04:36 PM CDT on Monday, June 30, 2008
By Michelle Homer & Rucks Russell / 11 News
HOUSTON — The Pasadena man who shot and killed two suspected burglars last November was no-billed by a Harris County Monday.
Horn’s attorney, Tom Lambright, first heard the news in a phone call from 11 News.
“I’m sure Joe will be delighted,” Lambright said. He said he planned to call Horn immediately.
He said Horn is very grateful to the people who supported him and stood behind him.
“The message that the grand jury sent today is frightening,” said community activist Quanell X.
Horn testified before the jurors for about 90 minutes on Friday before he was escorted out of the courtroom in secret.
The fiancé of one of the men Horn killed was hoping for a different outcome.
“He shouldn’t have shot those men. He shot them in the back,” Stephany Storey said Friday. “I think he should see jail time. He should be behind bars.”
Storey had hoped to make that point before the grand jury, but she was turned away.
The grand jury had been on the case for two weeks, working through the details of an incident that garnered national attention.
“In this case, the grand jury concluded that Mr. Horn’s use of deadly force did not rise to a criminal offense,” saidKenneth Magidson.
Horn maintains that he shot the men in self-defense. An autopsy report indicated that both men were shot in the back.
Police later said the two illegal immigrants, Hernando Torres and Diego Ortiz, were believed to be part of an organized home burglary ring out of Colombia.
Horn called 911 to report two men had broken into his neighbor’s house.
During the 911 call, the operator repeatedly warned Horn to stay inside.
“I’ve got a shotgun do you want me to stop ‘em?” Horn asked.
“Nope don’t do that. Ain’t no property worth shooting somebody over OK?,” the Pasadena dispatcher said as he called out officers to the scene.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m not gonna let ‘em go, I’m not gonna let them get away with this (expletive),” he told the dispatcher.
Then a short time later: “I can’t take a chance on getting killed over this. I’m gonna shoot. I’m gonna shoot.”
Horn can be heard telling the suspects, “You’re dead,” followed by a loud boom.
Lambright, who has known Horn for decades, said his client is normally a quiet, humble man and his behavior that day was out of character.
The shooting ignited a national debate about the use of deadly force in protecting property.
Many of Horn’s neighbors supported his actions, while some community activists have condemned him as a gun-toting vigilante.
“ABC NEWS: MAN CLEARED FOR KILLING NEIGHBOR’S BURGLARS”: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=5283784&page=1