In the State of Texas, homeowners have the right to use deadly force to protect their lives and property. But the case of Jose Luis Gonzalez sparked a controversy when the jury found him not guilty for shooting a teenage intruder over snacks and soda:
Gonzalez had endured several break-ins at his trailer when the four boys, ranging in age from 11 to 15, broke in. Gonzalez, who was in a nearby building at the time, went into the trailer and confronted the boys with a 16-gauge shotgun. Then he forced the boys, who were unarmed, to their knees, attorneys on both sides say.
The boys say they were begging for forgiveness when Gonzalez hit them with the barrel of the shotgun and kicked them repeatedly. Then, the medical examiner testified, Anguiano was shot in the back at close range. Two mashed Twinkies and some cookies were stuffed in the pockets of his shorts.
Another boy, Jesus Soto Jr., now 16, testified that Gonzalez ordered them at gunpoint to take Anguiano's body outside.
Gonzalez said he thought Anguiano was lunging at him when he fired the shotgun.
Many people in Laredo — a town just across the Rio Grande from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where drug violence runs rampant — defended Gonzalez's actions. In online responses to articles published by the Morning Times, comments included statements such as "The kid got what he deserved" and calls to "stop the unfair prosecution."
Previously on Neatorama: Was It Self Defense or Murder?