PORTLAND, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana man has been convicted of criminal recklessness for shooting an intruder who was fleeing his property after allegedly breaking into the garage.
A Jay Superior Court jury found David McLaughlin, 32, guilty Thursday of criminal recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury in the April shooting outside his home in Dunkirk, about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis.
A judge did not immediately schedule a sentencing hearing for McLaughlin, who will remain free pending sentencing.
McLaughlin testified Thursday morning that he was in fear for his life when he fired three gunshots at the fleeing intruder outside his garage, The Star Press reported (http://tspne.ws/1pu5dZQ ).
McLaughlin said he was awakened about 12:30 a.m. April 21 by an alarm indicating that someone was in his garage and when he went outside armed with his handgun, a man “came running out of my garage and scared me.”
“I yelled for him to stop and freeze,” he said. “He did not. … It was so fast I really didn’t know what was going on.”
McLaughlin said his gunshots were in response to arm movements by the intruder that made him believe the man was preparing to open fire with a gun of his own. Jay County Prosecutor Wesley Schemenaur told the court McLaughlin had made no such claims in interviews with police.
Schemenaur maintained that the man charged with breaking into McLaughlin’s garage, David A. Bailey of Albany, was not posing a threat to McLaughlin.
Bailey, 29, testified Wednesday that he was shot in the left arm as he ran down an alley near the defendant’s home. Bailey has denied trying to burglarize the garage.
Trial testimony indicated the second and third gunshots were fired at the intruder as he fled down an alley. Bailey testified he was hit by the third shot, after the second bullet narrowly missed his head.
Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com
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