As many of you know, The MAJ and I have been retained by the homeowner in Newport Beach who used deadly force against a home invader at 4:20 in the morning a few weeks ago. Up to this point we have purposely kept quiet about the event, and our representation of the client, as the case went through the procedural legal system.
This last Monday I received a phone call from our District Attorney, Todd Spitzer, officially closing out the case. The Orange County DA’s office has formally decided not to pursue charges against our client, finding that his use of deadly force was completely justifiable. (More on that conversation later.)
One of the aspects of this case was its purity.
Our client literally did everything right.
The client (we are keeping his name secret for the time being to protect his confidentiality) has been a longtime client of Artemis. As a matter of fact, he was one of our first civilian clients. He and his wife live alone in Newport Beach in a nice house fairly close to John Wayne Airport. He takes his weapons training very, very seriously. He has joined us on the range numerous times, and has taken several speciality classes with us. He also received his CCW training from us and has gone through all of his renewals with us as well.
He is a professional and treats his weapons training and tactics in a similar fashion to how he structures his life: deliberate and methodological. This has translated to not only how to fire a gun, but to the preparatory work for self-defense, as well as the post-incident work regarding legal liability.
This made our job as his legal defense team unbelievably easy. It also helped that we have a really good relationship with Newport Beach PD. That “working” relationship helps to ameliorate what potentially could be an adversarial one between defense counsel and law enforcement.
(Many lawyers suffer from what we call LES… Litigate Everything Syndrome. It is something that needs to be kept in check. There is a time to draw a line, and a time to be accommodating. If the goal is to provide the best defense for a client, ensuring a smooth and cooperative investigation with law enforcement is critical. Unfortunately, not all of our colleagues subscribe to this principle.)
On December 2nd, we will be hosting an evening event here at Artemis to discuss the case in granular detail. Of course, The MAJ and I will be talking, but both our client and his wife have indicated they are willing to participate as well. There was a tremendous amount of lessons learned from this, not because the client did anything wrong… quite the opposite. Literally, he performed in flawless fashion and this helps to create an archetype of what to do.
Without going into too much detail on the case here, an individual who was a temporary resident at a sober-living home, three doors down from our client, decided to go on a bit of a walk-about around midnight on a Thursday evening a few weeks ago. The toxicology results are not back yet, but from the Ring doorbell cameras it would certainly appear the suspect was intoxicated on some form of narcotic. What is clear is that he was definitely manic.
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)
At 4:20 in the morning he broke down our client’s front door that was dead bolted shut and made entrance to his home. Our client was awoken by his startled and terrified wife. He grabbed his pistol and took up a defensive position at the top of the stairs. He knew someone was in the home, but was not about to go “hunting” for him. His wife began the process of dialing 911 when the suspect came around the staircase and looked up at our client. Our client began screaming at the suspect to get out.
The suspect, instead, decided to charge up the staircase towards our client who was pointing his gun at him.
In fear for his life, and the life of his spouse, and having a reasonable belief that due to the suspect’s actions there was a likelihood of death or great bodily injury, our client shot the suspect permanently stopping him.
As I mentioned above, on Monday of last week I received a phone call from District Attorney Todd Spitzer. During our conversation he said something that bears repeating to all of our readers of this blog. DA Spitzer wants it to be known that if residents of Orange County suffer the crime of having someone break into their house and they are forced to defend themselves against death or great bodily injury, he wants those residents to know “that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office” has their back.
Those are strong words and, frankly, refreshing ones. Spitzer also had some choice words about the sober-living homes dotting our neighborhoods, and I suspect we are probably going to see some action on that fairly soon.
So… look out for the email regarding our “debrief night”, and raise your glass in a toast to our honorable client that had the presence of mind, and the requisite training to defend himself and his wife against an attack that could have easily led to their own destruction.