Alarm would have prevented heartache


First I do not know either party and have no input from law enforcement or attorneys. My conclusions are based on U-B reports and Jim Nagle’s letter.

There is no argument that the New York Store was robbed of six belts and a belt buckle with damage done to the front glass door and a display case. The question stems from the shooting by the owner of the suspect.

The dispute is: Did the owner have the right based on self-defense of himself, property or to stop a fleeing felon? The argument of self defense or property when the suspect left the store doesn’t stand up. The suspect was pushing or riding his bicycle away from the store, not straight across the street but on a diagonal line toward the Colonial Motel.

With a near-full moon that night it would be easy for the human eye to detect if the suspect was moving away and not toward the owner. Also the fact that he was able to hit the suspect at 120 feet to 150 feet moving away shows he was able to see his movement.

So it comes down to a fleeing felon.

How would you know if he was a fleeing felon unless you were a law enforcement officer making an arrest based on prior information? The argument that the owner says the suspect threatened him doesn’t make it so. We will never know.

But the owner did in fact step out of his store door, take aim and shoot the suspect moving away at 120 feet to 150 feet. Not an easy shot with a shotgun with buckshot. Not one shot, but five. Not trying to scare the suspect off, but intending to kill him.

Many things bother me about this incident. Number one is why no alarm system for the store? If the owner was worried about robbery why wouldn’t he have one? Not from a fancy alarm company, but just a loud alarm? Buy a shotgun as a backup, no problem. But an alarm could have scared off the suspect and saved all a lot of heartache.

Before anyone jumps to assumptions. I believe everyone has the legal right to own a gun to protect themselves and their family. If this shooting had happened within the store, I wouldn’t be writing this letter.

Finally to Jim Nagle. He was not hired for the easy cases. It’s the hard ones that we need a prosecuting attorney for. Dropping a case because it’s too hard means he is not good enough for his position.

John Crane

College Place



silenthill12 says...

I just don't understand how some ppl have made this young man the victim, when this young man at 22 yrs old had a record of 19 arrest,and 6 felonies,and working on his 7 th that night, where as John at 65 yrs old has no record, John like most here in walla walla go by the law,and work hard for what they have, we all can sit here and say what we would have done that night,but is that really fair,as we were not the one's that was woke up at 2:30 in the morning,and are fearing for our life's, the law found that John had the right to shoot him,and as i can tell John was the victim in this, if no one likes the law then try to change it, but be really sure if you want the law changed,because any one of us could be in John shoes one day, God forbid, if you all need to blame some one for this, blame the law for not putting this young man in jail were he could have been safe, and or community would have been safe, its sad that this young man died,but he had a choice to be a law abiding citizen like John and most of us in walla walla

Posted 19 August 2012, 8:57 a.m. Suggest removal

grammaphyllis says...

Note to letter writer Mr. John Crane:
Read the letter from Mr.Nagle a fewmore times.
Clearly, Law Enforcement investigators determined that the
shots were fired from INSIDE the doorway. All the facts come to the same conclusion that it would be hard, no, make that impossible, to get a conviction in this case. It would be a waste of time and money to prosecute Mr. Saul and the likelyhood would be that without a conviction the County would have to pay for his Attorney's fees.
How much more time, effort and money do you want to throw at such a loser of a case? You may want to go buy an alarm system for every store in the valley that does not have one and it would make you feel better the next time.
Mr.Saul broke NO laws in defending his home, property and person.
Time to let it go.

Posted 19 August 2012, 2:04 p.m. Suggest removal

mytwocents says...

I totally agree with grammaphyllis
Time to let it go already.nothing more can or will be done legally. Family will file a civil suit, and that's none of our business.

Posted 20 August 2012, 4:27 p.m. Suggest removal

CRANE07 says...

I hate to have to respond here. But lets get a couple of things right.

silenthill12, I don't know where you got your arrest numbers but I saw no numbers mention in the paper. But the owner who shot didn't know that either. It he could of been a 16 year old doing his first offense and he would still be dead.

Grammaphyllis, "Testimony from Crime Analyst Technician Matt Stroe with the Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Steve Duehn indicated five shotgun shells were found outside the store." That's from the U.B. report. I'm not an expert but I do know shotguns eject shells sideways not forward. I doubt anyone kicked all five shells outside together.
mytwocents, Of course more can be done legally! But will it?

Posted 20 August 2012, 9:42 p.m. Suggest removal

CRANE07 says...

Grammaphyllis, "Testimony from Crime Analyst Technician Matt Stroe with the Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Steve Duehn indicated five shotgun shells were found outside the store." Shotgun shells eject sideways of of the shotgun not forward.
That would place the owner outside the store.

Posted 20 August 2012, 10:28 p.m. Suggest removal

bluedevilcfmy says...

I would like to see the day when people like John can file a civil suit against the harrasers and the family of the punk thief.

Posted 21 August 2012, 7:07 p.m. Suggest removal

silenthill12 says...

@CRANE07 I think you were not following the inquest,because that is one of the places where i got my info,but then again if your one of this young mans family member or friend, you wouldn't want ppl to know this young mans record, any way any one can,and i have looked this young mans record up, here is one thing i would like to know is why was this young man and his girlfriend at the New York store may 2,and stayed there for 45min,then this young man broke in on may 4, See CRANE07 some times its better to just move on and let this young man rest in peace,and let walla walla heal

Posted 22 August 2012, 9:20 a.m. Suggest removal

CRANE07 says...

