Suspect's shooting investigated

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An Augusta man who shot a man suspected of breaking into his pickup truck Sunday night could face charges, police said Monday.

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office and the district attorney's office are investigating the incident involving Michael Thurman, 38, of the 1900 block of Wrightsboro Road, said sheriff's Maj. Kenneth Autry.

Jeffery Conrad Whitt, 19, of the 1600 block of Floyd Street, remained in jail late Monday. charged with three counts of entering an automobile to commit a theft, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Allison Godden. Mr. Whitt is also charged in two other car break-ins Sunday evening, police said.

At 9:40 p.m. Sunday, police were called to the 1800 block of Wrightsboro Road.

Mr. Thurman told police his wife heard a noise and saw a man inside their 2002 GMC 2500 pickup. Investigator Godden said Mr. Thurman grabbed a gun and confronted the suspect in a dark area behind his home.

Three shots were fired, and Mr. Whitt was struck in his lower right calf, Investigator Godden said. Mr. Whitt was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and booked into jail about 3 a.m. She said both Mr. Whitt and Mr. Thurman's wife called 911 to report the shooting.

"Mr. Thurman said he told the suspect to stop several times, and he said he feared for his life when he confronted him," Investigator Godden said.

Maj. Autry said the continued investigation is warranted because "the DA will look at the circumstances to determine if (Mr. Thurman) was justified in shooting the suspect."

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.

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full moon
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full moon 01/29/08 - 03:44 am
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Good job Mr Thurman you did

Good job Mr Thurman you did it right you just were a little low you missed his head

disgusted
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disgusted 01/29/08 - 04:14 am
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thats right investigate the

thats right investigate the victum. let the suspect go to do it again. what wrong with the laws and the da s put there to enforce them the idiot was caught in the act but now they want to investigate the victum pull your head out into the light this is the kind of thing that needs to happen so these types of people will get the message rhat crime doesnt pay. he got what he asked for only it should have been for keeps. wake up da office

nonumberplease
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nonumberplease 01/29/08 - 04:44 am
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Don't exen think about it

Don't exen think about it charging the owner, he is protecting
family and his property!

Ole School
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Ole School 01/29/08 - 04:51 am
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the only problem is YOU SHOT

the only problem is YOU SHOT TOO LOW !!!!! AIM HIGH !

RobbyLogan
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RobbyLogan 01/29/08 - 05:39 am
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I agree that the owner done

I agree that the owner done the right thing. People are tired of being victimized. Maybe now the little thief will think twice before breaking into someone else's property because next time the shot just might be higher up!

areyoukiddinme
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areyoukiddinme 01/29/08 - 05:58 am
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O.C.G.A. § 16-3-24 (2007) §

O.C.G.A. § 16-3-24 (2007) § 16-3-24. Use of force in defense of property other than a habitation (a) A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with real property other than a habitation or personal property: (1) Lawfully in his possession; (2) Lawfully in the possession of a member of his immediate family; or (3) Belonging to a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect. (b) The use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to prevent trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with real property other than a habitation or personal property is not justified unless the person using such force reasonably believes that it is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. I think he was justified according to the facts in this article...

Entering an auto is a felony...

1957
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1957 01/29/08 - 06:10 am
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DA office, get ready to be

DA office, get ready to be very busy. People are tired of being victimized. I for one, will take every mean necessary to protect my family, my home ,and the possessions I have worked my entire life for. Come in my backyard and you will become dog food. Come in the front and your butt is MINE!!

phoenixrising1
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phoenixrising1 01/29/08 - 06:25 am
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DA, if the man's pickup was

DA, if the man's pickup was in his own yard and Whitt had broken into it and was in it, stop your investigation. You have more important things to do.

BR549
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BR549 01/29/08 - 06:32 am
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Um, they are looking into it

Um, they are looking into it to make sure no laws were violated. I don't think they will be spending an inordinate amount of time on this one.

