Here's a surprise. A Kaufman County grand jury has indicted the 74-year-old man who shot a boy outside his home in March.
I figured the grand jury would buy the old man's self-defense claim, even though he was shooting from inside the house at a figure passing outside the house.
As I said on the incident, I don't think W.C. Frosch needs to face harsh punishment, but I'm glad to see the grand jury sending a message that we can't start shooting at shadows.
Kaufman County man indicted in shooting of teen who crossed yard
09:18 PM CDT on Monday, June 2, 2008
By RICHARD ABSHIRE / The Dallas Morning News
A Kaufman County man faces possible prison time for shooting one of two teens cutting across his yard in March, an act that triggered a chain of events that ended with a traffic accident that killed the other boy's mother.
W.C. Frosch, 74, was inside his home March 1 when he shot 15-year-old Brandon Robinson through a window. Mr. Frosch has said he thought the boys were about to break into his home.
Kaufman County authorities initially cited the state's new "castle law" in declining to file charges. Under the law, a person is presumed to be acting reasonably if he shoots someone he believes is trying to break into his occupied home, business or car.
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Prosecutors said they treated this case like any other.
"Self-defense claims are weighed on a case-by-case basis, based on the facts," Kaufman County District Attorney Rick Harrison said Monday. "We decided to take it to the grand jury, and they indicted him."
Mr. Frosch was indicted last week on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
He was not available for comment Monday, but he has said that he believes the shooting was justified.
"I don't think I had really much choice," Mr. Frosch said after the incident. "I think I was justified in what I done."
On the night of the shooting, Mr. Frosch told officers he thought the teens were prowlers, so he armed himself with a handgun and told his wife to call 911.
He shot through a window, striking Brandon under his left arm. His injuries were not life-threatening.
"Mr. Frosch shot me," Brandon said he told his friend Devin Nalls that night. "Your neighbor shot me!"
Brandon was spending the night with Devin, 16, whose family lives on one side of Mr. Frosch's property. The teens told officers they were crossing his yard to check out a loud party that was under way at a home on the other side of the Frosches'.
After the shooting, the teenagers ran back to Devin's home and his mother, June Nalls, 41, loaded the boys into her truck to take them to a local hospital.
On their way, a 1996 Ford driven by Agustin Renteria, 27, of Kaufman, crossed the center stripe and struck Ms. Nalls' pickup head-on, police said.
She was killed. Her son and Brandon survived.
Police later arrested Mr. Renteria on a charge of failure to stop and render aid, and more serious charges were pending blood alcohol test results.
There was no answer Monday at the Nalls home.
No trial date has been set for Mr. Frosch, who will be tried in the 86th District Court.
Initially, there was some question about whether Mr. Frosch's actions were legal under the "castle doctrine," which the state Legislature passed in its last session.
The law authorizes residents to use deadly force to protect their property in some situations without requiring them to retreat first.
But a sponsor of the law, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, said the law was not meant to cover a case like this.
"It was our thinking that you have to be under attack," Mr. Wentworth said after the shooting.