COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A Colorado Springs resident will not be charged for fatally shooting an intruder who tried to break into a home that he apparently thought was his, prosecutors said Tuesday.
James Parsons is protected under Colorado's "Make My Day" law, which allows people to use deadly force in self-defense in their home against intruders, according a statement from the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
Parsons shot 22-year-old Sean Kennedy, an assistant golf pro at a Colorado Springs golf course, on Dec. 28. Kennedy had been drinking that night and apparently thought he was breaking into his own house, which was a block away.
Police handed over the case to the district attorney's office, which determined Parsons had "reasonable belief" that he and his girlfriend were in danger.
Prosecutors said Kennedy broke a window in the back door and was reaching inside to unlock it. Two dogs inside barked persistently as the couple shouted for him to leave. The ordeal lasted more than four minutes.
"A reasonable person in those circumstances would have believed that [Kennedy] was going to do a crime against them or property," said newly elected District Attorney Dan May, who oversaw the review of the shooting.
Kennedy had been drinking at a Colorado Springs golf course, and his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit for driving in Colorado when he pulled up to the Parsons' house in his pickup truck, The Gazette newspaper reported.
Friends and family members believe Kennedy thought he had arrived at his own home, which he shared with roommates.
He got out of his pickup and began shouting and beating on Parsons' door.
"[Kennedy] continued to beat and pound on the door, during which time the resident told his girlfriend to call 911, and he went into the bedroom to get his gun, a revolver," the DA's office said.
Kennedy went to the back of the house, forced open a screen door, smashed a window and was reaching to unlock the deadbolt, investigators said. Parsons then shot at him three times.
Two bullets went through Kennedy's arm and into his torso, May said.