Patterico's Pontifications


Another Houston Area Homeowner Shoots and Kills a Suspected Burglar (Updated)

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Another Houston-area homeowner shot and killed a suspected burglar, although this case seems straightforward compared to the Joe Horn case:

A southwest Harris County homeowner shot and killed a man he discovered climbing into a window of his house at about 2:15 a.m. today, investigators said. Steven Dunbar, who apparently lived several blocks away, died in the window of the home in the 3400 block of Cascadia, Harris County sheriff’s homicide Det. Rolf Nelson said.

The 33-year-old homeowner, Damon Barone, was asleep in the house with his wife, a son, 6, and an infant daughter when he heard a loud noise, Nelson said. “The homeowner says he heard a loud noise, possibly a gunshot, that startled him out of bed,” Nelson said. “As he got up, he said he heard another loud noise and he said the house was shaking.”

Carrying a pistol, Barone was on his way to investigate the noises when he heard glass breaking in a bedroom. “When he entered that bedroom, he said he saw a burglar coming through a broken window,” Nelson said. “He shot several times and struck the burglar several times, killing him at the scene.”

Deputies found a screen door on the back of the house torn from its metal frame, Nelson said.

“He’s got a pretty extensive criminal record of felonies over the last 13 years,” Nelson said of Dunbar, 44. “He has at least 12 arrests for felonies and a half-dozen convictions. We don’t know if he was intent on some other crime or if it was a burglary for something he could turn into money.”
Nelson declined to say exactly how many times Dunbar was shot and where the bullets hit him.

The case is expected to be referred to a Harris County grand jury without charges, Nelson said.”

People in Harris County (and on the internet) are learning a lot about Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code.

UPDATE 8/13/2008: The Houston Chronicle reports that a Harris County grand jury declined to indict the homeowner, Damone Baron.


24 Responses to “Another Houston Area Homeowner Shoots and Kills a Suspected Burglar (Updated)”

  1. Another trog bites the dust.
    Harris County, Texas.
    Death penalty capital of the nation!
    If we can’t get you on the front side, we’ll get you on the flip.

    daddyquatro (4aaed2)

  2. Make this stuff a weekly headline and I’d just bet ya that some folks will begin to think twice!

    I wonder how long it will take the MSM to make an attempt to turn this into something it’s not? Gee they may not even bother to report it! Horn’s case was… well interesting, (still like the outcome though), I’m sure there are some “investigative forces that will turn up shit on this fellow as well.

    TC (1cf350)

  3. As I said discussing Joe Horn, use of deadly force in this situation is morally justified; Horn’s was not.

    JayHub (262161)

  4. Interesting that race was never mentioned this time.

    jim2 (92c692)

  5. People in Harris County (and on the internet0 are learning a lot about Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code

    And they are learning a lot about how just fed up with crime Texans are getting. We understand that the police only investigate a crime after it has been committed, they don’t prevent crimes. If this does get reported in other MSM areas, it will only be to show how trigger happy the rednecked, Skoal dipping, NASCAR watching bunch of hillbillies in Texas are.

    Gun free zones = slow moving, target rich enviroment.

    retire05 (b903db)

  6. there are too many people in the world, beyond the planet’s carrying capacity, and stalwart texans are eliminating burglars one at a time. i would have done the same. the interesting question would come after; call the cops, or just wrap him in a tarp for a final ride into the mountains?

    assistant devil's advocate (6dee72)

  7. And this is one of the reasons why the founding fathers put the 2nd amendment in the constitution to protect our homes from crinimals such as this one

    krazy kagu (6b296a)

  8. Apparently there isn’t any ‘three strikes’ law in Harris County. Even without one, I would have thought that someone with “a half-dozen” felony convictions in only 13 years would (or at least should) already be in jail. I mean, surely the 4th, 5th, and 6th felonies would get some serious jail time even if the first two or three didn’t?

    Then again, the reason so many Americans consider the criminal justice system dysfunctional is the number of stories we read that include lines like the following: “Jones was sentenced to 20 to Life in 1999 for the murder of John Smith.” Journalists and politicians don’t seem to get it, but your average law-abiding American can do basic arithmetic and calculate that 1999 is not a lifetime ago, not 20 years ago, and not even 10 years ago, so what the Hell was Jones doing out of jail? ‘Killing again’ is the usual answer.

    Dr. Weevil (6cd911)

  9. Dr. Weevil, there is a three strikes rule applied in Harris county.

    As mentioned above, Harris County is among the most aggressive as far as prosecutions go in the entire nation. There are 254 counties in Texas, but most death penalties come from one county: Harris County.

    I don’t know why it is that this man wasn’t in prison, and I wonder if he was from elsewhere but he probably wasn’t. The sad fact is that the government cannot take care of all crime issues. We need them, but a state can only build so many prisons and catch so many crooks, and Houston is a huge city that is too close to Mexico. Mexico is a corrupt nation and isn’t going to improve anytime soon, so people are flooding out just as I would, and a small percentage of those people are scumbags who wreak havoc on society. They have no appreciation for being civil and only want to exploit others.

