Former Green Beret Innocent In 2015 Shooting Of Home Intruder

Bob Irwin highlights the latest self defense and other shootings of the week. Read them and see what went wrong, what went right and what we can learn from self defense with a gun.

Michael J. Galvin
Former Green Beret, Michael J. Galvin. Innocent In 2015 Shooting Of Home Intruder
Bob Irwin
Bob Irwin

USA –-( The Gazette (published since 1872) and ABC TV news in reported 06-26-2017 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a jury acquitted a Green Beret of negligent homicide for fatally shooting an intruder in his detached garage.

The encounter happened in a garage set back 25 feet from the shooter’s house after he saw his bicycle lying in the backyard and went back there to investigate.

Under Colorado’s Castle Doctrine, residents are permitted to use force against intruders, including deadly force, if they reasonably believe intruders intend to use “any degree” of force against them.

The prosecutor’s case hinged on interpretations of Colorado’s law, which provides legal protections to homeowners who use deadly force against intruders. Those protections are limited to “buildings usually used by a person for habitation.”

Defense attorneys argued that evidence showed the intruder “lunged” for the resident’s pistol in the dark, forcing the homeowner to defend himself. The intruder was shot three times in the back, allegedly as he tried to escape through the garage door.

The 35 year old defendant was found not guilty of the single count against him in the November 2015 death of the intruder after a two-week trial and a half day of deliberations.

The intruder lived in the neighborhood and was described as a troubled man who had turned his life around only to relapse into drug addiction and living on the streets.

“We believed in our case, we still believe in our case, and we respectfully disagree with the jury’s decision,” the prosecutor said.


I omitted lots of details here but this was a very, very close case! We have discussed the wide variations of Castle Doctrine details from State to State.

A second issue was, in the dark was it possible for the resident to see and react to the turning motion of the intruder.

The jury rejected both those prosecution claims.

Note: One apparently friendly juror showed up for closing arguments wearing a shirt that read “ARMY.”

Bob Irwin, Las Vegas

About Bob Irwin

Bob is retired after 30 years of ownership of The Gun Store & Indoor Range in Las Vegas. He continues his 2A issues show “Fired Up with Bob Irwin” on YouTube and on KSHP 1400 AM radio (Sunday mornings at 9 a.m.) As a firearm instructor of Concealed Firearm Applicants, Armed Security Officer and Law Enforcement Academies over his career, Bob appears frequently as an expert witness for firearm & use of force cases in Federal, State and local courts.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike Gilmer

DAs are elected. I bet this DA will have a hard time when he runs again (if he runs again).

Resistance is futile

If we made the DA’s office pay out of their budget anytime for losing any court cases that are punitive in nature, that might stop some of these stupid cases.


Colorado used to be a nice state but like khalifornia the A-holes running it are scumbags and have ruin it. The was no legitimate reason to file charges.


Wow! What’s happening in Colorado where a homeowner is charged with defending himself and his home. The homeowner engaged an intruder in the dark and in a garage likely filled with potential weapons. He would have reason to believe that there was more than one intruder. In my state, detached garages, shops, and other outbuildings count as the home, and intruder can be engaged with armed response. Maybe it’s time for Colorado State legislators to expand and clarify the law, and this prosecutor assume the role of ex-prosecutor.


Of course he’s innocent. The real crime is that he was charged in the first place. Now it is time to fire the State Prosecuting Attorney with all loss of pension & benefits and sue the State for harassment, lawyer fees, and emotional suffering. Then you can settle out of court for say, $10,000,000.00. And why not, they give millions to terrorists don’t they?


You can beat the rap but you can’t beat the ride. I wonder where he’s going to get the next half a million dollars. Attorneys suck but at least he’s not in prison.


I carry a note with me attached to my Gun permit that basically tells the LEO that As you may have experienced yourself, this is a stressful and traumatic experience for me. Therefore, I wish to make no further statements until I have contacted an attorney and composed myself. I also do not consent to any searches. I will cooperate fully once I have consulted with an attorney and calmed down. As a lawfully armed citizen , I ask for the same courtesy that you would show a fellow officer who was involved in a similar situation. Thank fully I… Read more »

Wild Bill

@rappi, Sounds like a good idea. At least it would give your attorney something to harp on at the exclusion hearing. Many trials are won and lost at the exclusion hearing. But like the great and often quoted, Texas philosopher Ron White once said, ” I might have had the Right to remain silent, but not the ability to.”

Jim Macklin

The people should remember and not re-elect this DA. The DA should pay the cost of the defense and damages for the years of suffering at the hands of a DA with {NJ, CA or where-ever] attitudes.

Samuel Stephens

Our society and our judicial are turned upside down. So many good guys trying to prove their innocent in court. It almost seems the bad guy being bad has more rights than the good has trying to defend himself. If the regular court system doesn’t get you the civil court will. If you shoot and kill a bad guy, some attorney with an axe to grind will try and lock you up for self defense, and on top of that the dead bad guys family can and probably will sue you. The family wil say “Willie Joe” wouldn’t do that,… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Samuel S, Welcome to the site. Your observations are correct. What are you willing to do about it?


One minor point I noticed in this writing, the perp lunged for resident and was shot in the back three times as he tried to run away. Possibly the shooting in the back brought the court action and over zellius prosecutor.

