12.21.2011

Did This Man Have To Die?

2
21 year old Keith Thompson
The Gunman & Sheriff

Unarmed, but fleeing from police in a stolen automobile last Sunday, Keith Thompson was shot and killed by the Sheriff of Palo Pinto County, Ira Mercer,  north of Santo on FM 4.  Justified? Or do they have an expedited justice system to the west of us which includes capital punishment at he hands of a one person jury for offenses that normally would just get you locked up for a little bit.

Shootings by police are quickly excused all the time, but things are heating up out there.  It sounds like the local DA will have the grand jury review the case, but (get this) the Sheriff served as the DA Investigator prior to becoming Sheriff in 2005.  A different DA is in office now, but he's asking for trouble if he doesn't bring someone else in.

Star-Telegram story.
Mineral Wells story (with comments)

Edit: Hey, I didn't give an opinion one way or another. I don't know enough of the facts. If the kid is driving at the Sheriff, no problem.  If the Sheriff killed him just to end the chase as the kid was driving away, big problem.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

The boy could have made some better decisions that day. He didn't. He died. Car jacking and such will get you kilt in Palo Pinto county. Sheriff handled it. I'm good with it.

Anonymous said...

No problem with it whatsoever. Don't steal a car and run from the police... you won't get shot. Next case.

Anonymous said...

I hate that the deceased man didn't stop at the very beginning. Might have ended better for him. I hate it when someone is killed like this. Police seem to get blamed first.

Anonymous said...

1:45 is for a nice, big government with no checks and balances. He (I'll assume 1:45 is a "he") thinks we need to be like China or maybe follow Sharia law. You see, it's idiots like 1:45 that believe the death penalty is appropriate for stealing a car, lashings are good for women that expose their faces, and amputations are about-right for those that speak out against a nation's leader.

But, 1:45 is not smart enough to realize that he supports such things and doesn't support the Bill of Rights. He probably believes that he is for small government and personal freedom. But, he's "good with it."

Anonymous said...

Sheriffs are a law unto themselves. Only the Good Lord will square things up.

Anonymous said...

Alternative ending to this story:

Santo family of four killed on their way to church Sunday morning in a head-on collision with a pick-up involved in a car jacking, kidnapping, and high speed pursuit. Members of the victim's family have questions as to why a person involved in multiple felonies, crossing various jursdictions was allowed to endanger and ultimately kill this innocent family. Sheriff Mercer stated that his department had followed all protocol involving high speed pursuit and is sorry for the outcome, but his agency did all they could. Sheriff Mercer said, "I personally knew the victims, a fine young family, and wish I could have done something to avert this tragedy. Hopefully the justice system can right this wrong by sending the driver to jail for a few years."

Anonymous said...

1:45 PM

What if it was YOUR kid? Dipshit.

Anonymous said...

Typical lawyer. Lawyers get away with everything but they are the first to call foul if someone else seemingly did something wrong. Calm down, that guy doesn't look like he has money so I'm sure there is nothing in for all you vultures.

Anonymous said...

YEEHAW SHOOT EM ALL N' LET GAWD SORT EM OUT!!!

Anonymous said...

2:03 Obviously driving a one ton vehicle in careless and obvious disregard of anyone's safety is ok by you? The kid was an idiot with some serious issues. He's the only one to blame here... not one other person. Go hug a tree or something.

Anonymous said...

1:45 - what if it was your family that would have died because of the idiot's behavior? I say good shootin', Sheriff!

Anonymous said...

I'm good with lashings and Sharia law in countries where that is the custom. I think the sheriff shooting felons in the act makes the government smaller too...
1:45 is smarter than you think..

The Devil said...

Sounds like this whole thing is a little short on details at this point. Simply saying it was or wasn't justified based off of those news stories is at best crazy talk!

I have to hold the blog author to a higher standard on this one because of his involvment in the legal system. Posting a picture of a gregarious looking chubby kid who appears harmless, followed by a menacing photo of the redneck sheriff, and telling us the kid was simply killed for car theft and evading arrest is as tabloid as it gets.

Anonymous said...

Barry, maybe you should work for Free Speech TV, CNN, Current. Your reporting is weak at best. "UNARMED" he's driving a lethal weapon, think back a couple of years ago Officer Randy White. You full well know that the Grand Jury is going to review all Officer involved shooting or use of force where death is the outcome. Who do you think will do the investigation?? Ranger maybe!!! Thanks for your screwed up view of this issue.

