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  1. #1
    irishmick's Avatar
    irishmick is offline Do not mistake my kindness for weakness.
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    Oregon Man Gets 19 Months For Killing Intruder

    Oregon man gets 19 months for killing intruder | Local News | kgw.com | News for Portland Oregon and SW Washington

    Oregon man gets 19 months for killing intruder

    08:16 AM PDT on Sunday, August 9, 2009

    By Associated Press

    ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A Southern Oregon man who killed an intruder last year has been sentenced to 19 months in prison.

    A manslaughter charge carrying a minimum sentence of six years was dropped as part of the plea agreement with 35-year-old Keith Cramer of Sutherlin. He had pleaded no contest to a lesser charge and was sentenced Friday.

    Cramer shot Michael Shane Smith, an Alaska man in Sutherlin to be near his dying mother.

    Cramer's family found Smith sleeping on a couch in their house and summoned Cramer from a bar. Shortly afterward, he called police to report the shooting.

    Prosecutors said Oregon law does not allow people to use deadly force, even in their own homes, unless the intruder is committing a felony, and Smith was trespassing, which isn't a felony.
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  2. #2
    Cidp24's Avatar
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    I had to read that one a couple of times. Confusing writing and NOT the whole story of the shooting, I suspect.
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  3. #3
    JSO85360's Avatar
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    Was he invited into the house? If he wasn't invited, then it could be considered home invasion if he forced his way into the house, and that would be a felony, and he very well could be shot. But as Cidp24 said, what's the rest of the story? Why was his mother there? Not enough information to really make a good evaluation.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSO85360 View Post
    Was he invited into the house? If he wasn't invited, then it could be considered home invasion if he forced his way into the house, and that would be a felony, and he very well could be shot.
    I would hardly call sleeping on the couch a home invasion.

    I agree there's a lot missing to the story, like what happened when the guy was woken up by the shooter or his family. Did he run? fight? produce a weapon? threaten them?


    Regardless of the whole story, that dumbass oregon law needs to be changed!
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

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  5. #5
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    I suspect both the trespass and the shooting were products of both guys having too much to drink, but like you said the news report left a lot unanswered - For one thing, did the guy sleeping on the couch make a sudden move to place the shooter in fear of his life?

    The castle law might apply here if they were in Texas, but I'm not so sure - If the guy really was just sleeping on the couch because he stumbled into the wrong house, he was no threat, so I'm not so sure the castle law would apply.

    Even if it did apply, it would be an abuse of the spirit of the law, just as the law allowing deadly force to stop a theft at night was abused when a Dallas man shot a homeless person rumbling through his trash looking for food and aluminum cans a few years ago.

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  6. #6
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    In Washington, the presumption is that if you are in the house, you are there to commit a crime - hence burglary and a felony.

    Not sure I'd shoot a couch sleeper though, even if I could.
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  7. #7
    Captain America's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    In Washington, the presumption is that if you are in the house, you are there to commit a crime - hence burglary and a felony.

    Not sure I'd shoot a couch sleeper though, even if I could.

    Even if he was snoring?
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  8. #8
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    I don't know anything about Oregon law, but here in Colorado, the home owner has to be in reasonable fear that the suspect is about to use force against him, "no matter how slight" (language used in the code)

    And here it wouldn't qualify as a home invasion. No intent to commit a crime inside. If he took a plea that puts him in jail for more than a year and a half, I think there's a decent chance that the homeowner incorrectly believed that he was inside the realm of the "make my day law".

    It could be the left wing politics playing too (in fact that's probably a considerable chunk) but its registering on the BS meter that it was a completely justifiable shoot.
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  9. #9
    Wolven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Not sure I'd shoot a couch sleeper though, even if I could.
    I'm with you there...at least from the little told in this story. He sure would wake up in a hurry with me yelling and a gun in his face though
    Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr

  10. #10
    MonsterMash's Avatar
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    If they were so concerned about this guy, then Im sure they could have called 911 instead of Bubba from the bar. Thats what kinda sticks out at me.
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  11. #11
    Odd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cidp24 View Post
    I had to read that one a couple of times. Confusing writing and NOT the whole story of the shooting, I suspect.
    No kidding. If the professional journalists are so afraid of bloggers maybe they should learn to write.

    Bit more detail in this snippet.

    Most of the facts about what happened that night — June 19, 2008 — were undisputed, Stoll said.

