• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Correct Decision By Judge?

Dragonfly

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
22,840
Reaction score
12,805
Location
East Coast - USA
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
WILMINGTON — A clothing store co-owner who took the law into his own hands and fatally shot a teen who had broken into his business and seriously wounded a second underage intruder, agreed to plead guilty today to manslaughter and a weapons charge.Lee A. Turner, 29, then co-owner of the Fly 365 stores in Wilmington and Dover, faces up to 50 years at sentencing in December but prosecutors have agreed to recommend no more than seven years of incarceration. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years.
Turner had originally faced first-degree murder and attempted murder charges.
Deputy Attorney General Ipek Medford said today prosecutors agreed to the deal given the law and the facts of the case. Medford said prosecutors believe Turner was reckless, as defined by state law, on June 17, 2012, when he shot and killed 15-year-old Naj’m Hickmond and wounded an 11-year-old boy that was with Hickmond.
In addition, Turner was a convicted felon with a criminal record who was prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. Turner, whose arrest record dated to when he was 14, had previously been convicted of aggravated menacing and weapons charges and several probation violations.
Because of court rules, prosecutors would not have been able to discuss Turner’s criminal background or the fact he was prohibited from having a gun with a jury had the case gone to trial as scheduled next month.
Medford said what happened at Turner’s Fly 365 store at 1510 W. Fourth St. around 5 p.m. was “a tragedy.”
Details of the shooting had been placed under seal by police and prosecutors at the time of Turner’s arrest. But in court today, Medford said there had been a string of burglaries at the Wilmington Fly 365 in the weeks and days leading up to the shooting, including several times on June 17, 2012. The store had been closed for several months but there were still clothes and other items inside.
Medford said Turner had been in New Jersey when he heard about the burglaries and returned to Wilmington.


When he was inside the West Fourth Street store cleaning up the mess burglars had left behind when they ransacked it, a group of people who had burglarized the business earlier in the day returned and broke in again through the back entrance, Medford said.
Turner reacted by killing one and shooting a second. “The defendant Lee Turner was reckless in his assessment of the necessity to use deadly force,” Medford told the judge.
It was unclear if the two boys were inside the store or outside the store when they were shot.
According to the unsealed affidavit of probable cause, Hickmond was shot once in the back and the 11-year old was shot twice in the mid-section and survived. Court papers indicate a group of at least five others could be seen on video fleeing from the scene.
The affidavit indicates Turner also fled the scene without calling police.
Turner’s attorney, Michael Heyden, said Turner had been surprised by the two intruders and is “very remorseful,” for what happened.
Heyden acknowledged his client had a criminal past but said he had turned his life around, was a father of two and had become a productive and valuable member of the community, having opened two clothing stores and secured contracts with several big name companies. Turner even led a coat drive in 2010 with United Way of Delaware and Delaware State University on the first anniversary of opening his Dover location.
Turner, dressed in a while prison clothes, did not speak in court beyond answering yes-or-no questions and admitting to the charges of manslaughter and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. accepted the guilty pleas, ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set Turner’s sentencing for December 6.
The shootings happened during a particularly violent week in Wilmington in 2012 where four people in the city were killed by gunfire over a five-day period, prompting calls for action from the community for a stepped-up police presence.


Is this the right way to proceed here?
Was it self defense?
Defending one's property?
Or is the fact that the shooter had a criminal past with restrictions against owning a gun all that matters?
Shot in back? Maybe not even inside store?

Thoughts?
 

CRUE CAB

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Messages
16,763
Reaction score
4,343
Location
Melbourne Florida
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Skimmed over it and I saw he shot someone with a gun, he is a convicted felon.
Sorry, I dont agree with 50 years in jail. But I knew the risks that comes with being a felon.
 

CanadaJohn

Canadian Conservative
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
28,635
Reaction score
20,383
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
There's an old adage that if you defend yourself while you are in the commission of a felony, you have no defense. From what you've posted above, the gentleman was prohibited from owning or possessing a gun. The fact that he had one in his possession when he was defending himself and his store makes his act the commission of a felony and when you are committing a felony and someone dies, you are subject to the murder and attempted murder charges.

I think the man is a fool and he should count his blessings that he was let off easy.
 

Kal'Stang

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
42,744
Reaction score
22,569
Location
Bonners Ferry ID USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
The fact that the one kid was shot in the back troubles me, i'd say he does deserve jail time for that. But to put that aside for just a moment this is actually one example of why I disagree with the laws about being a felon and not being able to own a gun. The guys life was being destroyed by multiple break ins and he doesn't have the right to protect it? It's BS. It's even more BS when you consider the fact that the guy was 14 when he received his felony conviction and had turned his life around to be a net benefit to society.
 

CRUE CAB

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Messages
16,763
Reaction score
4,343
Location
Melbourne Florida
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
In about 3.....2.....1..... there should be a stream of people, I could name a few, that will protest and say the man had a right even though he is a felon to do what he did.
Wow, he gave out coats. Well woopdie friggen do, John Gotti used to give out turkeys at thanksgiving.
 

