Homeowner shoots man trying to break into his home. The invader was released from prison three days earlier.

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MIAMI, OK – The fatal shooting of a suspected home invader occurred on January 8th in the city of Miami in Oklahoma just three days after the suspect was released from a jail. 

According to reports, 30-year-old Roger Nelums was fatally shot by the owner of a residence located in the 900 block of B Street Northwest at approximately 12:16 a.m. on January 8th. The shooting followed an alleged break-in by the suspect into the home. 

Miami Police Chief Thomas Anderson stated that Nelums began banging on the back door of the residence while the homeowner was inside of his living room.

The homeowner told the police that he armed himself with a shotgun after he heard someone enter his house through a back bedroom window. Officials say that Nelums then began to approach the homeowner, which then the homeowner fired one shot at the suspect. 

Nelums was transported by ambulance to the Miami Integris Hospital.  Approximately 45 minutes after the encounter between the homeowner and the suspect, Nelums was pronounced deceased at the hospital. 

It was reported that Nelums had just been released from the Ottawa County jail on January 5th. Court records indicated that the suspect’s release was linked to charges of receiving or concealing stolen property and false declaration of ownership in pawn.

Digging further into Nelums criminal background revealed that he has had previous warrants for his arrest issued for child abuse, violating a protective order, domestic assault and battery, burglary of an automobile, larceny, drug violations, concealing stolen property and threatening acts of violence.

The case has not been closed and detectives continue to investigate as the incident resulted in a loss of life. Due to the ongoing investigation, officials have only stated that there are no charges being pursued against the homeowner at this time. 

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Back in November of 2020, Law Enforcement Today shared a report on pending legislation in Tennessee regarding an expansion on when deadly force can be used against alleged threats to one’s home. Read on for further details.

Proposed legislation would allow homeowners to use deadly force while defending their homes, cars and more

November 26, 2020

TENNESSEE- A Tennessee lawmaker recently proposed new legislation that would allow homeowners to use deadly force to protect their homes against robbery, arson, or burglary. 

State Representative Jay D. Reedy submitted HB0011 last week in a bid to grant residents protection when defending their property. The bill would amend Tennessee’s current laws that are related to the “justification excluding criminal responsibility.”

The bill outlines that homeowners would be justified in the use of deadly force to protect “real or tangible, movable property”.

The amendment reads:

“A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect real or tangible, movable property”

The legislation would allow residents to use discretion when defending their homes. It is outlined that deadly force can be used, “when and to the degree the person reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary.”

Under the legislation, deadly force is acceptable when residents are acting to prevent “the other’s imminent commission of an act of arson, burglary, theft during hours of darkness, robbery, or aggravated robbery”.

It is also stated that homeowners can use deadly force to prevent criminals from fleeing after committing a robbery or similar crime. The bill states that deadly force is justified to prevent criminals from “fleeing immediately after committing an act of arson, burglary, theft during hours of darkness, robbery, or aggravated robbery”.

Similar to this, there is also a subsection of the legislation that allows residents to use deadly force if they “reasonably” believe that using non-deadly force would put them in harms way.

The policy stipulates that deadly force is acceptable if:

“The use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the real or tangible, movable property would expose the person or a third person to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.”

Rep. Reedy spoke to Clarksville Now about the legislation saying:

“So if somebody came to your property, was stealing your lawnmower, stealing your car, you would not be able to use lethal force. I thought it was crazy that we could not use deadly force.”

Reedy later said:

“The bill is basically mirroring Texas law, but I don’t want Texas law. I want Tennessee law,”

The Tennessee Firearms Association also spoke about the bill calling it “a major change in Tennessee law.”

In a statement, the association called the bill a reflection of Tennessee resident’s “heightened interest” in defending their homes:

“The unusual thing is that the bill actually appears to reflect what a lot of Tennesseans already believe is the law but is not. The new legislation reflects a heightened interest in the rights of people to protect their homes, businesses, properties and items from thieves, rioters, looters and other criminals.”

The firearms association also pointed out the flaws within Tennessee’s current property defense laws. The statement continued:

“Further, under Tennessee law, the use of ‘deadly force’ does not require that a person actually discharge a firearm or cause injury with any other weapon. A person may be accused and convicted of using deadly force merely by ‘brandishing’ a weapon, that is, displaying it in a threatening manner towards another.”

In an interview, Reedy told the Tennessee Star:

“Tennesseans must have the right not only to protect their lives but their property,”

But, not everyone is on board with the amendments. Legal analyst Nick Leonardo argued against the bill calling it “vigilante legislation”.

Leonardo told WTVF:

“To be able to just shoot someone because you thought they were taking your personal property is not where America is or we’ve been in the last hundred years,”

Reedy has conceded that the legislation is still in the early stages of development and will go through further refinement to better fit the needs and wants of Tennessee residents.

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