K around!

User currently offlineAvion From Bouvet Island, joined May 1999, 2205 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3354 times:

I agree 100% with Clovis. From what me know Mr. Solomona had no reason to suspect that his life is in danger and therefore the decision was correct.

Tom


User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3349 times:

While there is little debate about using deadly force to protect yourself (I think we can agree that self defence--appropriately meausured, is justifiable), there is ongoing debate about using deadly force to protect property.

I don't think the homeowner was justified in shooting, let alone killing over any 'item' unless the owner's were at risk or threatend with harm.

I imagine the kid's parents will now file a civil suit for wrongfull death.




User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 6 months 4 days ago) and read 3342 times:

This is from the Los Angeles Times May 25, 2002 :

By Monte Morin, Times Staff Writer
A Buena Park man accused of killing a teenage neighbor who stole a Halloween decoration from his front porch was convicted Friday of voluntary manslaughter by a jury that concluded the shooting was an accident, not murder.

Prosecutors had sought a second-degree murder verdict against Pete T. Solomona, saying he shot his 17-year-old neighbor in a rage over having his plastic pumpkin stolen. The jury, however, said it believed Solomona's story that the gun went off by accident.

Jurors, some of whom said they cried during the deliberations, believed in the end that Solomona didn't intend to kill the teen. "This was a terribly, terribly tragic accident," juror Bonnie Livingston said. "I'm very sad for all the families involved in this. My heart just cries out for them."

Solomona returns to court in July for sentencing before Judge Richard F. Toohey. He faces up to 11 years in prison. Had he been convicted of murder, Solomona would have faced life in prison.

The shooting received national attention, and three successive juries struggled to decide a fair verdict for Solomona. The teen's family expressed disappointment at the decision but hoped that it will finally allow them to put the events of Oct. 18, 1999, behind them.

"It's not what we wanted, it's not what he deserved, but at least we got some justice here today for our son," said Jon Ketsdever, father of the slain boy.

Brandon Ketsdever was 17 and a popular high school athlete at John F. Kennedy High School. He was pulling pranks with a group of friends one night when Solomona confronted the group in the street outside his home. Solomona, who carried a .357 magnum revolver, told jurors that he was banging the gun against the roof of Ketsdever's car, trying to get the boy's attention, when the gun went off. Prosecutors alleged that Solomona fired at Ketsdever in a rage.

Solomona, who is also popular in the neighborhood, sat with his head bowed as jurors read the verdict. His wife, Fui, wiped away tears as bailiffs led Solomona to a courthouse holding cell.

"I was expecting a not-guilty verdict," she said. "I know my husband is disappointed too. He wants to be with his family."

Solomona, 51, was convicted of murder at his first trial, but a judge threw that decision out, citing errors in jury instructions. A second trial, in December, ended in a hung jury.

At his third trial, jurors deliberated four days before reaching a decision. Deputy Dist. Atty. Carolyn Carlisle-Raines said the repeated trials made the case difficult to prosecute. "It's always hard for witnesses to have to come into court over and over again," she said. "I am glad for the family that there's been a resolution."

However, defense attorney Milton Grimes said he would file papers asking for another trial, alleging misconduct on the part of prosecutors and disagreements over jury instructions. Grimes said the misconduct involved argumentative behavior and mischaracterization of facts--charges that a prosecutor called "ridiculous."

"I and the family were clearly expecting a not-guilty verdict," Grimes said. "Pete Solomona did not commit a crime; he committed a mistake in judgment."

Prosecutors said that even if Solomona had not intended to kill Ketsdever, he showed criminal intent by confronting the boy with a loaded weapon.

Unlike previous juries, panelists on Friday said they avoided taking informal polls during deliberations for fear that jurors would cement their opinions and "dig in their heels," jury foreman Richard Sellers said.

Although jurors felt that Ketsdever's death was an accident, that was not the basis of their verdict. Their instructions asked them to consider whether Solomona's actions were so dangerous that they could be expected to cause death.

"Nobody on that group felt that he intended to kill Brandon Ketsdever or that he wanted to kill Brandon Ketsdever," Sellers said.

