Grand Jury Declines to Indict Texas Mom Who Shot Teen Intruder

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A grand jury in Tarrant County, Texas has refused changes against a woman who shot and killed a 14-year-old who was trying to break into her home, accepting her argument that she was acting to protect herself and her children. 


Aleah Wallace called police on December 14th, 2023 to report an attempted burglary, but by the time officers responded the suspect had already taken off. Just a few hours later, however, Wallace said she heard the sound of a window in her apartment being opened, and spotted a figure trying to make his way inside

“I stood in the hallway, and I could see him standing at the window, lifting it up,” Wallace told KDFW. “I just shot.

... When they returned to the scene, officers found the teenager on the ground in the front yard with multiple gunshot wounds, according to police and the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Family members identified the 14-year-old who was killed as Devin Baker, an eighth-grade student at Rosemont Middle School. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

... Durwyn Lamb, a youth mentor, told the Star-Telegram he met with Devin and a group of other students at their school about two weeks before the shooting. “Tragic,” Lamb said. “You know, young man 14 years old, and I seen something in him. I seen myself in him actually, and I just thought, man, he had something good about him that I could tell, it’s just misguided. And it’s just sad he lost his life that way.”


It is sad, but when you try to break into someone's home in the middle of the night, getting shot isn't exactly an unforeseeable circumstance. Baker made a terrible mistake when he decided it was worth the risk, and Wallace had every right to protect herself and her kids from an unknown intruder. 

When we first covered Wallace's case back in January, we noted that even though she had not been arrested in the shooting, she was still facing eviction from her subsidized apartment because of its "gun-free" policy. I'm happy to report that while Wallace and her kids are living in a new place, she left of her own volition, not because she was kicked out.  

Attorney Mark Melton took up her defense on that issue pro-bono and that eviction case was dropped.

Many people supported Wallace, including Central Texas Republican State Rep. Carrie Isaac. 

"I want to say thak you so much, we are eternally grateful. We were able to move away from the apartments so, thank you," said Wallace.

Along with her children, Aleah Wallace is in counseling as well. She and her family have moved to another part of Tarrant County.

While many of us own firearms for self-defense, we'd be perfectly happy never having to actively deploy our rifle, pistol, or shotgun to protect ourselves or our loved ones. We simply want to be left alone and unmolested by violent actors, and if it was up to us we'd never have to concern ourselves about home invaders, burglarers, carjackers, or mass murderers. That's just not how the world works. We don't get to choose whether or not we're the target of a criminal. Our choice is how we'll respond if our lives are threatened. 


Taking a life, even in self-defense, is still a traumatic event, and it's good that Wallace and her family are talking to counselors. The fact that the grand jurors who considered her case have concluded that prosecuting her would not be in the best interests of justice is even better, and now she can truly start the next chapter in her family's life without the fear of being sent to prison for protecting herself and her children. 

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