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Right to property upheld.

Police spokesman Lt. Jeffery Scott indicated that no charges will be filed against a property owner in Jackson, Mississippi, who fatally shot a burglary suspect on November 22.

According to the Jackson Clarion Ledger, a police investigation indicated that the property owner was within his rights under the Castle Doctrine when he fired at and struck Brandon Lenard, 20, of Jackson in the act of attempting to steal his new Cadillac Escalade. The doctrine states that a person has "no duty to retreat" if the person believes he is in imminent danger, and it protects someone who uses deadly force in such circumstances.

"The owner heard something outside, so he stepped out of the house to see what it was. When he saw someone was in his vehicle, he went back inside to retrieve a weapon. He then went back outside to confront the suspect," Scott said.

Scott said there was an exchange of words between Lenard and the vehicle's owner just before Lenard tried to run from the scene. Police said that as Lenard was leaving, he is believed to have put the SUV owner's life in danger. "Our investigation has determined that the owner was in the imminent threat of danger based on items found at the scene, which I cannot elaborate (on)," Scott said. "We have made a determination that the actions of the property owner are in the parameters of the Castle Doctrine."

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said that Lenard had a gun at the scene. Lenard was shot once with a shotgun, Grisham-Stewart said. She said the pellets entered the back and side of his head.

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Author:School, Alan
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U6MS
Date:Dec 22, 2008
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