In the wake of the shooting, Ketsdever's parents, Jon and Jessie, have separated, and relatives say it has been all but impossible for them to move on with their lives. "We've all been living in hell," said Jeff Ketsdever, the boy's uncle.

Solomona's family said they too have suffered. "It's been very difficult. His family wants him home," Fui Solomona said of her husband. "It's been difficult financially too. My husband has lost his job, and we've lost our home."


I still believe in what I said.  Smile


User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3317 times:

even if the kid had stolen the guys car it would have been wrong to shoot him. The punishment is way to weak. This man deserved a second degree murder charge. Just b/c the kid stole something does not justify killing him. A plastic pumkin or even a car for that matter, can be replaced. A life cannot. I am out raged and this for me is yet another reason why we need to be stricter in the US when it comes to who can have a gun... or if any one at all should have a gun.

User currently offlineRadarbeam From Canada, joined Mar 2002, 1310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3304 times:

I wonder if the dude would have shot his son if he had caught him stealing a 20$ bill in his wallet. More seriously though, the law does have certains level of "acceptability" regarding stealing, you won't get jailed fro stealing a pumpkin however you will most probably for stealing a car. People also have to use common sense (something which was lacking in the guy's mind) to judge of the action you need to take in order to stop someone stealing.

I worked for 2 years in a convenience store, where at least twice a week I would have some punk kid trying to steal beer from the fridge, I would walk over and ask them to open their jacket, most of them cooperated, some didn't and I just gave them a little scare. Should I have had to shot them? I also had some 5 or 6 years old putting some candy in their pocket, I told them to come over and told them what they did is a no-no. Maybe I should have shot them too? Where do you draw the line Mr D?

Radarbeam


User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3282 times:

From what I understand here, the shooting was an ACCIDENT on the part of the Mr. Solomona. Accoording to the article, he didn't have the intention to shoot the kid, he probably just wanted to scare him.
-Clovis


User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3280 times:

As a handgun owner.... I take the responsability seriously.

I will only take a life if my life or a member of my families life is in imminent danger.

I wouldn't think twice abiut it.

This moron was an irriesponsible gun owner, just as there are irresponsible drivers who get behind the wheel of an automobile.

You NEVER present a weapon until you are commited to killing whatever you point it at.

It is not a threat tool, or an attention getter.

There are responsibilites that go along with gun ownership.... responsibilities that you NEVER take lightly.

The sentence seems fitting.

JET


User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3275 times:

Well Matt, we answered your questions, what do you think?

-Clovis  Smile


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29812 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3270 times:

Who is the bigger moron, the kid with the pumpkin or the guy who owned the pumpkin?


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineRadarbeam From Canada, joined Mar 2002, 1310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3264 times:

Apparently the guy who owned the pumpkin.

User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3253 times:

Both...the kid was a moron for doing stupid practical jokes, the guy was stupid for not knowing how to use his gun...

User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16335 posts, RR: 56
Reply 19, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3243 times:

Matt D, cold-blooded murder FAR FAR EXCEEDS petty theft by a teenager.

Private ownership of guns should be banned in the US. Until then, more innocent and relatively innocent citizens will be killed.




Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 20, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

We should also ban cars because there are plenty of people drinking and driving.....

GET REAL.

JET


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29812 posts, RR: 58
Reply 21, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3225 times:

What about doctors, we should ban doctors.

They kill far more people through malpractice every year then guns do.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3223 times:

Yyz, banning guns isn't the answer. They also save lives. Don't forget about that part of the equation. If this guy hunted the kid down and blew his brains out for revenge, then HE should be banned from society. I wasn't sitting in the courtroom, nor a witness, so I don't know if it was an accident or not.


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16335 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3220 times:

Banning guns is indeed the answer JetService. Canada has very strict gun laws and hence has only about 5-10% the per capita rate of gun ownership that the US does.

Fewer legit guns = fewer guns stolen & fewer guns in circulation = fewer gun deaths.

Canada is every bit the frontier society that the US is, and yet our restrictive gun laws ensure virtually no Canadians die from gunshot.

Regards
Neil/Toronto





Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
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