The Case of The Shotgun Booby Trap (Real True Crime // Legal Eagle)


100 Replies to “The Case of The Shotgun Booby Trap (Real True Crime // Legal Eagle)”

  1. 👮‍♂️What case should I do next?
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  2. Pausing video

    In this case I'd think law is clear and people can only use deadly force to protect their own life, not their assets. Shotgun to the leg can still kill, meaning it could be seen as attempt at deadly force (or whatever the legal terminology might be). I'd say the homeowners were at the wrong, but the trespasser should carry part of the blame.

    How much should homeowners have to pay? Dunno. You yankees give way too much money to people in courts, but I'd guess reasonable health care expenses and maybe some smaller amount for pain and suffering.

    Lesson here? Don't own empty houses. If you do, get some type of home surveillance or protection method, but don't set deadly traps on them.

  3. Lot of malicious people in this comments section. No, you shouldn’t have the right to rig a trap to kill people indiscriminately just because someone did some petty theft.

  4. I was legitimately impressed by the judge’s decision. That is some good precedent setting. I am somewhat disappointed in/upset by the jury though. Maybe it would nessecitate another appeal, but the the homeowners should not have paid damages. That state should have covered their damages because if the lawyers after the fact are struggling to fit the case into existing law- how are you gonna put it on the homeowners that the homeowners should have known it was wrong.

  5. This reminds me of a case that happened in my country of birth back in 2006. A drunk and very aggressive man walked out on a road in a small village, and compelled the car in front of him to stop. He then climbed up on the car and smashed the front window. The driver tried to drive away, but the guy jumped on her and began strangling her.
    Two bystanders who were taking a walk saw the car standing still in the middle of the road and, having heard on Facebook that a drunk guy was walking around town, decided to check on it. As they approached, the heard the woman screaming and saw the man attacking her. One of the bystanders grabbed an object that was lying by the road and ran over, hitting the guy over the shoulder. The aggressor didn't even react. So he hit him again, this time against the head. The attacker fell out of the car onto the ground, bleeding and unconscious. Realising he had seriously hurt the attacker, the bystander tried to stop the bleeding and called an ambulance. No permanent damage was done to the man, though he had to spend a few weeks in hospital.

    The Bystander was prosecuted for Aggravated Assault. He was found guilty and sentenced to prison for a year, as well as a 5,000 dollar fine.
    The Attacker was fined 800 Dollars and was released on probation.

    Crazy miscarriage of justice. It's insane that stopping a crime can be punished more harshly than committing a crime.

  6. Why, oh just why, didn't they just pull out anything valuable right when they got the deed and it was clear that they wouldn't live there.

  7. As wrong as it was to burgle the house, I think that killing someone over items kept in an empty house is even more wrong, much less setting up an indiscriminately lethal trap anyone could have triggered, like say a cop investigating a potential break-ins. They owned two homes; a few missing objects would hardly have put the homeowners in the poor house.

  8. It would have sucked if it had killed some teenagers and going off your version of the story the family could be reasonably sure someone would open that door so it’s clear they wanted to hurt someone.

  9. I agree with the verdict. The defense's argument that it was a deterrent is faulty since it would have to be known about in advance for someone to be deterred by it. IF there was a warning about a booby trap AND it was clearly visible then MAYBE I would find that argument convincing. However, I still don't think it would be a good idea since it operates indiscriminately. Even if we ignore the gray area of a kid or adult urban explorer entering the house with no intention of causing damage or stealing, if there had been a fire it could have been a firefighter getting shot. Or, if there was a manhunt, police might have entered the house searching for an escaped criminal. While I'm not a fan of using guns for self-defense in most situations, at least there it's a person behind the gun who can decide whether the person in front of them is a valid target or not.

  10. I agree with the Judge and that the Shotgun Trap was unreasonable. I completely fail to understand why the Heirlooms were left at the house at all. Any reasonable person would have removed valuables from a unoccupied Home. They should have been removed from the House to begin with. Thus removing the incentive to Rob in the first place. The Owners had a 2nd Home of Primary Residence.

  11. I have said for years they need to add a law to the books. If you are committing a crime at the time of the incident you can not sue.

    The home owners should also have been able to sue the criminals for all previously stolen items.

  12. I feel the courts we're wrong to award money to the thief. Now if the intent was benign as being a guest on the property then yes damages should be allowed.