Sissi
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Sissi 01/29/08 - 07:04 am
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Mr. Whitt wasn't entering Mr.

Mr. Whitt wasn't entering Mr. Thurman's home with a gun or beating up Mr. Thurman's wife; he was attempting to steal something from a pickup.

Mr. Thurman should have watched and waited for the police to come and handle the situation. He, too could have been shot if Mr. Whitt had been armed with a gun.

What Mr. Thurman did was dangerous and foolish and hot headed. Citizens taking the law into their own hands and shooting people isn't the answer to anything.

Allowing Mr. Thurman to get away scot free without a consequence sets a bad precedence. The last thing Augusta needs is hundreds of its citizens 'policing' the streets with guns.

Mr. Whitt is in jail where he belongs for stealing. Mr. Thurman should be held accountable for making an unwise choice in using a gun.

disgusted
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disgusted 01/29/08 - 07:16 am
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sissi where did you come

sissi where did you come from. people have the right to protecttheir property from theives and the like there should be no punishment at all for the homeowner. he should be given a pat on the back anyone that doesnt feel that way should be locked away and throw the key away our laws and stupid people like you are the reason people breaking the laws are getting worse every day its time it stopped for good

GetItRight2
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GetItRight2 01/29/08 - 07:22 am
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Whitt was given more than a

Whitt was given more than a fair chance to that evening. He had already broken into my boyfriend's truck and stolen a cellphone before the event with Mr Thurman. When confronted by my boyfriend and neighbors, he tried at first to deny being the villain, then admitted he was guilty. My boyfriend then recovered his cellphone from him. He was told to leave the area immediately, never to return and that the Police had been called. However, he chose to stay in the area and continue with his breaking and entering. We don't need him on the streets, he has no conscience and probably no common sense either, basically he's a stupid law-breaking idiot. He is the dangerous and hot headed one. If Mr Thurman had not stopped him, who knows how many other victims there would have been that night and what events could have transpired.

areyoukiddinme
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areyoukiddinme 01/29/08 - 07:26 am
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sissi, citizens aren't

sissi, citizens aren't policing the streets... they're policing there homes and personal property; which they have every right to do according to the law. Entering his truck without the owver's permission is a felony. According to the law, you have a right to defend yourself, your house, and your property. And use any force necessary including deadly force if it is a forcible felony. BREAKING into a vehicle located on your property is a forcible felony. I say he was justified unless there is more to the story than is being reported.... Either way, i bet the thief thinks twice before stealing something else....

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 01/29/08 - 07:28 am
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If he shot the man in the

If he shot the man in the calf he was likely retreating and not threatning. That's what you maintain car insurance for. I'm by no means saying this man doesn't deserve punishment, but do we kill people now for breaking into cars. I would shoot if I feel threatened, but not because i'm angry. He's only justified if he was in his home, he can only use reasonable force. What if you just happened to be walking by his car and he thought you were breaking in and shot? Too much room for error when you take matters into your own hands without evidence, chaos in society. You are dead and no amount of "sorry I thought" can bring you back.

areyoukiddinme
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areyoukiddinme 01/29/08 - 07:30 am
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sissi, also consider this

sissi, also consider this code section:

§ 16-3-23.1. No duty to retreat prior to use of force in self-defense

A person who uses threats or force in accordance with Code Section 16-3-21, relating to the use of force in defense of self or others, Code Section 16-3-23, relating to the use of force in defense of a habitation, or Code Section 16-3-24, relating to the use of force in defense of property other than a habitation, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use force as provided in said Code sections, including deadly force.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11036
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 01/29/08 - 07:34 am
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You can what if this to death

You can what if this to death but I don't think a Grand Jury will indict the man for protecting his property. I wouldn't. In fact I believe I would do the same. If the Offender were let go again as someone on here has already stated then he will only get bolder and what's next, Burglary, Rape, Assault? Getitright should have pursued charges and panther maybe he'll come to your car when he comes out of the revolving door!

areyoukiddinme
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areyoukiddinme 01/29/08 - 07:34 am
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pantherluvcik, you too need

pantherluvcik, you too need to read the law regarding this situation.... a person is justified in using force that is likely to cause serious injury or death to prevent the commission of a forcible felony...

areyoukiddinme
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areyoukiddinme 01/29/08 - 07:39 am
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cold beer, i agree. i don't

cold beer, i agree. i don't see an indictment based on the facts reported. if there is, we might as well take some laws off the books...

