Homeowner shoots two burglars in two months, kills one

11:45 PM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND --  On Monday, a man attempting to break into a home on the city's east side was shot by the homeowner. 

It just so happens that the same homeowner shot and killed another burglar at the same Portage Avenue house less than two months earlier. 

The first incident happened in late November.  The burglar, 43-year-old David Fletcher, was attempting to break into a home owned by a man neighbors call "Mike."  Neighbors told us then that Mike bought a half a dozen homes on the block to remodel.  But trouble soon followed. 

Portage Avenue is plagued with abandoned homes.  "Everybody has this problem with people breaking in these abandoned houses," said neighbor Ben Blair in November. 

 In the November incident, Feltcher was wielding a knife as he attempted to break into Mike's home.  Feltcher was killed.

The second incident happened on New Year's Eve.  Early in the morning on December 31st, an intruder attempted to enter the same home. 

Mike was inside and confronted the suspect who according to reports attempted to hit the victim with a lamp. Mike shot the man in the cheek and in the arm, then held him at gunpoint until police arrived. 

Attorney Michael Nelson explains that the Ohio law protects homeowners in this situation with a piece of legislation called the Castle Law.  "It's designed to protect homeowners from being sued for defending themselves with deadly force against people who come into their house or their car," said Nelson.  He added that the person using deadly force must feel as though their life is in danger. "Reasonable belief immunizes them from any court liability and gives them the right to use deadly force to protect themselves," said Nelson. 

One neighbor we spoke to is still raising an eyebrow.  "It just seems kinda strange that two people in less than two months," said David Ellis.


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