Jim Macklin

Dragging the body anywhere corrupts the crime scene and will get you convicted of murder, If you drag the body it appears you didn’t think you were justified and are trying to tell a physical lie. Any CSI will see the body was moved. The only time you should even touch the body is NEVER. Dial 911 and ask for police and ambulance for a gun shot. Let the police and EMTs be the first to go near the body and let them decide if dead or alive. Don’t even give first aid unless you are highly trained. A military… Read more »


“I tried CPR on the animal after i shot him. I jumped up and down on his chest and airway until I deemed there no response.”


Oldvet: I seriously doubt ANY police officer EVER told you that and if they did they should be fired and if you ever follow that advice you should go to jail for ten years for tampering with evidence. You never, under any circumstances, ever, tamper with evidence.


Okay, I get a little touchy about that stuff.

James Russell Bailey

@Vanns You really DO like riding that TALL EQUINE of yours, don’t you?!!! 40 years ago, I was visiting family in CA, my truck was broken into, and for insurance purposes, we had to call the cops. Asian cop, whom I had never seen before in my life, and after we had spoken for about 20 minutes, answered several of my questions about ‘self defense’ in CA, directly relating to break-ins in that area. He told me point blank, that if I ended up having to shoot someone in the home, if they did NOT have a weapon, go grab… Read more »

Wild Bill

@JRB, A low level bureaucrat, with no skin in the game and from a state not your own gives you advice forty years ago. Ok I believe it, but you would not follow it today would you? Food for thought.
More important all those other things are true, and we have to do something about it. What?

Chris Pilot

Proper jury NULLIFICATION. We need to have each others back.


Amen. If you don’t think that the opposition does it, you’re naïve.


Jury nullification is one of the most powerful and important tools at a jury’s disposal. It also is the one thing that most judges will forbid lawyers to discuss in any way, shape or form. If you believe a law is being unjustly applied you have an absolute right to find not guilty based on that. Just don’t ever let it be known that that is the reason why you are finding not guilty. Judges and prosecutors get very upset if, for example, they are prosecuting an otherwise law abiding citizen in, say, NJ, for illegally carrying a handgun and… Read more »

Ozark Muleskinner

I’m really glad the homeowner was found innocent. That being said, one does not have a RIGHT to defend property in many/most jurisdictions, just defense against death or serious bodily harm of one’s self, family or others under the same peril. Most SD situations are a quickly changing dynamic and you will live or die based upon your training, mindset and readiness. And, even if you are highly trained as can be assumed of this victim, you can probably count on legal and civil repercussions…especially if you are misfortunate enough to live in an area under the purvue of a… Read more »


We have a legal system where many DAs would prosecute Jesus, only concerned with a win to further their career and most defense attorneys would defend Satan, and use every trick they can to get him off

Wild Bill

, most defense attorneys are unskilled amateurs, that have never handled a complicated case. That attorney that would defend Satan … and uses every trick in the book… is someone that I want on retainer, if you happen to have his phone number handy!


If you think hiring or accepting an “attorney” is really in your best interest, you’ve obviously never looked up the definition of “attorn.” All that stuff about “representing your best interest” is a LIE! They’re FIRST AND FOREMOST, “Officers of the COURT” [EMPHASIS MINE] as I found out personally in Court a few years back. It’s all a SCAM!


What’s really troubling is he was on trial in the first place. When the safety of my family and friends is at stake, perp loses every time.

Jeff D.

Overzealous prosecutors as a rule are some of the biggest fuck-in assholes you will ever meet! What this guy should do is stalk him and give him a beating!

VE Veteran - Old Man's Club

“And another ones gone
And another ones gone,
Another one bites the dust.” – Queen

A man has a right to defend his life and property.

Reginald Hafner

The people in El Paso County Colorado believe in individual rights and armed self defense, this is not California or the Peoples Republic of Denver. They will slap down an overzealous prosecutor every time. You would think the dolts in the DAs office would understand that by now figuring the number of cases where the juries have came back with NOT GUILTY verdicts.


How many? I’m always leery of crowing about these types of cases because absent a law preventing prosecution (Utah) you run the real risk of encroaching liberalism, especially in States like Colorado.

Marc R

Good point. While the readers of articles such as these and other 2A cases are typically very friendly and supportive, we have seen the backlash and REAL violence and intolerance from the LEFT. Antifa anyone? The sad part is that they don’t even know what Antifa stands for, the history of the group or that as “peace loving Liberals who are supposed to be so tolerant and accepting of others” that they are the Most INtolerant and VIOLENT groups active today. So, even though we use the Constitution as the Authors intended, our pride in right decisions may awaken the… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Everybody above, Now that at the case is over, the people of that county need to go after the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor has set himself up as a petty tyrant, and now needs to be replaced.

VE Veteran - Old Man's Club

This is why I am waiting for the civil war part 2 to erupt. The Antifa buttsniffs are the domestic enemies of the Constitution of the United States and therefore my enemies. I took an oath to defend that Constitution and just because my time in uniform is over – my watch never ends, because that oath never expired. I always include the following saying, because we vets know it to be true! “For those that will fight for it…FREEDOM …has a flavor the protected shall never know.” Semper Fi! — L/Cpl Edwin L. “Tim” Craft, B Co 3rd AT’s,… Read more »

Wild Bill

@RH, the prosecutor needs to try cases to justify his position, number of subordinates, and his budget. If he is not trying cases then who needs him? Then he won’t be a player or a respected man. He might have to find a real job or eek out a living talking people into writing wills or doing poor peoples’ divorces.


This is good to hear, I live in Mesa County and many of the people believe in individual rights and that a drugged-up thief does not have the right to take your property. In a confrontation, it may be difficult to determine if a person has the intention to harm you. Additionally a criminal may do almost anything to get away, including hurting or killing you.