Shooting of Georgia Alzheimer’s Patient Reignites Stand Your Ground Debate

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A Georgia homeowner who shot and killed a 72-year-old man he thought was an intruder has reignited debate over controversial “stand your ground” laws.

A week after the slaying, a Georgia sheriff’s department is debating whether to take legal action in a case where one of the scrutinized self-defense laws may play a role in the prosecutor’s decision. Georgia’s “stand your ground” law dates back to 2006, and states that a person has no duty to retreat and can use deadly force if there is reason to believe their lives or property are endangered.

Local police said Ronald Westbrook, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, was lost and confused when he stepped onto Joe Hendrix’s porch and jiggled his door knob  just before 4 a.m. on Nov. 27. Hendrix, 34, was asleep in the house when Westbrook came knocking. Hendrix stepped onto his front lawn with a .40 caliber Glock pistol in his hand.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said that Hendrix “gave verbal commands. He yelled, ‘Who are you? What are you doing here?’” When Walker didn’t respond, Hendrix fired four shots. One hit Westbrook in the torso and killed him, Wilson said.

Unlike other recent cases that also sparked a nationwide debate on stand your ground laws — like in Detroit when a white man shot a young black woman on his porch and the closely scrutinized Trayvon Martin case in Florida last year — this one is void of racial overtones, as both men were white.

5 comments
LuvPV
LuvPV

What is the current status of this case?  Where can I find it to follow?  Was Hendricks charged? Sued? Pending?


Links please....


Thanks,

brotherstone427
brotherstone427

To those so ready to condemn this home defender and your neighbors,.
Please remember this truth,.

 Most every single horrific murderous home invasion recorded on camera for all to witness starts with an innocent knock on your door then a pause and another Innocent knock or ring of the bell.

Then with no warning the door is violently kicked in, or the window is bashed threw and your fight to try and stay alive starts.

Spencer60
Spencer60

Too bad for the author, and the gun control crazies, this case has nothing to do with 'stand your ground' laws in any state.

So called SYG laws have to do with self-defense outside your home. The laws related to home defense are called 'Castle Doctrine' laws, and go back to English common law, the basis for US law. 

At the end of the day though, all self defense law (irrelevant of 'stand your ground' or 'castle doctrine') looks at whether there was a  reasonable threat of death or grave bodily injury. 

It's going to be very hard for a 34 year old man to claim that he was required to use deadly force to keep a 70-year-old man from doing so. In short, he's probably going to jail. 

The gun control industry loves to try and use fear and confusion to push their agenda. In this case they want to install fear of unwarranted prosecution in those people who choose to defend themselves with firearms. 

Unfortunately for them, self defense laws have stayed the same for well over 400 years. They can scream all they want about 'stand your ground', but all that law does is explicitly state a principal of self-defense law that has always been present. 

The primary reason (and initial impetus' for SYG laws was to prevent prosecutors from ruining peoples lives by charging them with murder in cases that were clearly self-defense. 

This 'persecution through prosecution' forced people (usually working-class blacks) to 'plead out' to a lesser charge, simply because they couldn't afford to defend themselves in a murder trial, no matter how good their case was.

The average of $100,000 required to defend against these charges would put homes in foreclosure, drain retirement accounts dry, and end any chance of college. 

All because they had to use force to save their lives, or the lives of someone they love. 

Stand Your Ground laws prevent prosecutors from bringing charges in cases where the evidence clearly shows that legitimate self-defense was employed. 

They are called upon far more by lower-income blacks than any other demographic. 

Yet for some reason, the gun control lobby hates these laws, and wants to throw these people back into the pit with prosecutors who simply use them for scoring more 'wins' in court. 






AllenGinter
AllenGinter

@brotherstone427 Well, nto sure if my comment will be withheld as I posted the TRUTH as TIME botched it. THIS MAN WAS NOT THE HOMEOWNER......he was NOT defending anything. He called the police, the station is less than 1900 yards from this street, yet still went out side TWICE and shot the man. He shot him 3 times, went back in, called the police ,told them what he did, went back out and shot him a 4th time....SO, before you defend him, learn the real story. Mr. Westbrooke lived 4 houses up the road and was walking his dog and was RINGING THE DOORBELL........

LuvPV
LuvPV

Stand your ground nor Castle Doctrine is relevant.  No forceable entry.  I don't know about Georga, but few states allow you to use deadly force to PROTECT PROPERTY. 


There was NO FEAR for his life or he would not have exited his home.  He felt NOT Threatened because he was armed. 


The man armed himself.  Left the SAFETY of his home. And pursued Mr. Westbrook.  He went HUNTING.