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The Accident Lawyers Network Blog

Accident Lawyers Network

Monday, April 7, 2008

Make My Day Law Leads to Wrongful Death Suit

In Colorado, the Make My Day law asserts that people may use deadly force against intruders to defend themselves, their families, and their homes. However, a judge in the 4th Judicial District recently allowed that a jury should hear one of these cases, which resulted in the death of a 19-year-old, to decide if the shooting was self-defense, or "willful and deliberate."

In 2004, Gary Lee Hill was involved with an altercation with Amanda Padilla who was mad that her purse went missing at a party held at Hill's house. Padilla punched Hill and Hill retrieved a rifle, chasing Padilla and a friend out. Padilla and her friend returned with their boyfriends, broke into Hill's house, and began to beat Hill as he slept in his basement room. The four left, but not before threatening to return to Hill's residence.

Hill grabbed his rifle again, went to the front porch and "fired a warning shot to scare them away." That shot hit John David Knott, who was driving, in the back, which caused him to crash the car.

A jury found Hill not guilty of all charges in 2005, relying on the Make My Day law. However, Knott's mother then filed a civil suit. Hill's attorney states that Hill cannot be charged due to immunity under the Colorado law, and that people who are injured while engaging in a felony are not entitled to damages. While Hill and his attorney were able to convince a jury that he was acting in self-defense, a civil jury won't hear this.

Knott's lawsuit does not specify damages.

If you have lost a loved one due to another party's willful and deliberate actions, please contact an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 9:42 AM

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