Until Saturday, the recent killing-people-for-stupid-reasons fad was confined to adults -- a barber shooting another barber who disrespected him, say, or a man whacking his neighbor over a parking space. Then a 14-year-old shotgunned a Jet Ski thief in the head.
Twenty-year-old Reynaldo Muñoz rode his own wave runner to the juvenile's waterfront home on North Bayshore Avenue with plans of riding off on the family's wave runner, according to The Miami Herald. Instead, the kid discovered Muñoz and turned him into what must have been a very unfortunate-looking corpse.
It's not clear how Muñoz planned to ride two wave runners back to the marina where his girlfriend was waiting with the getaway trailer, but the 14-year-old who killed him could be in hot water: The Miami Herald is reporting that the burglar was deaf and could not speak, which casts some doubt on the family's original story to police.
They said Muñoz "indicated he was armed and planned to harm them", according to the Herald, but it's not clear how he would have had time to mime out the whole threat before he was shot in the head.
Police are now investigating whether the killing was justifiable in accordance with the state's "castle doctrine," which allows killing someone who has illegally entered a home. But this controversial law doesn't apply to yards in Florida, though it does apply to tents and attached porches.
Unable to use the Florida castle doctrine, the defendant likely will argue self defense, according to Miami criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Waxman, who is not affiliated with the case.
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"The question is whether the intruder or the perpetrator reasonably appeared to be offering deadly force, which means threatening with a gun or a knife" or some other weapon, Waxman said. "And it sounds like that probably was not the case."
- Killing a guy who breaks into your house: OK.
- Killing a guy who is sneaking off with something you don't want him to sneak off with: Not OK.