Crime Victims: Deadly Force vs. Self Defense

Cincinnati's is reporting on two recent incidents involving cases of property owners using a gun to protect themselves during robberies.

In each case, the prosecutor is working to decide if these two property owners were justified in using force.

From the story:

    The latest shooting took place at S&S Deli on Winton Road in Winton Place.

    A male suspect struck the owner with a soda can, wounding his head.

    Police said the owner then shot the suspect.

    Mae Allen from Winton Place said, "He was trying to run a business and keep the store in the neighborhood and someone tried to rob him. It's sad that it happened."

    Just a day before in Kennedy Heights, a man shot and killed 14 year old Quavale Kinnell after police said he tried stealing the man's car.

The story goes on to note that the use of force by the two crime victims is now under scrutiny.

    Mike Allen is a former prosecutor and current defense attorney.

    He said,"Most importantly you have to a bona fide belief that you are in fear of death or great bodily harm. This maybe problematic for the two cases that we've seen recently. Under Ohio law you have a duty to retreat to get your self out of the problem before you use deadly force."

    He believes the two cases would be difficult to try.

    "If either one of these two individuals is charged, I think the state may have a difficult time possibly getting a conviction because I think people in this community are fed up with crime and I think there would be some sympathy for the defendants in these cases. It might be a difficult case to get a conviction on."

Quite obviously all the facts are not known in these two cases, and we would caution anyone to rush to judgement based on a few words in news reports that can often turn out to be inaccurate or even flat-out incorrect.

Additional coverage:
Cincinnati Enquirer: Charges weighed in shooting

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