So your saying the owner knew all this when he pulled the trigger?

Posted 23 August 2012, 7:35 a.m. Suggest removal

silenthill12 says...

CRANE07 yep i'm saying John knew, just like every one said John knew this young man didn't have a gun, see John being woke up at 2:30 in the morning with glass bracken in a dark store knew every thing about this young man, sooo if ppl believe one of these statements, then you have to believe the other, why i bring this young mans record up is because the family and friends are bring Johns record up, which John has no record....

Posted 23 August 2012, 8:45 a.m. Suggest removal

greengirl says...

It doesn't matter if the man's record was known to Mr. Saul or not. He could have very well been a first-time felon, but fact is, according to the law, it was justified because he was in the process of committing a felonious burglary at that very moment. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with how things have played out since, but I am just stating the facts.

Posted 31 August 2012, 3:40 p.m. Suggest removal

SunLover says...

Believing in the inherent good of other people, why should "I", a business or home owner have to have an alarm? for something that happens after store hours or late at night? It is my house, my business. I would not expect someone that was not welcome to come into my space without an invitation. People are allowed choices. This person made the decision to go into the NY Store when it was not open. He should be allowed to accept the personal responsibility that came with it.

Posted 2 September 2012, 8:13 a.m. Suggest removal

bj84711 says...

If blame needs to be placed somewhere, maybe the parents of this criminal should take some of it. Had he been raised better he would not have been there. If he wasn't there he wouldn't deceased!

Posted 5 September 2012, 8:28 a.m. Suggest removal

CRANE07 says...

The Green River Killer kills 48 people. Life in prison.
A small time crime of 6 belts and a belt buckle. The Death Sentence!!!!
Whats wrong with this picture?

Posted 5 September 2012, 8:57 a.m. Suggest removal

tkmcgowen says...

Crane07 .... Gary Ridgway and Cesar Chavira , for whatever reasons, MADE a deliberate CHOICE to break the law... to sin. That's what's wrong with "this picture".

Posted 5 September 2012, 5:11 p.m. Suggest removal

mytwocents says...

Both crimes were choices, punishment for the green river killer came at the hands of judge and jury..Cesar became his own judge ,jury and executionor by his own poor choice.

Posted 10 September 2012, 3:57 p.m. Suggest removal

mytwocents says...

And f cesar had lived to tell about it, he probably only woul have gotten a year or two...and that's what's wrong with this picture!!!

Posted 10 September 2012, 4 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

Crane... The problem of the picture is two fold....
1st. The merchandise was not his!
2nd problem..... Too easy of judges.... Green River Killer should have got more!
We gamble everyday with our lives, in one way another. (driving etc.)
But, Cesar knew full well what the possible reaction "could" be to his illegal entry... Plain and simple! We all know the chance's of the game that was played.
I wonder If Ceaser could/would have been able to stay in the store a few moments longer un-stopped, do you think he would have gotten just the belt/buckels? We have no way of knowing but I for one dought it. When Cesar made that decision to break into that home/buisiness illegally, late at night, knowing full well it was illegal, He knowingly gambled on his life. Also, Think the amount of cash worth of the "take" is illrelevant in my opinion... It was wrong to in there when the store was closed.

. The main point is... If you dont want to gamble with your life.... Dont do the crime!

Posted 5 September 2012, 5:24 p.m. Suggest removal

silenthill12 says...

@CRANE07 are you kidding me lol, the Green River Killer, went looking for ppl to kill,as for John he was in his business/home at 2:30 in the morning, the young man died not because of the 6 belts and a belt buckle, he died because he broke in to a store/home,and was committing a felony, John was the Vitim, not this young man......

Posted 5 September 2012, 5:36 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

Three comments....
1st... The amount of loot that Caesar (sp?) took out the door is irrelevant to me... He was breaking into a home/store to rob the owner of merchandise that did not belong to him! Everyone knows when you gamble, sometimes you lose..
2nd... re: Crane07's comment, One wrong does not make anything about the second right! The Green river killer should have got more punishment! The judge was too lax! Also, if we as a society would not glorify the killer/thieves in the news, and print more of these type of stories that end this way, My bet is that there would be a lot less of these stories to print.
3rd...If he was to have been able to stay in the store un-interrupted, what else would the deceased taken? My bet is that he was not going to cause all that damage, and gamble with his life, just to take a few dollars worth of leather and brass.......But, because he gambled and lost, I guess we will never know....

Posted 5 September 2012, 6:11 p.m. Suggest removal

commonsense says...

To those of you who keep saying "Cesar got a life sentence for stealing belt buckles": First of all, he was not killed because he stole (as silenthill12 pointed out), he was killed because he committed a home-invasion robbery. Second, his death was not the punishment for his crime. His death was an unfortunate result of his own actions. Both men could have made choices that would have avoided Cesar's death, but Cesar had the first oportunity to make a better choice and if he had made a better choice, John would not have been put in this position.

Posted 13 September 2012, 2:57 p.m. Suggest removal

wwnative says...

I certainly would not say he deserved to die. I am not the one to decide this. But he got himself into a situation that ended in it happening. If he hadn't been where did not have the right to be, doing an act he HAD to know was hazardous and a crime,, he put himself in harms way. The lesson is simple. Had he not been committing a felony, he would still be with the family who says they love him. You pays your money and you takes your chance. Learn from other's mistakes. It's too late for Cesar.

Posted 15 September 2012, 11:31 a.m. Suggest removal

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