Local Law Enforcement Defending Castle Doctrine

10:57 PM, Oct 29, 2013   |    comments
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- When it comes to the law and your rights, it can be a pretty fine line between right and wrong. On one side, when your life, home and family are in danger, many would shoot to kill.

On the other side, a split second decision could spell tragedy.

Trayvon Martin's mother was on Capitol Hill Tuesday to tell lawmakers the "Stand Your Ground" law does not work.

But in Rockingham County, they've seen two cases so far this year where a similar law might have saved several lives.

"My belief is that a person should always have a right to defend themselves," said Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page.

But there are two sides to every story.

"This law does not work," said Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton. "We need to seriously take a look at this law...(I'm here) to let you know how important it is that we amend this "Stand Your Ground" because it did not, certainly did not, work in my case."

The 17-year-old Martin was unarmed when he was shot to death by George Zimmerman last year. Zimmerman claimed self defense under Florida's Stand Your Ground Law and was acquitted of the murder charge.

"You as a homeowner are the first line of defense when protecting your family," said Page.

In Rockingham County, Sheriff Sam Page has seen two cases of self defense in the past couple of months. The first, back in July, involved a business owner who shot and killed one of two men during a robbery on his property. The second, just this past weekend, when a man shot an intruder armed with a hammer who had busted through the victim's front door in the middle of the night.

"I felt he did everything possible to protect his family that night from an intruder who had forcibly broken into his residence," said Page.

North Carolina's Castle Doctrine protects people who use deadly force to protect themselves while at home, work or in their car. Sheriff Page says he knows how important that law can be.

"You ask the persons that were defending themselves, protecting their families," said Page. "You ask them how important it was, because a lot of times, when you need help, law enforcement is not right there exactly when you need them. When you call, we're going to come, we're going to come quickly, but minutes can seem like hours when you need help."

WMFY News 2 spoke to Steve Hall off camera on Tuesday. He's the man who shot and killed the robbery suspect this summer. He said he wouldn't hesitate doing it again to protect himself and his family. The man who shot the intruder last weekend said the same thing.

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