Homeowner charged with assault after shooting teen in buttocks

Published: May. 15, 2014 at 12:43 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2014 at 2:42 PM CDT
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Jones was arrested and charged with second-degree assault. (Source: Decatur Police Dept.)
Jones was arrested and charged with second-degree assault. (Source: Decatur Police Dept.)

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Decatur Police said they found a juvenile shot in the buttocks when they responded to a burglary call early Wednesday morning.

Authorities said it happened around 12:30 a.m. at a residence on the 200 block of 7th Avenue NW.

Investigators said 68-year-old Willie James Jones woke up and noticed a motion detector light had been activated outside his home. Police said Jones saw someone standing near his pick-up truck in the front yard and armed himself before going to the door to investigate.

According to investigators, one of the two juveniles outside was scared by Jones' sudden appearance and fled. Jones fired a shot and struck the juvenile in the buttocks. Police found no weapon on the teenager.

Authorities arrested Jones for second-degree assault. Police said they charged Jones because he wasn't in immediate threat of danger when he fired his gun at the juvenile.

"The main reason this would not fall under stand-your-ground law is that the juvenile was posing no threat," said Lieutenant John Crouch. "He was actively trying to escape, to get away from Mr. Jones at the time he was shot. Mr. Jones' life was not in danger. The person was not trying to come into his home and threaten him in any way."

Huntsville criminal defense attorney Russell Crumbley agreed when provided with details on the case.

"You can't use deadly force to protect property. That's where this got out of the self-defense law," he said. "Once they see you and flee, there is no imminent risk to your life, and the self-defense argument is not going to help you."

Jones was transferred to the Morgan County Jail, where he was later released on $2,500 bond. He said he didn't want to shoot anyone, that he only meant to scare the boy off, and that he is relieved the teenager will be okay.

Police are still investigating the case, trying to determine what the two juveniles were doing on the property. More charges could be forthcoming.

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