Anonymous said...

My kid wouldn't steal a car and run from police.

BTW....that sheriff used to have a radio show in tulsa.
He's married to Sharon jean.

Now that's what I call a Palo pinto country ass whoopin.

Anonymous said...

"The gunman and sheriff"?

Really?

Why didn't you title the top pic "thief and deceased"?

Anonymous said...

"Sheriff and gunman"?

Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

So the next time a DPD patrol car goes flying by me at 100+ with no siren or lights on, it's ok to open fire...?

Anonymous said...

"as the kid was driving away"? Are you sh**ing me, Barry? He was "driving away" in a one-ton, high speed weapon and passing on blind hills. Maybe if Mrs. LL and your family had've been smoked by him you'd feel less compassion and have a bit more of a sense of what normal people think of idiots like this. He is the one and ONLY person to blame for his own death. As a defense attorney I'd think you'd have a better grasp of TX statutes on application of deadly force to stop deadly actions by another. I like you, Barry... really do. But sometimes your liberalism is a bit much to take.

Anonymous said...

3:29 PM

Facism is hard to take, as well.

Anonymous said...

yes he did

Anonymous said...

He certainly did not have to die. Doing something other than stealing a car and running from police would have greatly increased his chances of being alive today. Also seems like the quicker these chases end, the less likely that YOU or I have to be killed in the blink of an eye just because we or our families were "in the way" of some speeding felon.

Anonymous said...

"He's such a gentle guy". "He's a friend to all". And so the comments go from friends and family. Yeah, I guess when he's not kidnapping women and stealing vehicles...he's a great guy.

guinjames said...

I think "dead eye" could have tried to shoot out the tires or used the "PIT" to stop the vehicle before resorting to deadly force.

Anonymous said...

What if he was in an usual circumstance such as his wife just called and his son was found unconscious and he was trying to get home to help?

I don't want to get shot on my way to help a dying family member.

Anonymous said...

3:29 PM -- Ditto.ditto.ditto.

Anonymous said...

Didn't we have a guy steal a car and run from the police around here a few years ago? How did that end? I don't remember.

Anonymous said...

Always an interesting topic of conversation, with lots of illogical assumptions.

To hit a few:

If the car thief wanted to accept the punishment appropriate for his crime, all he had to do was stop.

By fleeing and endangering others, he is the one that caused his own death.

As a comparison, if somebody enters my house, steals something and is later caught by the police, he will be punished for burglary.

If he comes in my house while my family is there, he will be dead. I will not check what weapon he has before shooting, nor will I quiz him about his intentions.

He will not have died for burglary, he will have died for willfully endangering my family by being in a place he had no business being in the first place.

I am a big believer in the Bill of Rights, but they do not give you the right to run from the police and then whine about the results. Our nation is based upon both rights and responsibilities, but everybody embraces the first and forgets about the second.

Anonymous said...

Now that the shoe is on the other foot is this cop still a HERO or does he have to be the one that gets run over to be a hero ?

Anonymous said...

4:51 Well said. Only one person is responsible for this nut being dead. Himself.

Anonymous said...

if we had mercer he would catch that golf cart bandit

Anonymous said...

I weep for our species.

Anonymous said...

Tough guy redneck Sheriff of Palo Pinto County probably beats his wife and terrorizes his family. But that's okay, isn't it? Rot in hell, dude.

Anonymous said...

Alternative ending to this story (#2): Sheriff deploys tire spikes, nobody dies. Nobody dies.

Alternative ending to this story (#3): Suspect evades law enforcement until he enters Tom Bishop's turf. New world record Dukes of Hazzard jump with a dog catcher truck is recorded. No guarantee on the death toll.

Anonymous said...

Barry, screw you!!! You know you screwed up don't try to Edit: your way out of this one.

Anonymous said...

8:05 is a coward. 8:17 defines typical Wise county redneck.

Anonymous said...

This person has not known to comit a crime since this incident.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the part about him returning the girl who was in the truck when he took it?? That's classified as kidnapping. Family also said he has anger issues. He has a history of assault and burglary. Well done Sheriff.

Anonymous said...