HonestJoe

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
5,392
Reaction score
2,739
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Is this the right way to proceed here?
Was it self defense?
Defending one's property?
Or is the fact that the shooter had a criminal past with restrictions against owning a gun all that matters?
Shot in back? Maybe not even inside store?

Thoughts?
There is no "right" way to proceed in such cases, only the least worst. Three lives have been messed up already and nothing is going to change that.

The prosecutors and courts have made their decisions based on vastly more information than we have available but based on what little has been reported here, I don't see anything too out of kilter. It doesn't seem to have been self-defence and though it could have been defence of property, that wouldn't necessarily justify the use of deadly force. The fact someone was shot in the back and questions about exactly where they were shot would only weaken any defence case.

I'd say his past convictions are only relevant in the aspect of him not legally owning the gun (a situation that is open to debate but a legal fact at the moment). Unless there are aspects to previous offences that relate directly to new charges (which appears unlikely here), it shouldn't be considered.

As a side note, I couldn't help spotting the old media-scum trick of reporting the maximum possible sentence for the type of charges while ignoring all the circumstances that would inevitably reduce that. To suggest this man ever really faced a 50 year sentence is a flat-out lie and in this example, it is at least blatantly obvious. I only mention it because I've seen at least one reply here by someone caught out by the trick.
 

Dragonfly

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
22,840
Reaction score
12,805
Location
East Coast - USA
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
As a side note, I couldn't help spotting the old media-scum trick of reporting the maximum possible sentence for the type of charges while ignoring all the circumstances that would inevitably reduce that. To suggest this man ever really faced a 50 year sentence is a flat-out lie and in this example, it is at least blatantly obvious. I only mention it because I've seen at least one reply here by someone caught out by the trick.

In the same sentence as the "maximum of 50 years comment" the article states:

prosecutors have agreed to recommend no more than seven years of incarceration. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years.
So what's so "media scum" about it?

Other than maybe some people didn't bother to read the whole thing?
 

Sherman123

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
7,774
Reaction score
3,790
Location
Northeast US
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I think we vastly underestimate how devastating even a moderate prison sentence could be. Given the circumstances I'd wish for no more than 1-3 years in prison and a heavy monitoring agreement.
 

HonestJoe

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
5,392
Reaction score
2,739
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
So what's so "media scum" about it?

Other than maybe some people didn't bother to read the whole thing?
Of course I read the whole thing. My point is that there is no legitimate reason to mention the 50 year figure at all. It's become such common practice for the media to report the sum of the maximum sentences for the class of charges brought even though it almost never has any reflection in reality. They obviously couldn't help themselves despite having the blatant contradiction in the very next phrase. They don't normally have the contradiction and so it is much more effective spin. I picked it out because it makes for a clear example of common bad practice.
 

Dragonfly

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
22,840
Reaction score
12,805
Location
East Coast - USA
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
Of course I read the whole thing. My point is that there is no legitimate reason to mention the 50 year figure at all. It's become such common practice for the media to report the sum of the maximum sentences for the class of charges brought even though it almost never has any reflection in reality. They obviously couldn't help themselves despite having the blatant contradiction in the very next phrase. They don't normally have the contradiction and so it is much more effective spin. I picked it out because it makes for a clear example of common bad practice.
I never said "you" didn't read the whole thing.

The legitimate reason might be because it's a fact.

I think you're blowing those few words way out of proportion.
 

Dooble

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
2,325
Reaction score
311
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Is this the right way to proceed here?
Was it self defense?
Defending one's property?
Or is the fact that the shooter had a criminal past with restrictions against owning a gun all that matters?
Shot in back? Maybe not even inside store?

Thoughts?
The store owner should have simply asked the intruders to leave and then billed them for damages later.

-- The Left
 

CRUE CAB

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Messages
16,763
Reaction score
4,343
Location
Melbourne Florida
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
There is no "right" way to proceed in such cases, only the least worst. Three lives have been messed up already and nothing is going to change that.
Sure there is a right way.
He was in possession of a firearm.
He is a felon.
What is the problem?
 

HonestJoe

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
5,392
Reaction score
2,739
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
The legitimate reason might be because it's a fact.

I think you're blowing those few words way out of proportion.
It isn't a fact though. Even without the prosecution recommendations, there was literally zero chance of him being sentenced to 50 years imprisonment. Even if it could happen, it would be grossly inconsistent with previous sentences for similar offences so immediately overturned on appeal. The only reason for including it in the article is because a 50-year sentence is more dramatic than a 5-year sentence and drama sells more papers and/or gets more hits. It's ultimately all about money.

I only added this as an interesting aside because, as I said, the fact they mentioned the prosecution recommendation makes it ridiculously clear how dishonest the practice of reporting the sum of maximum sentences as a possibility is. I'm not really blowing it out of proportion though I do believe casual dishonesty in the media is quite important. I honestly didn't want to derail the thread though.
 

