Murder case against ex-Marine who acted in self defense dismissed by judge

Murder case against ex-Marine who acted in self defense dismissed by judge

November 6, 10:52 AM
Self-Defense
Examiner Eric

A former Marine who fatally shot a violent criminal in self defense was charged with murder back in July. On Wednesday of this week, a judge dismissed the case against this innocent citizen.

The self defense shooting

Luke Sanchez, a 38 year old man from Belen, New Mexico and a former US Marine, was driving near his home when he saw a business bing burglarized. He called 911, and followed the criminals' van, trying to the their license plate number. The criminals realized they were being followed, stopped their van, and then and approached Sanchez’s truck. One of the criminals, who had a lengthy criminal record that included attacking a police officer, broke Sanchez’s truck’s window, hit Sanchez in the face, and tried to pull him from the vehicle. Fearing for his life, Sanchez fired one shot, which killed the violent criminal. The criminal’s accomplice then fled. Sanchez was charged with murder for defending himself against the violent criminal, and jailed in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

Why Sanchez should never have been prosecuted

I find the decision to charge Sanchez with murder to be about as unreasonable as it gets. Sanchez was not an aggressor, was in a place that he had a right to be, and only used his gun to save himself from an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. This was clearly a cut and dry self defense case.

In this case, Sanchez saw a crime being committed. Apparently understanding that vigilantism is wrong and illegal, Sanchez did the right thing by calling 911 and attempting to get the criminal’s license plate number, so that he could give that information to the police. He was fully within his rights as a citizen to call 911, follow a vehicle, and report its license plate number. Note that Sanchez had a gun this whole time, but did not use it or even attempt to confront the criminals - he obeyed the law and did not try to take justice into his own hands. Upon seeing that Sanchez was recording their license plate number, the criminals then stopped their vehicle,got out, came over to Sanchez's vehicle, and began to attack him. Sanchez showed great restraint in not using his gun after one of the criminal broke his window and begin to beat him about the face. It was only when Sanchez (quite reasonably) feared for his life as the criminal tried to drag him from his truck that he fired in self defense.

Although the case against Sanchez was eventually dismissed, that does not undo the wrong of charging him with murder. The time that he spent in jail, away from his family, can never be given back. Nor can the emotional distress that he and his family have suffered be undone. It is bad enough that Sanchez suffered attack at the hands of a violent criminal - being dragged through our legal system and facing the prospect of never again being a free man just added insult to injury. Situations like this are why every state needs a “stand your ground” law like Florida enacted, which saves innocent people from the terrible experience of being charged with murder when they lawfully defend themselves.

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6 Comments

4 years 37 weeks ago, 10:06 PM

fordvg

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This really sucks when you are trying to help LE and then you become the bad guy by doing the right thing in the first place.

"WAR IS A RACKET, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler USMC Ret. 2 time Medal of Honor winner.
4 years 37 weeks ago, 10:32 PM

greg az

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how can this be..

thanks for the post fordvg... whats wrong here. I sorta tought NM had there act together.. unless theres more to the story im thinking Mr Sanchez deserves an apology, at the least from gov bill.

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
4 years 37 weeks ago, 12:00 AM

ecaman

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SamD

Where did this happen? This case sounds like it happened in England, where you're in deep shit if you defend yourself, rather than in the US. Had this happened in one of the many states with reasonable laws, either the case would never have been brought, or the grand jury would have returned a verdict of justifiable homocide.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain).
4 years 37 weeks ago, 7:48 PM

samD

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U S of A

4 years 37 weeks ago, 5:59 PM

zx12rmike

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From the last few things I have heard about coming out of New Mexico, they are trying to be another Kali. Liberals are trying to take over.
p.s. This is the biggest pile of b.s. you could ever make a law abiding citizen to go thru

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
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Posted by: samD
4 years 37 weeks ago
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