A Belfair (WA) man went to check on the home he owns next door to his own and discovered that a man had broken in and was, bizarrely enough, taking a shower. Instead of leaving the home and calling the police to come deal with the naked menace, the man apparently thought the he had a legal opportunity to murder someone, and ran home for his gun.
You can guess what happened next.
A Washington state homeowner was charged with murder after he shot and killed a man he found taking a shower in his bathroom, according to police.
The homeowner, who has not been identified, shot 31-year-old Nathaniel Joseph multiples times on Saturday, the Mason County Sheriff’s Office said.
Detectives said the homeowner was in his house and went next door to check on another property that he owns.
When he arrived at the second property, the homeowner found a screen taken off the window and the door kicked in. He continued to investigate and saw the intruder taking a shower.
Investigators said the homeowner left the property without calling police and returned with a gun, killing the intruder.
The homeowner is now facing a second-degree murder charge.
“Certainly he had an opportunity to call law enforcement at that time,” Mason County Sheriff’s Lt. Travis Adams told KOMO-TV. “And we’ve contacted our local prosecutor, explained the circumstances to him, and he agrees that second-degree murder was an appropriate charge in this case.”
Time and again, we hear Internet tough guys bragging about what they would do if they had an opportunity to pull a weapon on another human being. Some seem downright eager to kill another human being. Based upon his actions, the man arrested seems to have been of that mindset.
The man who broke into the empty home was not a credible threat to the property owner, as he was both presumably naked, and clearly unaware that he’d been discovered.
The correct course of action in this incident was obvious. Having confirmed a break-in with the burglar still inside, the property owner should have retreated to his own residence next door and called the police to come pick up the intruder.
But he didn’t do that, did he?
Instead of doing the right thing and the smart thing by calling the police to handle the incident, the property owner apparently saw a chance to play Norman Bates and see what it was like to kill another human being in a shower ambush.
Now, I’m aware that Nathaniel Joseph is no Janet Leigh, but he was every bit as defenseless, and at least Leigh’s character had a slight chance of defending herself against a knife attack. I wonder if Joseph even knew the property owner had discovered him before the bullets began ripping into his body.
I believe firmly in the castle doctrine. Someone breaking into your home should be considered a lethal threat until proven otherwise. But the property owner in this instance wasn’t a person under threat. He discovered that the home had been broken into from outside. At that point, he should have called the police. He didn’t. He instead went inside the home to discover the showering Joseph. He should have retreated and called the police. He didn’t. He instead retrieved a firearm, returned to the home a second time, and gunned down Joseph.
The second-degree murder charges are a good call by the prosecutor here.
The right to to self defense is not an excuse to coldly kill another human being.