Posts tagged “Mike Fitzsimmons

Zimmerman Case Similar to the Shooting at the OK(auchee) Corral, with One Glaring Exception

The Hells Angels have a saying: three men can keep a secret if two are dead.

During the trail of George Zimmermann, what the jury heard was the version of events from the confrontation’s only survivor.   The shooter may have been telling the truth; he might have embellished certain facts, or misrepresented his true intent.  However, the bottom line in the Zimmermann case is the bottom line: investigators and jurors are not clairvoyant.  The jury did what the jury should have done when presented with the information it received: acquit the person charged with a crime the state could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

In my book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. I & II, I discussed a somewhat similar case in a chapter entitled, “Shooting at the OK(auchee) Corral.”  During this incident, which occurred about a year-and-a-half prior to the death of Trayvon Martin, a homeowner, Mike Fitzsimmons, heard someone inside of his unattached garage. Instead of calling the police, he decided to arm himself and confront the intruder, James Babe.  Fitzsimmons called 911 after the shooting and said, “Someone was in my garage. They ran out, they wouldn’t, they were attacking me, so I shot him.”

In the Okauchee case, the homeowner, although he alleges an attack, suffered no injuries while discharging two rounds. After the first shot hit Babe, information contained in a search warrant affidavit noted that a second round was discharged as Babe was either falling or had landed on the homeowner’s deck, as the projectile passed through Babe’s body and was lodged, in part, in a wooden plank.  Moreover, tests revealed that the shooter had marijuana in his system.

Absent much controversy, since Fitzsimmons and Babe were both white, the Waukesha County District Attorney’s office ruled the shooting a justifiable homicide.

Needless to say, Al Sharpton did not visit lake country to protest. President Obama didn’t chime into the investigation by proclaiming that if he were white and had a son the child would look like James Babe.  U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, the congressman who represents the area, did not stand in the well of the House of Representatives attired in the outer garment that Babe wore the night he died, even though there had been no recent break-ins in well-heeled Okauchee. Babe’s supporters didn’t send out Tweets promising riots, and the case barely received any attention locally, even though Mike Fitzsimmons was apparently never booked. Moreover, Wisconsin does not have a Stand Your Ground law, and, at the time of Babe’s death, the state legislature had yet to pass the Castle Doctrine.

Where, then, was the outrage from, at a minimum, the cheesehead media?

Since the Shooting at the OK(auchee) Corral lacked a racial nexus, the media types were aware that the public would care little much about the incident, although James Babe is just as dead as Trayvon Martin.

Media outlets, with the exception of taxpayer funded NPR, are for profit businesses. They need to sell what they are peddling in order to entice advertisers to fill their coffers.  Much of what is printed or makes the news has little to do with equality or justice, but, instead, the numbers on a balance sheet.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Milwaukee Police Officer Matt Knight.

All needless deaths are tragic. Both the Martin and Babe families had to bury their sons, which it is why it is important for parents, teachers, police officers, and religious leaders, to stress the value of making sound judgments. When a person stumbles into a garage that isn’t theirs or goes looking for a confrontation with someone they could have avoided, the end result might be their last day on earth or their fate in the hands of a jury.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


When Self-Defense is Self-Evident

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When Wisconsin Republicans took control of the state’s governorship and both branches of the legislature two years ago they passed sweeping legislation pertaining to firearms and self-defense—namely concealed carry and the Castle Doctrine.

But when does a shooting morph from self-defense into little more than a glorified execution?

In my new book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, I profiled the “Shooting at the OK(auchee) Corral,” an incident, whereby, a homeowner in the well-heeled town of Okauchee, Wisconsin, shot-and-killed a man who had entered his garage. The Waukesha County District Attorney’s office later cleared the shooter, Mike Fitzsimmons, in the death of the intruder, James Babe.

Even though Wisconsin’s so-called “Castle Doctrine” provides a blanket of legal protection for shootings that occur when an intruder enters a dwelling, a Minnesota case illustrates why gun owners need to understand the totality of the doctrine of self-defense—the tenants of which emanate from natural law.

On Thanksgiving, two teenagers forcibly entered the Little Falls, Minnesota home of 64-year-old Byron D. Smith, a retired gopher-state employee.  Around noon, Smith, who was home alone, was “sitting in his basement” when he heard someone walking outside his residence.  He then heard the sound of shattering glass, as if a window had been broken on the main level.  Smith told investigators that he then heard footsteps in the main level hallway. A few moments later, an individual began descending down the stairs into the basement. 

Armed with a .223 rifle, Smith shot the intruder, 17-year-old Nicholas Brady, who then tumbled down the stairs. According the criminal complaint, the badly wounded Brady looked-up at Smith, who then shot the unarmed intruder in the face.  Smith allegedly told investigators that he fired the round at Brady’s head because, “I want him dead.”

For whatever reason, instead of immediately calling the police, Smith then placed Brady’s body on a tarp. 

A few minutes later, Smith heard an additional set of footsteps on the main level.  Soon, another person began descending down the steps into the basement.  Smith told investigators that he waited until he could see the female’s “hips,” and then opened fire. Eighteen-year-old Haile Kifer then fell down the steps. Smith told investigators that he attempted to fire at Kifer again but his rifle jammed—at which time Kifer allegedly laughed at Smith.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith told investigators, ‘If you’re trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again.’

Smith then reached for a .22 revolver and shot Kifer in her chest several times.  Still alive, Smith placed the handgun under Kifer’s jaw and discharged a round “under the chin up into the cranium” in order to get “a good clean finishing shot” to put her out of her misery.

Castle Doctrine aside, citizens and police officers may employ the use of deadly force in self-defense if they fear for their life or the life of another. The purpose of using deadly force is to stop the actions of the perpetrator.

A 1969 Minnesota statute—609.065—permits “the intentional taking of the life of another” if “resisting or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor’s place of abode.”  Under this statute, Smith’s actions would have likely met that state’s standard of self-defense if he had simply stopped after shooting Brady and Kifer just once.  Instead, Smith is now charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

And, make no mistake about it, the State of Minnesota appears intent on making an example out of Smith, as the powers-that-be have assigned  the case to Peter Orput—a seasoned prosecutor and proud member of the NRA.

“Somebody has got to stand up for these two dead kids,” Orput told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. I have some strong feelings about the evidence I’ve reviewed.”

The alleged use of excessive deadly force by Bryon Smith should serve as a reminder to every gun owner that the doctrine of self-defense is not a license to kill. Sometimes, as I’ve written before, the best form of crime control is calling the police.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Vol-ebook/dp/B00AGZTALE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354972268&sr=8-1&keywords=spingola+files

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


Shooting at the OK(auchee) Corral Still Under Review

To view this article, please checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, available exclusively at Amazon.com in December of 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. 

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

 © Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2011


When Calling the Police is the Best Form of Crime Prevention

 

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. 

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

 © Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2011