Gwinnett man charged with murder in driveway shooting
by Associated Press Wire
January 29, 2013 09:23 AM | 1644 views | 1 1 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

LILBURN, Ga. (AP) — Police say a 69-year-old suburban Atlanta man faces a murder charge after authorities say he shot and killed a 22-year-old man who had pulled into his driveway.

Gwinnett County Jail records show that Phillip Walker Sailors was being held on a murder charge after the Saturday night shooting in Lilburn, northeast of Atlanta.

An arrest warrant states that 22-year-old Rodrigo Abad Diaz of Duluth was shot in the head as he tried to drive away from Sailors' home.

Sailors' attorney, Michael Puglise, tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( that he was home with his wife late at night, and assumed the young man arrived for a home invasion.

Puglise says Sailors was defending his home and maintains his innocence.

Lilburn police declined to release additional information about the circumstances of the shooting.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Dutch Weiner
February 01, 2013
Look, people, the guy is charged with murder, and will almost certainly be convicted and spend the rest of his life in jail BECAUSE his decision to fire even a warning shot DID NOT MEET THE STANDARD for the so called "stand your ground" principle or "castle doctrine" of self-defense. ALL the "stand your ground" principle means is that you do not have to make every effort to run away screaming like a seven-year-old girl before defending yourself with your fists, feet, an open hand slap, or even spitting. That is it.

"Stand your ground" and the "castle doctrine" are NOT about the amount of force a person uses. "Stand your ground" means that, if someone threatens to slap you at a gas station while you are pumping gas, you have a right to say "if you slap me, I am going to punch you, so leave me alone." In states without this principle, you would have to run into the store and scream "help me, that little guy out there said his going to slap me" while the guy steals everything from your car. In states without "stand your ground," you would be charged with assault if you punched the guy after he told you he was going to slap you and you could have easily run screaming into the store.

The "castle doctrine" is about whether or not you have to wait until you are reasonably sure that a person who just kicked your front door in or broke into your house in the middle of the night means to kill you or cause you great bodily harm before you can use ANY force against them (i.e., slap them, punch them, throw a pillow at them, hit them with a baseball bat, or shoot them). In states without the "castle doctrine," you have to try to flee your home and leave everything to the intruder. In those states, if I kick in your front door and say "hey, I just want your TV, I am unarmed, and I am not going to hurt anyone, and you start kicking and punching me as I am trying to get out the front door with your TV, you can be charged with assault. In states with the "castle doctrine," you can assume that a guy who kicks your front door in or breaks in your house in the middle of the night is a threat to you and your family, and so you can shoot him.

Your right to use deadly force only comes when a reasonable person in (1) your situation (i.e., 6'4" man, 5'0' woman, former rape victim, etc.), (2) under the particular circumstances (i.e., man with a ski mask, man carrying a knife, gun, or crowbar, dark ally, middle of the shopping mall, your house at night, etc.), would believe that they are being (3) threatened with death or great bodily harm (i.e., rape, severe beating, etc.), that (4) the threat is imminent (i.e., it is happening now, and you must act now to protect yourself), and (5) that deadly force was necessary to stop the threat. You have to meet each and every one of these five elements, and the burden is on you to prove all five. If you claim self-defense, the prosecution does not have to prove anything. YOU have to prove to the jury that, more likely than not (50.5%), that you satisfied each one of the five elements. If you fail to prove one of them, then you are going to prison for a long, long time.

On last thing to keep in mind is that no one but the government ever has the right to decide to KILL someone, no matter what. A person is only allowed to STOP the threat. If all the of the five elements above are met, and you shoot the person, and they fall down and can no longer be reasonably perceived to be a threat to you, you cannot shoot them again, or kick, or even spit on them. You have to call 911 and get them an ambulance. If they die, and you were only trying to stop the threat, it is immaterial to the analysis.

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