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View Poll Results: You're on the jury. Do you acquit or convict based on the story below?
Acquit. A man's home is his castle. 18 24.66%
Convict. Send him up the river. 44 60.27%
I can't serve on a jury. I'm crazy, I'm telling you. CRAZY! 11 15.07%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-04-2013, 12:49 PM  
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Murder or Castle Doctrine?

A case not too far from my hometown.

http://www.therolladailynews.com/app...8&refresh=true

Slaying case may hinge on property rights


STEELVILLE, Mo. ó James Crocker had grown weary of the partying canoeists and rafters who encroached on his neatly kept property along Missouri's Meramec River. When he caught a man about to relieve himself on a gravel bar by his yard last month, a nasty confrontation ensued that ended with one person dead and Crocker accused of killing him.

The case against Crocker is the latest to put a spotlight on "castle doctrine" laws, which allow the use of deadly force to protect property. Missouri is among at least 30 states that have enacted the statutes, which supporters say protect gun rights but others insist promote vigilantism.

Crocker's attorney, Michael Bert of St. Louis, said that Crocker was defending himself and his property.

"Here's a man in fear for his life and fearful he might suffer bodily injury," Bert said.

Prosecutors see it differently. Witnesses who testified at a hearing this month said Crocker was angry and raging, shooting into the crowd of people, narrowly missing two others before killing 48-year-old Paul Dart Jr. of Robertsville, Mo. Crocker has been charged with second degree murder.
Even some supporters of the doctrine say the violence seemed avoidable.

"The smart thing is to back away, and nobody seemed to be willing to do that," said Kevin Jamison, an attorney who lobbied for Missouri's castle doctrine bill as a member of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance.

Crocker, a 59-year-old plastics plant worker with long hair and a thick goatee, lives in a small white frame home on a shaded gravel road about eight miles west of Steelville, the self-proclaimed floating capital of the world. Tens of thousands of people come to the region every year to raft, canoe or kayak down the Meramec and nearby rivers.

Drinking is sometimes part of the outings, resulting in bawdy behavior that doesn't sit well with owners of land that touches the river. Many have complained for years about loud parties, trash left behind and crude behavior.

Herb Smelser, 77, who lives three houses down from Crocker, said it isn't uncommon to find people using his yard as a restroom. The problem was so bad, he said, that he let his grass grow high to discourage trespassers.
Crocker, though, kept his yard trim and tidy ó "like a park," Smelser said. To keep out the unwanted, Crocker posted "No Trespassing" and "Private Property" signs along the hill that slopes down to a gravel area along the meandering river.

On July 20, Dart, a carpenter, and around four dozen other members of an extended family gathered at a campground for their annual float trip along the Meramec. A few hours into the trip, Robert and Regina Burgess stopped their canoe on a gravel bar. Robert, who had drunk about three beers, decided to relieve himself, he testified at the preliminary hearing.

Crocker confronted Burgess and other members of the party. When happened then is in dispute, and will be a crucial part of the case.

Burgess and his wife testified that Crocker was immediately agitated and aggressive, firing two shots in their direction ó Robert said one hit the ground near his feet. Another bullet hit Dart in the face.

Burgess said it was only after Dart was shot that members of the party picked up rocks to defend themselves against Crocker, who was armed with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

"I'm standing there unarmed and the guy's got a gun," Burgess said.
Crocker didn't testify at the hearing, but his attorney gave a different account.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Bert said Crocker politely asked the float trip party to leave. "The response he got was angry and profane," Bert said.

Crocker and those in the float trip party argued over whether the gravel bar was public land or Crocker's. Eventually, the men picked up "softball-sized" rocks and began pelting Crocker, Bert said. He said Crocker suffered head injuries, then fired his gun to defend himself.

"When people say is this a case of the castle doctrine I say, 'yes, kind of,' but more importantly these people were armed with what I would consider weapons," Bert said.

Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper Joseph Peart testified that he saw no evidence that Crocker was injured.

Police said Crocker told them, "I just shot the one closest to me."

Whether or not the floaters were on Crocker's property may be an issue in the case since Missouri law isn't clear on where private property along a waterway begins. Some experts say it starts at the vegetation line; others say property rights extend to the center of a river or stream.

"That may be a critical question," said Jamison, of Kansas City, Mo. "If (Crocker) reasonably believed the man was on his property and he wasn't, I'm not sure that's enough."

Missouri's castle doctrine statute, enacted in 2007, gives residents a legal right to defend themselves and their property against intruders. Supporters of such laws cite a number of cases in which homeowners were able to fend off burglars or other criminals without fear of prosecution. But Florida's law gained notoriety after a neighborhood watch activist, George Zimmerman, fatally shot teen Trayvon Martin, and was acquitted of criminal charges.

A 2012 Texas A&M University study found that homicides ruled justifiable rose by 8 percent in states with "stand-your-ground laws.

In the Missouri case, Crawford County detective Zachary Driskill said he asked Crocker if he could have called police instead of taking matters into his own hands.

