A Pennsylvania man has been arraigned and held without bail after shooting an unarmed intruder in his home, bringing up a cautionary tale where a lawful act was foiled by an unlawful twist.
53-year-old David Murray was charged on Thursday with several offenses in the November 25th shooting death of Nathaniel Gardner, who was shot after kicking in Murray’s front door and assaulting him.
While a defensive act such as this would normally be justified in Pennsylvania, there is a catch: the Washington County man had a large marijuana growing operation in the very domicile he was defending.
Murray faces 77 drug offense charges and a criminal homicide charge in the aftermath of the incident, which Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone says cannot utilize the Castle Doctrine due to illegal activity on the premises.
“People engaged in illegal drug activity cannot invoke the Castle Doctrine as justification for the use of deadly force,” Vittone said in a press release.
According to CBS Pittsburgh, Murray’s preliminary hearing will be on December 15th and it is unclear if he has an attorney who could comment on the case.
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