Video: Authorities Say Homeowner Likely Justified Using Deadly Force Against Would Be Burglar
LEE CO., MISS. (WCBI) – Thirty five year old Gary Sneed Jr., lost his life on a remote Lee County property.
Sneed and his girlfriend had pulled ontothe private property off of County Road 736. He parked his truck, and got out while his girlfriend stayed put.
“This startled the homeowner,” said Sheriff Jim Johnson.
The homeowners, who asked not to be identified, had their trailer and vehicle broken into earlier this year. That prompted them to install ten security cameras around the property.
On Wednesday evening, Sneed and his girlfriend first showed up at the trailer. When the homeowner confronted them, they claimed to have car trouble. Early the next morning, the homeowners heard something outside.
“The female homeowner goes out to investigate and finds Mr. Sneed inside one of the vehicles, walks up to the vehicle, she is armed and she instructs him that he is trespassing and he needs to get out, he makes a lunge action toward her and that’s when she fires one shot,” Sheriff Johnson said.
The female homeowner instructed Sneed’s girlfriend to remain in the truck, while she called 9 1 1.
Sneed was dead at the scene, his girlfriend is in custody and the female homeowner is shaken up.
Sheriff Johnson and District Attorney John Weddle tell us the female’s actions are likely protected under a law enacted in Mississippi several years ago.
The Castle Doctrine is meant to protect homeowners who feel their lives are threatened, in their homes, or on their property.
“What you have got to justify is the fact that you or your property was put
in fear and your life was possible in danger,” Johnson said.
On top of that, Sheriff Johnson points out that Gary Sneed Jr., had a lengthy rap sheet, from drug related offenses, to burglary.
“What does it take to violate your probation?” the sheriff asked.
Johnson says this case is another example of a broken system that doesn’t keep repeat offenders behind bars and off the streets.
Sheriff Johnson says Sneed’s girlfriend will face criminal charges as the investigation continues.