Steal a truck, outrun the law, endanger others......pay the price. The Sheriff did his job.....end of story.

Anonymous said...

Barry, I'm a cop. And I like to see all the sides of an issue, which means that I've been called a bleeding heart liberal by my conservative friends, and I've been called an Obama-hating, Limbaugh-worshipping conservative by my liberal friends. I can live with that. Just try to call me fair.

Now, you've worked too long in Texas criminal law (and too long as a DA or ADA) to be saying the things that you're saying here, with a straight face. You say: "A different DA is in office now, but he's asking for trouble if he doesn't bring someone else in." Seems to me that you know that a DA can run his grand jury cases however he wants, and nobody could say boo about it. He'll put the Ranger up on the stand, and the Ranger will say his piece, and that's what the GJ will listen to.

Now, the DA could recuse himself, and call in a special prosecutor from another county, and the same investigator is going to testify before the grand jury. The Rangers don't mind putting bad cops in jail-- they do it all the time. If it was a bad shoot, then the Ranger will say that.

In your edited comments, you boiled it down to just two options: "If the kid is driving at the Sheriff, no problem. If the Sheriff killed him just to end the chase as the kid was driving away, big problem."

You're a smart guy, Barry. You can't possibly imagine any other ways that it could have gone down? Can an officer use deadly force to protect another?

Check out TX Penal Code: 9.01(3). Then slide on down to TX PC Section 9.32. Goodness, there's lots of ways that this could have played out. The stories from the newspaper make clear that the driver had engaged in Kidnapping, UUMV (or theft, depending on whether the 1 ton pickup was worth more than $20k), Evading In A Vehicle, and Deadly Conduct. That's 3 felonies and a Class A misdemeanor.

You haven't read the case report, and I haven't either. Neither one of us has seen the video.

Maybe this guy Thompson did need shooting at. Certainly, his actions sound dangerous enough, that they needed stopping.

Or, maybe Sheriff Mercer did the wrong thing under the law.

And? Maybe Sheriff Mercer did the wrong thing under the law, but something that most folk in Texas believes probably ought to have happened anyway, given the circumstances. In that case, the Honorable Sheriff Mercer better have a good defense attorney that can make a Jury Nullification happen.

--EmmGee

Anonymous said...

8:37 PM likes c@ckandb@lls. ♫

Anonymous said...

My two cents: I ride a motorcycle on Hwy. 4 at least once a month. I ride from Jacksboro all the way to Granbury. The Santo area of hwy. 4 has more hills and curves than any hwy. in our area and one of the most senic routes too. That is one big consideration for the Grand Jury. It can be one of the best senic highways or one of the most dangerous in the state.

They wouldn't want me on the Grand Jury, my decision has already been made. Speeding on hwy. 4 can most certainly end up with a deadly head on crash with oncoming traffic. case closed

Anonymous said...

A 21 year old a kid? I do not think so!

Anonymous said...

One more piece of trash outta Texas!

Demotivator said...

April 2nd 2009.

Man steals SUV in decatur and leads police on countywide pursuit. The police allowed the chase to continue too long and what was the result. One deceased Bridgeport police officer trying to keep innocent people off the road.

Now imagine something similar if the sheriff in this case didn't do what he did. One criminals life ended in progress of a crime is better than the potential for the loss of multiple lives of innocents during this pursuit.

Anonymous said...

They both look retarded.

Anonymous said...

In the Soviet Union, where I grew up, there were many offenses that could get a citizen "liquidated". The stealing of cars was not one of them. Neither was trying to evade arrest in a stolen car. They were using roadblocks, spikes, fired warning shots, aimed for the tires or engine, all before shooting at a citizen.

Anonymous said...

In Mother Russia the car shoots itself.

Anonymous said...

12:16,
You're in Texas now, big boy.

Anonymous said...

4:27 PM Amen, to that!!! That guy was a freaking idiot. Yet tax payers are paying for his three squares a day and room and board. Go figure!!

Anonymous said...

That kid could not have been going 100 miles per hour. There is no way anyone could go that fast around those curves on hwy 4. I know, I live off that road. Mercer could have done anything else to stop that truck. He shot him because he is a murderer with a Badge. VOTE HIM OUT.

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever heard of a spike strip? Hundereds of high speed chases in the metroplex and you rarely hear of this. Murderer.

gary medlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.