Ever since he fatally shot two men he suspected of burglarizing his next-door neighbor’s home, 62-year-old Joe Horn has been both praised and vilified for his actions.
Horn called 911 and told the dispatcher he had a shotgun and was going to kill the intruders. The dispatcher pleaded with him not to go outside, but a defiant Horn confronted the men with a 12-gauge shotgun and shot both in the back.
Some community activists wanted Horn to face charges for the deaths. Supporters of the retired grandfather said what he did was justified under the law.
After listening to evidence in the case, including testimony from Horn himself, a grand jury on Monday cleared him of the shootings.
“He wasn’t acting like a vigilante. He didn’t want to do it,” said Tom Lambright, Horn’s attorney.
Lambright said Horn was not a “wild cowboy” who took the law into his own hands after he saw the two suspected burglars, with bags in hand, crawling out of windows from his neighbor’s home on Nov. 14 in the Houston suburb of Pasadena. The neighbor was out of town at the time.
In the following video MSNBC’s Dan Abrams is joined by Houston attorney Brian Wice and defense attorney Nicole De Borde to discuss if the man should have been indicted.
(with wire reports)
This video is from MSNBC’s Verdict, broadcast June 30, 2008.