Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

Sheriff, DA discuss home invasions

invasionAbove Doyline resident Dorothy O'Neill's door is a sign that says "Forget dog, beware of owner."
That sign is no idle threat as O'Neill shot one of two would-be burglars while the town was under evacuation orders following the explosions at Camp Minden in December 2012.
O'Neill was within her right to protect her home, and was honored for such by parish law enforcement officials.
And had Billy Collins, 61, of Shongaloo been able to get off a shot at two masked men who unlawfully entered his home about two weeks ago, that shooting also would have been justifiable, District Attorney Schuyler Marvin and Webster Sheriff Gary Sexton said.
"We have a stand your ground law or shoot the burglar law, which says you can meet force with force and it's not your duty to retreat if you're in a place where you have a lawful right to be," Marvin said. "It requires a lot of discretion on the part of prosecutors. Obviously, all things have to be somewhat reasonable."
There's really no textbook answer as to what to do if faced with a home invasion, Sexton said.
"It's hard to say what to do if somebody gets on the inside of your house because number one, you don't know what they're going to do," he said. "But if somebody comes into your house and you think they are going to do you bodily harm, nine times out of 10, they're going to do you bodily harm. Do what you need to do."
One simple preventative measure is lock doors and windows — even while at home.
Webster sheriff's deputies are still working to apprehend the two masked men who broke into Billy Collins’ Shongaloo home and shot him on Friday, June 6.
When Collins, 61, came out of the bathroom, the men stood up from behind the kitchen bar where they had hidden apparently when they learned he was home, Sexton said.
Collins reportedly attempted to retrieve a gun he kept on top of the refrigerator and one of the men shot him with a small caliber handgun.
The bullet went through Collins' hand and struck him in the chest. 
The men exited the kitchen window they used to enter the home. Collins looked out the window to attempt to get another look at his attackers and called 911 from his cell phone. He
then called his wife, who was out of town.
Collins was taken to a Shreveport hospital and is now recovering from his wound.
The only items taken from the home appear to be several prescriptions which were sitting on the bar in the kitchen, Sexton said.





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