  13. I would like to know, if not a booby trap, what would be the next logical step of escalation be? Barbed wire? Would be easily cut away. Caltrops? Would just be brushed aside after the first unlucky step. It was obvious that area control devices were not sufficient to deter burglary. Sure, we can't live in a society where anyone can put up a shotgun booby trap, but we can't live in one where private property is mercilessly destroyed without repercussions either. We gave up our rights to take the law in our own hands on the premisse that others would take it for us. This clearly did not happen in this case.

  14. So, just to be clear, can I set-up a 12 gauge booby-trap next to my bed while I'm sleeping if I disassemble it every morning?

    *Note: I live in New York State, but not NYC.

  15. I really want to see legal eagles take on the “Home Alone” series…. was Kevin justified in law to have used the traps in his home against the burglars?

  16. This is interesting because it sharply characterizes the conflicting interests of the legal system vs the citizenry. In this case, there are two different sets of values coming into play. The citizenry value their personal safety and security, while the legal system values the rule of law itself. The question to the citizenry is, "What lengths can you go to to protect your home and valuables?" while the question to the legal system is, "How do we stop people undermining the rule of law through violence?" Good video; interesting verdict. Would love to have seen an illustration of how this principle is applied across states or between municipalities as an example of federalism at work.

  17. The comments on this really demonstrate why people should not represent themselves in court. The profound lack of nuance demonstrated in not understanding why this decision was made will end up with a defendant losing every time they are guilty and almost every time they are not guilty.

    Being able to work out what the result of this case was going to be, and why, should act as kind of a minimum qualification for being able to represent yourself.

  18. That was a well done video.
    Question: What, if here were signs warning the intruders , like… "intruders are in risk of getting shot by a gun"?

  19. i feel the the judgement was audaciously unfair.

    1.its clear the heirloom was of great importance to the senior couple.as they endured the robbery for 10 years still trying to protect it(and by heirloom i mean not just the antiques but the way they were placed and left by the ancester in the farmhouse),thats clearly why they never sold it or rented it and instead chose to repeatedly repair breakins and locks..went so far as to seek help from sherif(involving law)..but to no avail.

    they were frustrated and in a desperate and final attempt set the trap.

    2.if he wasnt shot he wudnt have been caught and,would have continued to steal.as it was already his second time.

    3. the judge should have considered their age..u easily loose patience in old age.obviously they would go bonkers if they were bearing it for 10years.

    4.30k dollars in 1970's is too much for an old possibly retired couple..so unjustified.10k additional as a punishment,shudnt court consider the loss they have already been through? and the cost of repairs?that they now needed humilation as well.!?

    5.this thief already stole and made a fortune once( i don't know if that was mentioned in the hearing) but if so the couple should be compensated back.(if not ill happily take injury for that compensation😡)

    6.the trap was no where deadly. only the weapon was..and as for a country that legalizes possession of arms for citizens,they rather give a printed rulebook of each and every situation where a firearm can or cannot be used. (giving the decision based on predecided senario is stupid,u really expect people know about every senario where its permissible? thats like expecting everyperson to be as educated as attorney) they had a 12 guage gun,they used it..as simple as that..next time please mention"its illegal to use a 12 gauge gun ….from a point blank range… when no one is present in the house".
    (im sorry i deviated from topic).
    yeah so the trap was no where dangerous,only the weapon was..say a doorway is 1 meter wide,assuming the calf width of an american man is 10 cm…so 20 cm of both legs.so hit range is only 20 cm in 100 cm…and less than 20% chances of a leathal damage.the thief was unlucky(or he merely got what he deserved).

    conclusion- the couple could have been spared a punishment of an outrageous sum and public humilation when they had already suffered so much financial and emotional damage. sure they took extreame messures but it was never supposed to be deadly and they should have forgiven as a first time offenders as his injury was as much as an accident resulting from his own actions as much as anything else.also this incident might have eventually bought enough light to situation that thieves wud be more cautious.as for setting example for society,a warning would have been enough so that this day forth it wud be wide and clear to the public to not use guns to protect unoccupied house.

  20. I am not surprised at all. It is unfair at any point to want to inflict permanent damages to another person, unless peope's life is at risk.

  21. OBJECTION!! Question:
    Had the homeowners sought legal counsel prior to the incident and been advised “Lower the shotgun because it will be easier to defend if they sue.” Would that support or detract the reasonableness of the homeowners and their home defence?

    Bonus question: should seeking legal counsel be considered premeditation?

