In Vermont, attempted burglary raises self-defense issue.

Image: Alfredo Rico When Patricia Billings fired a handgun at…

Image: Alfredo Rico

When Patricia Billings fired a handgun at an intruder reportedly breaking through her bedroom window in Rutland Town last week, the legal ramifications were probably the furthest thing from her mind.

In Billings’ case, police say the 49-year-old fired three rounds from a handgun at a man trying to enter her home on Tuesday. The intruder fled the property on Quarterline Road leaving behind no evidence that any of the bullets found the mark.

As police continue to search for the home invader, state police Lt. Charles Cacciatore said the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s office has indicated that no charges should be brought against Billings for her actions during the incident. Billings could not be reached for comment.

But Cacciatore said it is possible that police may be called on to investigate the attempted use of deadly force if the intruder — once found and arrested — files a complaint.

Perhaps the most important element that must be proved in self-defense claims is that the person exercising deadly force had a “reasonable belief” that they were in jeopardy of being seriously harmed or killed, said Martinez Campbell and Assistant Attorney General John Treadwell.

Read the rest of Brent Curtis’ article at the Rutland Herald.

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  • Carlos

    Really?????? This officer needs to think before he speaks….

  • Ron

    Some one breaks in my house when I’m home I fill that puts my life in jeopardy

  • Awlhattin O’Kaddle

    Just what would the intruders complaint be ?

    ‘ She tried to deny me my Civil Right to break in to her home though a window’ ?

  • Larry

    If the intruder is shot and killed, there’s no one to file a complaint. Problem solved.

  • Matt in Oklahoma

    Some folks neeed killin but the lovers of the world don’t think so, at least until it’s them that need to defend themselves or call for help

  • Walter

    My house, any intruder, any time of day or night. Enough said. God bless Texas.

  • Tom

    Woman alone.

    Male intruder.

    Enough said.