Jones Co. investigator says, ‘know your rights to defend your property’

JCSD discusses rights when defending your property
JCSD discusses rights when defending your property(WDAM Staff)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 7:17 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) -After a homeowner shot a suspected intruder in the arm Monday morning, the Jones County Sheriff’s Department said this act of self-defense is legal in the state of Mississippi, to a certain extent.

JCSD Investigator Abraham McKenzie said if you catch someone breaking into your home, you do have the right to defend yourself under the Castle Doctrine.

“We have the Castle Doctrine here,” said McKenzie. “If they come into your home, posing any type of threat to you, you have the right to stand your ground and protect yourself.”

However, if someone simply walks on your property and does not cause harm to you, McKenzie said the best thing to do in that situation is call the local law enforcement agency.

“You know it has to be somebody who is causing some type of bodily harm or a threat to you,” said McKenzie. “It’s not from the standpoint someone comes on your property you tell them to leave, and they don’t. You can’t just pull out your gun and shoot. That’s what we are here for; you call us, and we come and do whatever we can to de-escalate the situation.”

According to the JCSD investigator, anyone caught breaking into a home can spend anywhere from three to 25 years in prison.

“In any fast-evolving situation, like this was with Carl Smith (the suspect), Mr. Pierce definitely acted appropriately,” said McKenzie. “It’s up to the individual property owner, but if you feel your life is threatened in a manner, you have the right to defend yourself in the state of Mississippi.”

The suspected intruder, 47-year-old Carl Smith, will remain incarcerated due to his denied bond during his initial court appearance.

McKenzie also said this is not the first time Smith has been in trouble with the law.

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