CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. The Defendant, Don Ceballos (Defendant), was convicted by a jury of assault with a deadly weapon, when the victim, who was trying to break into the Defendant’s premises, was hit by a trap gun mounted in the defendant’s garage.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A person is not justified in using deadly force to protect his property from burglary.
When these do not reasonably create a fear of great bodily harm there is no cause for the exaction of a human life.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Is a person entitled to use deadly force to prevent a burglary that did not threaten death or serious bodily harm?
Held. No. Mechanical devices are without mercy or discretion. Therefore, while a person who is present may use deadly force under certain circumstances, a deadly mechanical device is unacceptable, especially where, as here, the burglars were unarmed.
Discussion. Mechanical devices may never be used for the protection of property.