In part one, we applied a detailed analytical process to determine that the 75-year-old Lake County homeowner who confronted, shot at, and killed one of six Chicago teens as they approached his rural home at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday morning clearly acted in self-defense.
My overarching contention was other journalists, and particularly Chicago Tribune columnists Dahleen Glanton and Eric Zorn, are not only applying their own stilted political agendas, but their expectations of a senior citizen who just got out of bed to find himself outnumbered six-to-one are patently absurd.
Please also recall that, since that 14-year-old died during the commission of a felony, as Illinois law allows, the five surviving teens were charged as adults with first-degree murder. Barring some sort of plea deal, they’re looking at 20 years to life.
But just when you think my press compatriots couldn’t possibly get any worse, while the homeowner has been subjected to the most massive scrutiny, the teenagers who drove over a hundred miles in a stolen car to steal another one are generally being rehabilitated.
Before we continue, let me be perfectly clear that neither previous charges, being a drug addict, a mental illness, nor the act of committing a crime automatically render anyone’s life forfeit. A Memphis, Tennessee, grocery store clerk was just convicted of second-degree murder for shooting a 17-year-old in the back as fled with a $2 can of beer. Now he’s looking at 15 to 60 years in the pen.
I also want to acknowledge that none of those factors entered into the equation that fateful Tuesday morning. The homeowner had no clue who he was dealing with, so, in that regard, these kids’ lengthy criminal histories is utterly immaterial.
But if we’re gonna view every last nanosecond of the homeowner’s response through a vast journalistic hindsight electron microscope, then those criminal histories are fair game, too. As an attorney would say, “It goes to motive.”
What bothers me is I’ve only read one news report that mentions those rap sheets. Part of the issue might be that five of the six teens are juveniles, but they admitted they were in Lake County to commit burglaries and steal cars, something they’d certainly done before. Even the mother of the slain teen said she let her son stay with his cousins despite knowing they had an affinity for other peoples’ vehicles.
So, they certainly weren’t at that house to ask for directions, and they clearly understood the risk involved because they were armed with at least one rather large knife. And they were ready to use that knife, too. I’m convinced they would’ve killed what they considered to be an easy mark if our senior citizen wasn’t armed. They clearly had no intention of fleeing until the shots were fired.
You see, if the homeowner’s intent matters, then those teens ill intent matters, too. But for some strange reason the Tribune, and particularly Glanton, believe they deserve some sort of unearned absolution simply for being young minorities.
Let’s not forget that those “children” also led the police on a 120-mph high speed chase only stopping when they ran out of gas, something Glanton likes to completely gloss over
And speaking of parents, where were the bleep were they? The mother of the deceased claimed she was “overprotective” and never let her son go anywhere, but the evidence proves otherwise. I know it’s beyond tough being a single mother, especially for minorities, but most mothers manage to keep their children from roaming the Collar Counties at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in a stolen vehicle.
In the end, if those “children” weren’t out in Lake County at that ungodly hour, then one wouldn’t be dead and five more wouldn’t be sitting in jail on $1 million bond. But because they’re minorities those parents get a free pass, but not the homeowner whose life was clearly threatened?
Of course, as is par for the course, those families are now self-righteously extolling the vast virtue of these sainted teens and the press just laps it up and prints it. When did journalism become propaganda? On second thought, don’t answer that question, it would be far too depressing.
Given their histories, I’m quite happy they’re sitting in jail, which would not have been the case without the murder charges. Then they’d simply be stealing more cars as we speak. And I have no problem with those charges, either. The bottom line is, if it weren’t for their collective actions, a 14-year-old would still be alive.
As we’ve already discussed, this tragic outcome was not entirely unpredictable.
But while I’m good with the charges and I would encourage Illinois lawmakers to resist the pressure to repeal the forced felony law, I do have a problem with the sentencing. In this case twenty years to life is a lot like trying to put out a match with a firehose.
Since everyone is inherently redeemable, five to ten on the forced felony would be a far more equitable sentence.
We consistently mourn how the impending death of local journalism is going to have some serious consequences, not the least of which is more misbehaving public officials. But if this news story is truly indicative of where the mainstream press is going, then let the death throes commence!
Save the date!
Monday, August 26 at 1 p.m. in courtroom 110 at the Kane County Courthouse on Third Street in Geneva, I will make my civil litigatory debut in my lawsuit against the Kane County State’s Attorney.
Please don’t get too excited, it’s just a status hearing, but it is the only time any part of this case will be heard in Kane County. After that, it’ll be off to Yorkville. Feel free to stop by and observe if you see fit.