A Colorado man may face criminal charges for killing the individual who tied him up and robbed him at gunpoint.
David Martinez, 38, was shot and killed on Sunday after he turned a Craigslist offer into an attempted armed robbery. His victim, bound inside his own home, managed to untie himself and fire shots as Martinez fled. Martinez, who had a long criminal history, crashed his vehicle and died at the scene.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office now must decide whether the victim will be shielded by Colorado’s “Make My Day” or self-defense laws. The individual’s name was not disclosed by authorities due to safety concerns.
“I don’t want to see him charged,” a neighbor told KDVR Fox 31 Denver on Monday. “At the point a gun is involved, it’s self-defense. It extends beyond the house. It’s wherever you are.”
Legal expert Dan Recht told the station that legal realities were a bit more complicated than that.
“While the facts are very sympathetic to the homeowner, the law is not. It is not enough to have been threatened and now use physical force to retaliate,” Recht said. “If a guy is driving away, even if it is your vehicle that he stole, you cannot use deadly force.”
Recht added that “Make My Day” law only covers a victim inside a home.
“Being in your front yard does not count,” said Recht.
Police found the a stolen gold Mustang that a second suspect had been driving, but still have not apprehended the individual.