Colorado's "Make My Day" Law Results In Shooter Being Cleared Of All Charges

By: Courtesy
By: Courtesy

A man who shot and killed a potential intruder has been cleared by Colorado's "Make My Day Law."

Sean Kennedy, 22, was shot and killed December 28, 2008. Police say he was trying to forcibly enter a home in Colorado Springs.

Investigators say James Parsons and his girlfriend were in the home at the time when Kennedy was trying to force his way into the home. The investigation shows Kennedy was yelling obscenities and appeared to be angry and upset. He was pounding on a door, at which time Parsons and his girlfriend dialed 911.

Kennedy then went around to the back door, investigators say, and punched out a pane of glass in the door nearest to the dead bolt. When Kennedy reached his arm in to unlock the door, Parsons fired his gun three times.

Evidence from the dispatch tape and from investigative interviews indicated that James Parsons and his girlfriend were both terrified during the incident and were traumatized by the events.

It was also determined that Kennedy lived a block over from the home he was trying to break in to, and had been drinking with friends at a local golf course prior to the incident. His blood alcohol level at the time of the autopsy was more than three times the legal driving limit.

Colorado law recognizes that citizens have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes. Parsons has been cleared of any wrong-doing and will not be prosecuted.

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  • by Mike Location: Denver on Feb 18, 2009 at 07:43 PM
    I don't blame Mr. Parson's and I don't know what Mr. Kennedy's true motive was. However, By reading this short article Mr. Kennedy's actions were totally out of control and unwarranted. Mr. Kennedy was asking for trouble and unfortunately Mr. Kennedy is permanently rehabilitated. The sad thing about this incident is that nobody will gain a thing. Mr. Kennedy's family we mourn him for years to come. Mr. Parson will second guess himself for years to come. This 22 years old male who made the wrong choice propably had a great future, and a family who dearly loved him. Sober, he probably had a heart of gold. This entire incident is unfortunate. However, I do agree with the Make My Day Law at least you have some source of protection. Mike, Denver.
  • by Joseph Location: Rmt on Feb 5, 2009 at 03:18 PM
    VBush, thank you for that information. I had always heard that if a homeowner shoots an intruder he had better make sure the intruder was inside the house.
  • by Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death on Feb 5, 2009 at 10:04 AM
    They shouldn't call this the "make my day law." With such a title, it is easy to visualize the homeowner challeging the intruder to take another step and get blown away. It should be simply called "the self defense law." This de-sensationalizes the law so critics of the idea of self-defense have less to ammo to use against such a law.
  • by Marty Location: Florida on Feb 5, 2009 at 02:54 AM
    According to the KKTV source, charges were never filed against Parsons so, how can he be "cleared of all charges", as the headline implies he was?
  • by charlie Location: greenville on Feb 5, 2009 at 01:24 AM
    we need more laws like this , then maybe we wouldn,t have the courts letting them back out on the streets so they can do it to somebody else
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Feb 4, 2009 at 09:08 PM
    Joseph in RM, Here is NC law: § 14‑51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder. (a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence. (b)A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section. (c)This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 673, s. 1.)
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Feb 4, 2009 at 09:03 PM
    I am surprised that a liberal state like Colorado has such an open ended law. I surely support it. The same thing would have happened at my house right here in NC.
  • by SBK Location: Belhaven on Feb 4, 2009 at 07:04 PM
    Donald is right about the "duty to retreat" that is mandated when a person is NOT in their home. I think that's ridiculous. If you are on the street, you are required by law to run away, rather than stand your ground and defend yourself. That is just about as absurd as it is dangerous.
  • by For now on Feb 4, 2009 at 06:14 PM
    Let's hope we continue to have that right. Doubtful though. This new administration wants to take away that right. This story made my day!
  • by DONALD Location: Washington on Feb 4, 2009 at 02:46 PM
    NC has a law like that, just without the catchy name. If someone is trying to break in your home you have a right to shoot to kill, you are not required to turn and run away. If you were in the Walmart parking lot and someone tries to get in your car you are suppose to run away if you can. No such requirement in your home.
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