LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com/AP) — Police in Southern California say they’re deciding whether to arrest an 80-year-old man who shot a fleeing, unarmed burglar despite her telling him she was pregnant.
Long Beach police also said Thursday that the woman’s accomplice has been arrested on suspicion of murder for taking part in a crime that led to her death.
Police Chief Jim McDonnell says Tom Greer is cooperating with the investigation, but he wouldn’t say whether charges will be recommended to prosecutors.
McDonnell said, “Basically, you can defend yourself in you’re in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. Based on the information we have, and what we can determine between now and the time we present this to the district attorney, he’ll make the determination as to whether it was reasonable, his actions at either point.”
CBS2/KCAL9 legal analyst Steve Meister said the District Attorney’s Office will look at several factors before deciding whether Greer should be charged.
“He may face no charge at all, or he may face murder,” Meister said. “What if she were going out to retrieve a weapon of her own and come back and kill him? Is he supposed to wait until he sees a gun in her hand to prevent him and his family from being killed? No, she’s already demonstrated her intent and her willingness to hurt him.”
“But what if the homeowner got really hot-blooded about the situation and was like, ‘You know, I’m just going to finish her off for the heck of it. Because I want to.’ Well, that’s not self defense anymore, it’s murder,” the attorney said.
The chief says Andrea Miller, 28, didn’t appear pregnant, but an autopsy would provide the answer.
But McDonnell says the murder charge against Gus Adams, 26, is possible because he’s accused of being involved in a felony that led to a death.
Greer told a local news outlet that he walked in on the burglars Tuesday night and tried to shoot both of them as they fled, but Adams got away and he was only able to hit Miller.
Police say both were unarmed.
Greer told police the same couple had robbed him at least twice before.
Investigators say Miller had a long criminal background.
As police try to figure out exactly what happened that night, Greer, who suffered a broken collarbone, is in seclusion with his family.
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