HonestJoe

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
5,392
Reaction score
2,739
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Sure there is a right way.
He was in possession of a firearm.
He is a felon.
What is the problem?
Sure, but that doesn't solve anything. The dead are still dead, the injured are still injured and his life is just as messed up. I can't see such a no-win situation as having a right way. That's not the same as saying the outcome is wrong, I'm just not willing to celebrate it.
 

P. Kersey

Banned
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
324
Location
30n x 90w
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Seems so simple. Just say he took the gun away from one of them in a scuffle and turned it on them when they attacked him.
 

CRUE CAB

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Messages
16,763
Reaction score
4,343
Location
Melbourne Florida
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Sure, but that doesn't solve anything. The dead are still dead, the injured are still injured and his life is just as messed up. I can't see such a no-win situation as having a right way. That's not the same as saying the outcome is wrong, I'm just not willing to celebrate it.
No celebration at all.
Just the law is what it is and people have to live by them or get them changed.
I dont know that states laws on restoraton of rights, but before he armed himself in that way. Maybe he should have looked into that.
 

CRUE CAB

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 21, 2013
Messages
16,763
Reaction score
4,343
Location
Melbourne Florida
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Seems so simple. Just say he took the gun away from one of them in a scuffle and turned it on them when they attacked him.
Happened just that way down the street from me.
Renter came home and his land lord was searching the home.
Landlord pulled a gun and renter took it and shot him in the face during the struggle.
Renter was a felon. Was not charged.
 

Dragonfly

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
22,840
Reaction score
12,805
Location
East Coast - USA
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
Seems so simple. Just say he took the gun away from one of them in a scuffle and turned it on them when they attacked him.
They attacked him by running away (shot in the back)....and possibly outside of the store itself?????
 

P. Kersey

Banned
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
324
Location
30n x 90w
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
They attacked him by running away (shot in the back)....and possibly outside of the store itself?????
possibly?
"Possibly" they were attacking him outside the store.
Wild shots in self defense when being attacked can hit anybody anywhere. Accidents happen.

Better than pleading guilty in this instance.
 

Dragonfly

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
22,840
Reaction score
12,805
Location
East Coast - USA
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
possibly?
"Possibly" they were attacking him outside the store.
Wild shots in self defense when being attacked can hit anybody anywhere. Accidents happen.

Better than pleading guilty in this instance.

The 11 year old was surely a threat to his life.... :roll:
 

P. Kersey

Banned
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
324
Location
30n x 90w
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
The 11 year old was surely a threat to his life.... :roll:
11 years old and participating in a burglary...lovely...
...accidents happen when one is being robbed and attacked...too bad.
Look..it's irrelevant..the case is over with...
 

Dragonfly

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
22,840
Reaction score
12,805
Location
East Coast - USA
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
Robbery and "being attacked" are two very different things.

It's pretty obvious the shooter was not being attacked. It's also pretty obvious the kids robbing his store were trying to run away when shot and NOT attacking him.

I'm guessing since the shooter took the plea the evidence is STRONGLY against him.
 

P. Kersey

Banned
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
324
Location
30n x 90w
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Robbery and "being attacked" are two very different things.

It's pretty obvious the shooter was not being attacked. It's also pretty obvious the kids robbing his store were trying to run away when shot and NOT attacking him.

I'm guessing since the shooter took the plea the evidence is STRONGLY against him.
I'd say robbery is an attack but whatever...

for pete's sake..I said he should have tried a different tack than pleading guilty and made a hypothetical suggestion of how he could have said he wrestled the gun from one of the robbers and shot him in self defense...a HYPOTHETICAL alternative to saying "Hi officer, I'm a convicted felon and this is my gun and I killed them on purpose"...jeeminy christmas..
 

Dragonfly

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
22,840
Reaction score
12,805
Location
East Coast - USA
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Centrist
I'd say robbery is an attack but whatever...

for pete's sake..I said he should have tried a different tack than pleading guilty and made a hypothetical suggestion of how he could have said he wrestled the gun from one of the robbers and shot him in self defense...a HYPOTHETICAL alternative to saying "Hi officer, I'm a convicted felon and this is my gun and I killed them on purpose"...jeeminy christmas..
So you're all in favor of convicted felons telling lies to cover up killing children with illegally obtained guns? Nice.

Also I'm guessing the shooter didn't say anything like you suggest to the cops based on this:

The affidavit indicates Turner also fled the scene without calling police.
 

P. Kersey

Banned
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
324
Location
30n x 90w
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
So you're all in favor of convicted felons telling lies to cover up killing children with illegally obtained guns? Nice.

Also I'm guessing the shooter didn't say anything like you suggest to the cops based on this:
I read every word of the story. Keep reading post #23 until you're able to comprehend.
*pro tip* look up hypothetical.

I know what was reported to have happened. You're just running in circles and at this point you can run by yourself.
 
Top Bottom