Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cecil Man Faces Homicide Charge for Killing Intruder

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Cecil Man Faces Homicide Charge for Killing Intruder

Article excerpt

A Washington County man is charged with homicide in the shooting last month of an unarmed intruder who broke into his trailer.

The decision to charge David W. Murray in the death of Nathaniel K. Gardner came after authorities determined the defendant could not invoke the "castle doctrine" legal defense.

District Attorney Eugene Vittone Thursday said that because Mr. Murray, 53, was engaged in illegal activity in his Cecil home - marijuana growing - the defense would not apply in the death of Gardner, 52, of Washington.

The castle doctrine defense says a homeowner can use deadly force to protect life, family or house against an intruder.

"Criminal activity on the premises is a specific exception to a homeowner's ability to utilize the castle doctrine to justify the use of deadly force," Mr. …

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