A Maryland man has been acquitted of criminal charges after he reportedly
shot an intruder in his home in 2013. The defendant was cleared of the
charges after a judge ruled that the prosecution had not provided enough
evidence to convict the man of violent crimes including second-degree
murder and manslaughter. Interestingly, that ruling came before the defense
could even make its initial presentation; the Anne Arundel County Circuit
Court judge concluded the criminal proceeding before the defense was needed.
Attorneys for the man say they are “elated” at the court’s
decision, which has cleared the defendant of all charges in connection
with the matter. The defendant says he is looking forward to resuming
his career in the Air Force. As a sergeant in that military branch, the
man had his security clearance revoked because he was standing trial for
the murder charges.
Official reports show that the man shot the victim on Sept. 15 when that
man came to his home demanding to see the defendant’s wife. The
defendant told the victim to leave the premises, but the other man came
charging through the front door. The defendant fired two shots at the
victim. Defense attorneys had argued that the man feared a threat of violence,
as he was defending his home and several guests who were inside.
In many criminal cases, defense attorneys will file a motion to clear the
defendant of wrongdoing after the prosecution has presented its evidence.
If the judge decides that the prosecution did not meet the standard burden
of proof, then the defendant may be exonerated. This approach —
and other criminal defense strategies — are used to protect criminal
defendants who are accused of every type of violation from violent crimes
to assault charges and rape.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Glen Burnie man acquitted in shooting death of visitor to his home” Pamela Wood, Jun. 20, 2014