Update on 14 Year Old Girl Mistaken As Burglar Killed By Stepfather
29 year-old 2nd Lt Daniel Meade has been identified as the man who shot and killed his 14 year-old step-daughter, mistaking her for a burglar. He is listed as an active-duty health service officer assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson.
The victim, Kiana O’Neil, is the oldest of three children. The Daily Mail reports that Kiana may have been trying to enter the house through a basement window. Kiana was shot in the chest and stomach, and died from the wounds.
The case is expected to be handed down to the district attorney’s office after the police complete their investigation. The district attorney’s office will decide whether to charge Meade.
Like similar cases where homeowners shot and kill unarmed people they suspect of being a burglar, Colorado’s “Make My Day” comes to the spotlight. Despite its Clint Eastwood-inspired nickname, the Colorado law is a narrowly focused, widely accepted common law commonly referred to as the castle doctrine.
The “Make My Day” law allows anyone to use deadly force in his or her home when confronted with an uninvited intruder and a reasonable belief that the intruder “is committing or intends to commit a crime” against person or property. Under such circumstances, the home defender is immune from criminal prosecution or civil liability.
The question is this case is, how can a resident of the home be an “intruder”?
Introduced in 1985 as the Homeowner Protection Act, “make my day” stops at the door. Front porches and yards don’t count. As a result, criminal charges can vary vastly, depending on whether a shooting occurred inside or outside the threshold.
As of July 2013, an informal survey by Doug Wilson, the state public defender, found there have been at least 22 cases in his agency’s offices in the past year where “Make My Day” law was cited as a defense. Two ended with jury acquittals, two were dismissed by district attorneys, four were plea-bargained and seven others are pending.