A few bungling burglars will be paying lots of time for their crime: one in prison and one six feet under.
It all began in St. Louis’s Bevo Mill neighborhood when a 17-year-old girl was outside to retrieve something from her car. Two gunmen ordered her back into her house. It didn’t occur to them that inside might be two bears: a papa bear and mama bear, ready to grab their guns and fire.
The girl’s father fetched his gun and fired several rounds, hitting 31-year-old Terrell Johnson, killing him at the scene. The other man, Cortez McClinton, 33, got away with wounds to his chest and upper legs, but was taken to a hospital by his brother.
McClinton has been charged with second-degree murder for Johnson’s death. That’s because if a suspect dies while a felony is being committed, the accomplice can be charged with murder: felony murder, it’s called. Of course, McClinton has been charged also with first-degree burglary, plus kidnapping and armed criminal action.
The homeowner and his daughter were not harmed. The girl’s mother had also taken some shots at the gunmen, but missed. The parents are not being charged.
Much of this can be avoided by being proactive and investing in home security.
- Hide valuables such as jewelry, preferably in a safe.
- Lock all entries to your home even if you’re away for only a few minutes.
- Leaving an outside light on constantly, tells burglars you may not be home. Use an automatic timer instead.
- Get a home security system.