  22. I believe if someone is going to commit a crime they are also taking on the risk of that crime. It’s a known fact that across America there are millions of Gun owners. So if you take it upon your self to commit a criminal act and break into a home you are taking risk of being shot. Rather the residents are home or not doesn’t seem to matter. Human life is more valuable than possessions but it is my opinion that if the person is willing to risk their own life knowing the possibility that there may be an armed resident they themselves are putting the value of those possessions before the value of their own life. With that said the person who committed the crime knowingly took on the risk not only of being caught but also possible injury or death. So they knew the risk and didn’t it anyway so they got what they got rather they liked it or not as an adult we are responsible for our own decisions and the outcome of those decisions. The home owners were in the right in my opinion.

  23. More like these, please! I know they take a lot longer but you've got good production values and the animation and voice acting were well executed. And they really add depth to the story than just you in front of the camera.

  24. Maybe you can do some murder/serial killer cases? Theres a ton of youtubers who do these stories, but to see the legal side of murder/serial killer stories would be interesting. Plus, maybe dilute that greedy lawyer stereotype. What is it like for the lawyer defending a serial killer or murderer? (I know your a civil lawyer's but ya know lol)

  25. I figured the law would side with the guy breaking into their house. I get that if they had been home it would have been perfectly legal, but since they were away, use of lethal force is not permitted. Thats fairly reasonable. What's not reasonable is awarding any money to the home invader. The homeowners should have been fined by the state.

  26. I really like this episode. This kind of stuff is really interesting and presented very well. Definitely do more!

    As for what my decision would’ve been made if I had been the judge? I would say that while the trap was excessive And will constitute a violation in the future (set that precedent now) I would not say that the Brineys should face fine. Whether or not they were within the law was up for debate obviously, and obviously the thief would not have been injured and had he not set foot somewhere where he was not welcome. I agree that we shouldn’t encourage people to set up death traps in their homes but at the same time I don’t think they deserve to be punished him for taking what they thought was reasonable action after the other methods failed, including local law-enforcement.

  27. I think this is a fuckin shame. If you intend to commit a felony by breaking into someones home, you should go into the situation knowing your criminal wrongdoing could cost you life or limb.

  28. decent animation and good story telling. Now WOW what a loaded advertisement. The spring gun that went off at the end of this was life threatening. we don't need more pay sites for material just go back to 2010 youtube rules and pay scales.

  29. I actually do not have a problem with this verdict.
    The whole time I was asking myself. Why did they not take the valuables back home with them, once things were being stolen. Unless I missed that explanation. Either way that does not excuse the thieves actions. I also do not believe blowing someones leg off or killing them is an appropriate response to thievery. You are not "standing your ground" either, you are not on the property.

    Also, question. If they had placed a sign up at the house or yard, that explained trespassers will be shot. would that have got them off the hook for any damages the shotgun booby trap caused?

  30. I had an old friend (who got me into meth) fell through a sun roof thus getting injured, which ended up being a very similar case. But don't worry he's crippled now from a stolen car accident. 😁

  31. Why didn't Katko's lawyer argue for loss of income, since he can't perform his burglaries any more with the gimp leg?

  32. We have Criminal World Families, Criminal Politicians, Criminal MSM & Brainwashed Sheep running a Smear Campaign – Now trying to Impeach the Man the Nation has Elected to Save Our Country. Satan and his Cronies are in a Panic. Many Prayers are needed to Finish God's Work

  33. might be one of the stupidest verdicts in history of course the spouses were in the wrong and should ne answerable but what sane person would award damages to the intruders

  34. I love this video! Please do more in this format. It's like a story with law information sprinkled in.

    I disagree with the verdict on a philosophical level. While I don't think a permanently painful leg is a fair punishment for a couple burglaries, I can't stand a thief. In my opinion, when you enter someone else's property with malicious intent, it is on them to determine what the proper course of action is. I know the law doesn't differentiate between children roaming into the home and burglary, but I think intent SHOULD be everything when making these decisions (even though it's not). If someone enters a home unlawfully and with malicious intent, the owner should be able to shoot them dead if they deem it necessary. After all, the owner doesn't know if the bugler has a gun, or intends violence on his/her family. Siding with criminals in cases like these only makes self-defense harder. How about just don't steal people's property or trespass, and act like a decent human? Why are people even a little bit sympathetic to a thief? I just don't get it.