    That night, Cramer and Smith were at the same Sutherlin bar, though there is no indication the men had any interaction, Stoll said. Smith left the bar with a woman, but Stoll said the woman left Smith as they walked through town and, eventually, Smith ended up at Cramer's home on Mardonna Way.

    Smith walked in through the unlocked door and was unbuckling his pants and taking off his shoes when Cramer's wife, Christy, found the man, Stoll said. Smith then laid down on the couch and went to sleep, she said.

    Christy Cramer went into the master bedroom with her daughter and locked the door. The pair then left the house through a back door in the bedroom, Stoll said.

    Christy Cramer picked her husband up at the nearby bar and took him home. All three entered the home but could not get into the bedroom where guns were located because the door was locked from the inside, so Christy Cramer and the young girl went to the car and called police, Stoll said.

    Meanwhile, Cramer went around the outside of the house to the back door, grabbed a gun and re-entered the living room, Stoll said. Cramer woke a sleeping Smith with the butt of his gun and a verbal argument ensued, she said. At some point, Smith reached toward Cramer, Stoll said.

    “We don't know if he was reaching at the gun or at his shoes, which were over there too,” she said.

    Cramer said he believed Smith was reaching for the gun and shot the man in the chest, Stoll said. Smith never left the couch, she said.

    “He was totally and completely on the couch,” Stoll said. “His feet were up. He was only able to get up on an elbow.”

    Cramer had said early on that he was acting in self-defense when he shot Smith. Stoll said the law does not allow people to use deadly force, even in their own homes, unless the intruder is committing a felony. The state believed Smith's only crime was trespassing, which is not a felony, Stoll said.

    However, Stoll said the district attorney's office felt that many people would believe that Cramer had the right to act as he did. Defense attorney Jim Arneson said he believed he could have gotten an acquittal had the case gone to trial.

    “I explained that I felt that we had a very good chance at a complete acquittal if we went to trial but that my client had decided that he wanted to resolve the case in the way that it was done,” Arneson said.

    Cramer spoke during the sentencing hearing and said he regretted the June 2008 incident.

    “Essentially, what he said was that he felt terribly for the family members and for the victim, that he would remember it every day of his life, and that he deeply regretted that the incident had happened,” Arneson said of Cramer.

    Cramer's wife, as well as other family members and friends, attended the hearing Friday.

    “He's not looking forward to doing the 19 months,” Arneson said of Cramer. “But he did not want to take the risk of losing the case and then imposing that burden on his family, where he would have gone away to prison to a very long time.”

  12. #12
    Standard Dave's Avatar
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    It seems to me to be unreasonable to shoot the man in these circumstances and slightly suspicious.

    Why didn't he summons assistance from law enforcement officials via the 911 system or the local police department or sheriffs office?

    Why did the wife not contact anyone else immediately either law enforcement or neighbours?

    They had been in the same bar are they known to each other in any way? even if just through being local to the area.

    Why did he hit/ touch him with the weapon? a verbal command or flash light would maintain a reactionary gap and be less agressive.

    Why did he enter the house alone? even armed this is not a sensible course of action.

    Many many questions
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  13. #13
    Captain America's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standard Dave View Post
    It seems to me to be unreasonable to shoot the man in these circumstances and slightly suspicious.

    Why didn't he summons assistance from law enforcement officials via the 911 system or the local police department or sheriffs office?

    Why did the wife not contact anyone else immediately either law enforcement or neighbours?

    They had been in the same bar are they known to each other in any way? even if just through being local to the area.

    Why did he hit/ touch him with the weapon? a verbal command or flash light would maintain a reactionary gap and be less agressive.

    Why did he enter the house alone? even armed this is not a sensible course of action.

    Many many questions

    Dave , it sounds to me like TxCharlie is right and everybody in this clusterf--k was partaking of various brands of alcoholic beverages in large quanities with limited brain cells to begin with . Usually that results in unwanted breeding, in this case it got someone killed.
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  14. #14
    JSO85360's Avatar
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    well known fact that alcohol can change the course of action in many events. Another good reason to drink at home...........
    The six o'clock rule
    I tell them to act according to the six o'clock rule, a phrase that causes most of them to say, "Huh?"
    I tell them to use this little test before they decide to do something. If they were to do what they're thinking about, and it became the lead story on the six o'clock news, would they be proud? Would their department be proud, and would their family be proud? It's a simple way to live your life both personally and professionally.

    Bruce Thomason


    "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." Mark Twain



 

 

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