Folk Hero or Murderer?

Story here.

IMO, this guy should be found guilty of murder, but given some recent vigilante cases in Texas, where the state’s new(ish, now) Castle law was invoked, I’m not at all confident that things will play out that way.

FTR, I have no problem with the fact that he shot the guy. It’s going back after the guy isn’t a threat and pumping 5 more rounds into him that bothers me.

So, Dopers: folk hero or murderer?

Yah, it bothers me too. Hero if the person is already dead, murderer if he’s not. He will probably claim the guy was dead from the large hole in his head and he was just taking his frustrations out on his corpse.

Is this a serious question? He pumped 5 bullets into a kid lying helpless and unconscious on the ground. How the hell is that anything but murder?

From my understanding, he shot the kid, kid goes down, is no longer a threat and the kid has no weapon. The guy goes after the kid’s co-wannabe robber. Then the guy goes back to get another gun, goes back and shoots the kid 5 more times while the kid is lying unconscious (coroner says not dead) on the floor.

The fact this could even be considered a “debate” is sad.

Apparently you haven’t seen some of the court cases in Texas re: castle law that have happened in the past couple of years.

Joe Horn & Jose Luis Gonzalez both seem to have been in similiar situations and they got off scot-free.

I know that was Texas, and this is Oklahoma, but since they have a so-called “Make My Day” law on the books, it seems likely to me that Ersland will also be acquitted of murder charges.

Can’t he be both?

Typically we don’t put the label “hero” alongside the label “murderer”. At least, I can’t think of any examples of that off the top of my head.

Fellow does not seem to have the sort of ethical code I expect of a pharmacist.

I dunno if he’ll be convicted, but… yeah, shooting someone who’s on the ground like that is pretty much murder. The other guy is probably now up for murder as well, as it was a murder that happened during a felony.

Well, there is the slim ‘end his suffering’ argument.

Billy the Kid, Bonny and Clyde, Jesse James, Nat Turner, William Wallace, Dick Turpin. All folk heroes. All killed a bunch of people.

Point taken, but those people were known as folk heros not because they murdered, but in spite of it.

You’ll notice that Bernhard Goetz, Jeffrey Dahmer and Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme aren’t on anybody’s list of folk heros.

The dead guy’s accomplice, the getaway driver and the guy who talked them into the robbery attempt have all been arrested and charged with capital murder, since the death occurred during the commission of a crime, as they should be.

Well he was dispensing something or other.

I have been looking for the resolution of the case of W. C. Frosch, who shot at 2 teens in his yard, hitting one, but I haven’t been able to find anything about the trial. Mr. Frosch did have this to say, tho.

Note that Mr. Frosch was not arrested after the incident, but was eventually indicted by a grand jury.

I’m embarassed that my google fu failed me, but as IANAL, I don’t know the best terms to use to find a court case. It could be that it has not gone to trial yet.

Not only is it murder, but a competent DA would argue that going to get another gun constituted premeditation.

It was a head shot to begin with. They would need to show he was alive when shot again.

If he was already dead, why shoot him 5 more times?

AFAIK the video is not available online (and I doubt it will be until the trial, but I’ll keep looking), but there is this in the article quoted in the OP:

ETA: found the video - The teen he shot cannot be seen on the video.

Google charles manson “folk hero” and you’ll get plenty of results. There’s several for Bernhard Goetz also. :

yes yes yes… and there are a few who think Hitler was a hero, but it certainly isn’t the mainstream.*

Are you or Cap prepared to defend this guy’s actions and call him a hero? Or are you just arguing semantics?

*Do I win a prize for the fastest anyone has Godwinized their own thread? :stuck_out_tongue:

Best as I can tell, from my five second perusing Westlaw(shot in the dark on that one) and google, the case hasn’t gone to trial yet. Not surprising since the indictment only came down a year ago.

I don’t think he’s a hero, no. I think he could well become a folk hero, though.