Pasadena Homeowner No Billed

A Harris County grand jury decides not to indict a Pasadena home-owner in the shooting deaths of two men he believed were burglarizing his neighbor’s house. His attorney says he is relieved the ordeal is over. Pat Hernandez has more.

“It’s a happy day in his life and in mine too. He’s been my very, very, close good friend and I’m very happy for him.”

Reaction from attorney Tom Lambright after grand jurors no-billed his client Joe Horn. Horn confronted two men, unemployed illegal immigrants from Colombia, after he observed them leaving his neighbor’s house last November.

After calling 911, a dispatcher pleaded with Horn not to go outside:

“This ain’t right buddy.”

“You’re gonna get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun…”

“You wanna make a bet?”

“I don’t care what you think”

“I’m gonna kill them.”

“Stay in the house.”

“That one’s getting away!”

“That’s alright, property’s not worth killing someone over.”

The incident touched off protests from civil rights activists who claimed the shooting was racially motivated. Lambright says Horn is no vigilante.

“No and Joe would be the first to tell you he wasn’t acting like a vigilante and wishes that these two individuals had found a better line of work, because then he wouldn’t have been cast in this little fiasco to begin with. It scared him to death, as you might well imagine any, any person would be.”

Lambright says the facts of the case and his client’s appearance before the grand jury lead to the no bill. Professor Joe Corn of the South Texas College of Law says the panel examined all the evidence.

“We don’t do justice by a computer program. We don’t just feed in facts and law and then have a outcome spun out by a pure logical methodology. That’s why historically, we’ve relied on juries to sit in judgment of cases like this and, occasionally you get what may seem like a bizarre or unreasonable result, but that is the nature of our system.”

Attorney Lambright says Horn will eventually comment on the ordeal, but as far as sending a message.

“I don’t know. I know it does say that the grand jury system works, our system of justice works and, maybe that’s what it says.”

Pat Hernandez. KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

above image: Tom Lambright, attorney for Joe Horn.