Remembering a legend.
Two masked men entered the drugstore shortly before 3 p.m. on November 8, 1986. One, armed with a gun, went to the back of the store where Kesler's wife Mary (also a pharmacist) was dispensing drugs. The other man, Timothy David Smith, confronted Kesler at the front counter, whereupon Kesler grabbed a shotgun, chased Smith out of the establishment and down the street, and fired a single blast that found its mark. Smith fell to the ground unconscious, still clutching the $115 he had taken. He later died at a local hospital.
Kesler returned to the store, where he exchanged gunfire with the second suspect. Neither man was injured during the shootout, but when the robber ran to his car in an escape attempt, Kesler followed and began pummeling him with the shotgun. Police soon arrived and carted the battered felon to jail.
Kesler was charged with second-degree murder for killing one of the robbers. But he received tremendous public support (more than $35,000 was raised to help pay his legal bills) and was acquitted by a jury. Four hours after the verdict he was back at work in the pharmacy, where a ragged hole made by a shotgun blast adorns a wall to this day.
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|Title Annotation:||Exercising The Right|
|Author:||Lee, Robert W.|
|Publication:||The New American|
|Date:||Nov 17, 2003|
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