Follow-up on a Self Defense Shooting from November, 2009

In November of 2009, I discussed a self defense shooting from Nacogdoches County, Texas, in which a homeowner used his gun to stop a violent would-be home invader who had threatened his life after shooting 4 horses to death.  The home invader survived, and faced charges for his actions.  Last Thursday, the case was resolved in court through a guilty plea and 10 year prison sentence:

After an admission of guilt for deadly conduct, a third-degree felony, and four counts of cruelty to animals, which are state-jail felonies, Stephen August Spradley agreed to a plea deal that sentenced him to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay $13,500 in restitution. . . .

According to the initial reports and the affidavit, Spradley tried to open the door of a neighbor’s home and yelled to the resident he was going to force his way inside. The neighbor fired a single bullet which struck Spradley in the lower abdominal and hip area, original reports said.

“After much investigation and discussion with both victims and witnesses, it was determined that the defendant never entered the victim’s house in any way,” LoStracco said. “That made it impossible to convict him for the burglary.”

Despite the more serious charge being dropped, LoStracco said the punishment was the right one.

“What the defendant did was so serious, frightening and dangerous, but there was no crime that carried a sentence greater than 10 years that really applied to the facts and circumstances of this case,” LoStracco said. “It is the unfortunate burden of this office that sometimes the law does not provide for an adequate punishment to make up for the shocking nature of the crime and the emotional traumas suffered by the victims. However, I believe that the community is safer now that we know that the defendant will be in prison.”

My thanks to Varron for informing me as to the resolution of this case.