  35. I like my USN definition: "deadly force is authorized as a last resort when lesser means have failed or cannot be reasonably imployed"

  36. This story could be interesting for you. I think it deserves a movie of its own.

    There is a lot more to this story that the paper couldn't publish because of its violent nature, but it can be pretty easily located.
    https://www.newspapers.com/clip/16742534/ottawa_journal_13_mar_1971_witt_murders/

  37. While it seems unreasonable to possibly kill a human to protect an object when no lives are in any danger, and the reasonable thing to do would have been to remove any valuables from the farm and keep them in their home instead of the vacant farm, I also don't think it's reasonable to expect the farm owners to know all of that.

    To this day, lawyers in the USA disagree about this case and different states in the US have different regulations regarding whether a spring gun in an unoccupied home is acceptable to protect property alone. For example, in the state of Texas, you are currently allowed to do what these home owners did. If lawyers across the United States still don't agree about this issue nearly 50 years later, why is it reasonable to expect ordinary citizens to understand the legal ramifications of their decision to set up a spring gun in their own bedroom when there did not exist any specific regulations explicitly barring them from doing this?

    Even if it is unreasonable to set up a spring gun for this reason, the state of Iowa should have paid for the damages sustained as a result of the spring gun because the home owners had no way of knowing that what they did was in any way questionable.

  38. One word…birdshot. now limp your ass to the hospital. Also in some cases, justice should be handled like the UFC. "Never leave it in the hands of judges".

  39. sounds to me, Mr Briney should've stayed in that house a few nights with his shotgun, and blown the crooks face off. Thanks to this court case, that's what many would decide to do. If someone has a vendetta against someone who will never be caught for their breaking and entering, without extreme scenarios like this one. You're setting a precedence for that reaction. A fed up home owner constantly being burgled would now think, should I spare this person, who may sue me for thousands I can't afford, couldn't afford to keep that house up after all, or should I kill the guy, mitigating such a possibility, while claiming he was protecting himself? What was better in reality, The crook losing a leg, or the crook losing a face? According to Illinois, better the crook get his head blown off.

  40. Objection! I don't know. If criminals see I value my stuff over their life (and that is true) they will be more likely to murder me in a robbery. Doesn't that make all home invasions inherently violent acts that require deadly force?

  41. i'll take the brineys side and say that you can put a shotgun boobytrap in your home to deter traspassers,but if you are at home and a traspasser gets injured you are obliged to give him medical care and call emergency services

  42. so he broke into someones house, wanted to steal stuff and was some ranch dressing away from a salad and sued, now that's a bruh moment

  43. what about castle doctrine though? if you're home during a robbery, does the rule still apply that you cannot use force resulting in bodily harm or death?

    note: I'm not a lawyer

  44. That lady does not know private property laws or understand the Second Amendment, and that’s all I’m going to say… The homeowners are in the right here, had the criminal not been in their home trying to burglarize their home he would never have been shot in the leg simple as that, there are private property laws and oh yeah the second amendment which allow you to do things like this…

  45. It's amazing how many of the commenters here seem to think that any time you are doing a crime(even if it is just theft), then whatever happens to you is on you – even if it is completely disproportionate to the offense. Just because you are doing a criminal act, does not mean that you lose your rights to be treated as a human being. It really makes me understand why people come out in favor of police brutality. If your life is in danger, you can commit violence in self-defense. Committing violence when there is no possibility that anyone will be injured is not justice.

  46. "encountered slight resistance" and he didn't realize it was a booby trap? I changed my mind at that point–this man's own willful stupidity was the cause of his injury. I am fine with that.

  47. This is an additional way law cases should be presented then we can discuss. Not everyone can absorb the content from just a long mass of texts like most law professors think! 😑 #1LClasses #Torts

  48. The precedent this court case set is that any robber can walk into your home, steal your stuff, get hurt, and then sue you for getting hurt and get away with it… sickening.

  49. If you dont belong somewhere, it's an "at your own risk" situation. If you get hurt or die in any way, if you shouldn't be there, it's your fault.

  50. The lesson to take from this video everyone, if you have anything of value. It's better to keep that in safe place where you can keep an eye of it then somewhere no one can protect it.

  51. your right dont maim, he should have put it higher, about head height.

    once you break the law and in violation of others right you are in forfeit of you own rights. you conveniently left out what exactly was in that room. could it have been a gun safe. then what, the owner is gun is then implemented into many more deadly crimes. imagine a slew of murders, only finger prints on the weapons are that of the original owners.

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