    There are too many of these guys for the government here to possibly deal with, so the only solution is to protect yourself. Don’t live where you are not allowed to shoot intruders on sight. How is Texas supposed to prevent this kind of crime via government? Prisons are full, DAs are swamped, cops aren’t psychic.

    That’s what really ticks me off about that Joe Horn guy. He has hurt the cause of self defense by abusing his rights. I might go out and check my neighbor’s house too. I would not eagerly exclaim that I was going to kill anyone. I wouldn’t shoot someone in the back. I hope there isn’t any blowback from Joe Horn. Just convict him of the crime he committed and leave the laws as they are.

    Dustin (29d3e6)

  10. Dustin –

    You postedthe following on Joe Horn:

    “Just convict him of the crime he committed and leave the laws as they are.”

    Given Texas laws (that you want not to revise) 9.41, 9.42, and 9.43, of just what “crime” do you want Joe Horn convicted?

    jim2 (92c692)

  11. ada @ #6 endorses post-partum abortion?

    Now, That’s a Liberal!

    Another Drew (a28ef4)

  12. I call it “retroactive birth control” borrowing from Joseph Wambaugh.

    nk (6061ba)

  13. Hear, hear, nk! On the term anyway.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  14. So, are you ever gonna tell us what got you so down a few days ago? If you don’t want the rest of the cannibals commenters here to know, email me at njkritAThotmailDOTcom. I’ll even go first. The lowest point in my life so far was when my father died on October 31, 2006. I hope that nothing as horrific happened to you.

    nk (6061ba)

  15. Nothing that horrific to me, nk. I will email you.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  16. RIVERHEAD, N.Y., Nov. 27 — The trial of a black man accused of killing a white youth who threatened his son will be as much about race and the echoes of Jim Crow lynch mobs as about the five minutes on a hot August night in 2006 when a white teenager was shot in the face, defense lawyers for the man suggested on Tuesday.”

    More recent trial news here

    I figured we should mix up the racial angle on this site, just a wee bit.

    blah (fb88b3)

  17. blah,

    Okay. By the way, I don’t even know the race of the person who was shot in this Houston case. Do you?

    DRJ (09f144)

  18. I figured we should mix up the racial angle on this site, just a wee bit.

    They’re all the same color, in the middle of the night, as they’re smashing through your window, with your baby girl inside.

    You really are a truly disgusting troll, blah. Just what is your problem? Have you considered getting new batteries for your mechanical sustitute for human companionship?

    nk (6061ba)

  19. In this case no, but the pattern on this site is concentrate on bias crimes by blacks, in contradistinction to the “SCLM” and the other two recent cases here are whites shooting blacks. And nobody has mentioned the NY case here as far as I know.

    blah (fb88b3)

  20. blah, #19,

    I read your link. The black guy was entirely in his rights to shoot the John-Gotti-wannabe who stalked his son. His tragedy is that he lives in a John-Gotti-wannabe-run state. But what that has to do with somebody invading your house in the middle of the night, with your baby inside, is beyond me.

    nk (6061ba)

  21. Jim2, the law you are talking about does not pertain in any way to Horn. Read the law, it does not apply to the kind of guesswork Horn was engaged in. Was Horn asked to protect that property? No, he never met the owners of it. Was Joe protecting himself? No, he shot two people in the back. Did Joe reasonably believe he was protecting property he was expected to protect or that was his and could not be recovered? No. Was Joe protecting himself? No, if he was in fear of his life, he would certainly have acted differently. I assume when they fled, the theives dropped whatever they were carrying. As soon as those burgers dropped their loot and ran off, Joe should have let them go.

    Joe planned to kill people and went out and did it under the pretense of this new law that doesn’t apply to his situation. The crime he committed was murder in the second degree.

    I support Texas’s law, but it must be enforced properly. I want the right to protect my home from thieves. That should not give me the right to decide in the middle of the night that the people doing things I believe are illegal must die. I simply do not know enough about my neighbors, and there are too many variables. When my life is at stake or my home is invaded, that’s not the time to wait for cops. When I see a crime in a stranger’s home, and no life is at stake, that’s the time to wait for the cops.

    You do not have the absolute right to bear arms. No right is absolute. I do not have the right to lie on the stand, and I do not have the right to execute criminals. Real gun rights advocates respect the concept of personal responsibility.

    Dustin (9e390b)

  22. blah, there are serious problems in society, and part of that is that certain minorities are overrepresented in crime. Thus, shooting crooks is going to often mean shooting minorities. That’s terrible and needs to be fixed. Not by repealing gun rights, but through social stuff like education, etc.

    Dustin (9e390b)

  23. Dustin: Dead on. Until the culture of some minorities changes this will continue.

    Increase Mather (098c33)

  24. It’s been 8 months since the incident happened and today’s Houston Chronicle reports that a Harris County grand jury refused to indict the homeowner. I’ve updated the post.

    DRJ (a5243f)

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