Citation. 12 Cal. 3d 470, 526 P.2d 241,116 Cal. Rptr. 233, 1974 Cal. 240.
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.
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.