1941
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1941 01/29/08 - 07:55 am
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sissi You must be related to

sissi You must be related to the theif, and if you are not you must be a little off!! We work hard for what we have, and we are going to protect it. I wish every law-abiding citizen would do the same thing, shoot them!!!!! The only thing now is we have to feed and clothe the punk, that is if he even get any time. Mr. Thurman ask for a jury trial if the DA EVEN THINK ABOUT CHARGING YOU!!!!!!!!

E
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E 01/29/08 - 08:16 am
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I bet that kid won't break

I bet that kid won't break into a car again.

Sonny621
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Sonny621 01/29/08 - 08:40 am
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It is reassuring to know that

It is reassuring to know that the DA has nothing more important to do than prosecute a homeowner for protecting himself and property from a known criminal.

pablanco
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pablanco 01/29/08 - 08:41 am
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Mr. Thurman, you deserve a

Mr. Thurman, you deserve a medal.

ImThatGuy
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ImThatGuy 01/29/08 - 08:44 am
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This is a no-win situation.

This is a no-win situation. He did what I would have done, protect what's mine. Who's to say that the house was next. The down side... these criminals have better fire power that RC finest so the next time one of these chumps decide to break in someone's automobile or home they will be expecting a fire fight with a bigger gun than your's. Be careful people... remember "A HERO ain't nothing but a sandwich!"

Lost In Translation
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Lost In Translation 01/29/08 - 08:56 am
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He's lucky he didn't break

He's lucky he didn't break into my truck, he would have a 12 gauge pointed at his face. Or any one of my numerous weapons of choice. Folks, if you are going to keep a weapon in the house for portection, please make sure you go to the range and make sure everyone in the household is able and can use this weapon. A few afternoons of practice could be the difference between life and death.

oopsala
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oopsala 01/29/08 - 09:03 am
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MR thurman will probably be

MR thurman will probably be sued by the victim for pain and suffering and most likely win. So for the future Mr. Thurman please practice your shooting skills and take the scum out forever next time.

govtreprri
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govtreprri 01/29/08 - 09:13 am
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I agree with the majority of

I agree with the majority of comments given...the victim had the right to defend his property with deadly force. One other thing to think about is if the bad guy here is not put away, next time he himself might bring a gun to his robberies. Being shot is a great deterrent to crime.

WHATDIDIDO
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WHATDIDIDO 01/29/08 - 09:18 am
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AREYOUKIDDING, you must be

AREYOUKIDDING, you must be kidding. That section of the code is meant when YOUR LIFE is in danger. You are not covered by any laws if you shoot someone breaking into your automobile. The only question now is should charges be pressed against the owner? IMHO, NO.

rabbit town
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rabbit town 01/29/08 - 09:22 am
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there is an unwritten rule

there is an unwritten rule that Mr. Tuurman should have followed.
If you are going to shoot someone shoot to kill, that way there is only your side of the story.

WHATDIDIDO
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WHATDIDIDO 01/29/08 - 09:25 am
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Listen no one here is trying

Listen no one here is trying to defend a crinimal but at least know the law. Hell we might as well shoot shopliftes, who knows they may go on to rape, rob, murder and who know what else.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 01/29/08 - 09:25 am
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LOL...I bet no one is going

LOL...I bet no one is going to say it !!!!cowards all of us !!!

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