Law

Defense o f Habitation

You are a detective in charge of investigating a homicide that involves a homeowner who shot and killed an alleged burglar. During an in-office interview, the homeowner gave you an oral and written statement indicating that he shot the burglar when he came at him with a knife after the homeowner discovered him in the kitchen. The homeowner states that he was afraid for his own safety and for that of his family, who were also at home during that time. You discover from the state data bank that the deceased victim had an extensive record of committing burglaries and fencing stolen property, but no record of violent crime. The day before the case against the homeowner is to be presented to the grand jury with a possible recommendation for dismissal, you receive some startling information. Apparently the homeowner lied, because his family was not present in the house on the night of the burglary, and the decedent’s fingerprints were not on the knife that he allegedly brandished in his bare hands on the night of the alleged attempted burglary.

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Do you bring this information to the attention of the district attorney or let the case go to the grand jury without it? Why?

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