"I guess I could have, but it's my property and I was going to protect it," Crocker responded, according to case documents.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:28 PM   #136
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so you live along this lovely river spot, and assholes come along to party/****/piss on your property
get motion sensors that start playing the theme to Deliverance
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:58 PM   #137
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I do not think the sand bars are private property.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:08 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Psyko Tek View Post
so you live along this lovely river spot, and assholes come along to party/****/piss on your property
get motion sensors that start playing the theme to Deliverance
Meh just rig a system to dump a few pounds of baby ruths in the river whenever anyone floats bye.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:26 AM   #139
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Quote:
Crocker, a 59-year-old plastics plant worker with long hair and a thick goatee, lives in a small white frame home on a shaded gravel road about eight miles west of Steelville, the self-proclaimed floating capital of the world. Tens of thousands of people come to the region every year to raft, canoe or kayak down the Meramec and nearby rivers.
Quote:
On July 20, Dart, a carpenter, and around four dozen other members of an extended family gathered at a campground for their annual float trip along the Meramec. A few hours into the trip, Robert and Regina Burgess stopped their canoe on a gravel bar. Robert, who had drunk about three beers, decided to relieve himself, he testified at the preliminary hearing.
I love how the media try to paint the case.

I say this one ends with a hung jury.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:57 AM   #140
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from "A Summary or Missouri Water Laws"

Page 138 or PDF Page 152
Navigability

Of all instream water uses, navigation is the only one provided for and protected by the U.S. Constitution (the Commerce Clause). 17 All navigable
rivers are subject to public use for navigation. 18 The legal term for this is “navigational servitude.” Determination of navigability may be made several ways. 19 If a stream is navigable under federal determination, then the national government or the state government holds title to the streambed.

Page 142 or PDF Page 156
Boating and Recreation

The Missouri case of Elder v. Delcour, 269 S.W.2d 17 (1954) recognizes the public right of recreational navigation in all watercourses that have flow sufficient to float a recreational boat. 24 “Congress mandated that Missouri, ”wrote the court," like many Midwestern states created from federal territories, 25 must recognize free navigability by the public of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, their tributaries, and portages between them.” This provision was derived from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, art. IV, 1 Stat. 52 (1789)

I voted Murder.
The guy has a right to be pissed about boaters (Drunks) pissing on his property. Bringing a gun down to confront them wasn't the smartest thing.
Throwing rocks at a guy holding a gun wasn't smart. A round or two in a safe direction probably would of ended the rock throwing. IF it didn't and they continued to throw rocks. CALL the Police. IF the drunks follow you and continue to throw rocks. Dig more graves.
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Last edited by Craqhead; 09-05-2013 at 05:07 AM.. Reason: Too add my vote and reason for it
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #141
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He killed that guy. Instead of a pistol invest in a JYD.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:38 AM   #142
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He killed that guy. Instead of a pistol invest in a JYD.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:39 AM   #143
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Also when I think of Steelville MO I think of Archie Kehr Kelsos. He sold and fought that strain for 60+ years.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:43 AM   #144
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I'm serious. I'd assume this guy had lived at the same spot with the same bs for years.
A mean ass Cujo would have fixed his problem.

I cruised around lake arrowhead a while back and the amount of Cujo lookin hounds was astonishing.
I didn't think they had them type hounds to be hospitable.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:47 AM   #145
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I didn't think they had them type hounds to be hospitable.
They don't make screaming-mad-Deliverance-rednecks-with-shotguns for hospitality either.

Sounds like a float trip got a little too beer-brave with a guy who was a little less than stable...
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:08 AM   #146
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I'm serious. I'd assume this guy had lived at the same spot with the same bs for years.
A mean ass Cujo would have fixed his problem.

I cruised around lake arrowhead a while back and the amount of Cujo lookin hounds was astonishing.
I didn't think they had them type hounds to be hospitable.
Iím with you.
This is exactly why you approach a farm house around here slowly and in the least aggressive manner possible. Because itís guaranteed that there will be a pack of mostly feral dogs hanging around that will furiously guard their gravy train.
Jim and Resin Bowie were said to sleep with a pack of Catahoulaís at the foot of their bed. Thereís a reason for that.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:28 AM   #147
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Iím with you.
This is exactly why you approach a farm house around here slowly and in the least aggressive manner possible. Because itís guaranteed that there will be a pack of mostly feral dogs hanging around that will furiously guard their gravy train.
Jim and Resin Bowie were said to sleep with a pack of Catahoulaís at the foot of their bed. Thereís a reason for that.
I prefer pitbulls and anitolians. But yeah one that's about half wolf suits me and will keep the looky loos on the road.
The other part of the problem is that city people have zero ****in clue how to operate in the country.
Mother****ers move out here and think they got it made.
What they got is more money and pride than logic.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:57 AM   #148
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Years ago (like 20 or so), when I was much more into the partying aspect of floating, we were snorkeling around a hole, looking for big fish. We were fishing too. We found probably 15-20 Milwaukees Best beers that someone had dumped when their canoe tipped. We picked them up and threw them in our trash bag. Several hours later, some college aged gals came by all hammered and out of beer. They asked us if we had any extra. Of course, being the gentlemen we were, we told them "you bet, show us your tits". They did, and we promptly handed over the warm MB that we had found earlier that day. Ahhh, the good old days.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:26 AM   #149
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