July 28, 2014

Elyria
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Man who shot and killed burglar won’t be charged

ELYRIA — The Water Street homeowner who shot and killed a burglar Oct. 19 will not face criminal charges, a Lorain County grand jury has determined.

County Prosecutor Dennis Will said grand jurors determined Jack Dillon’s decision to shoot 29-year-old Jeffrey Carson fell within the “castle doctrine,” which allows people to defend themselves inside their homes if they believe they are in jeopardy.

“If someone is in your residence, you are presumed to be able to use whatever force is necessary to protect yourself,” Will said.

In a statement released by attorney Paul St. Marie, Dillon and his wife, Linda, asked for privacy and said they wanted to move forward with their lives.

“We are relieved that we can now put the unfortunate events of October 19, 2012, behind us. The last eight months have been extremely difficult for our family,” the statement said. “We regret the tragic decision that Mr. Carson made that evening and we will always keep him and his family in our prayers.”

The Dillons, both 54, told police that their home had been burglarized the night before the shooting and their 52-inch, flat-screen television stolen, according to interviews and police reports released by Will’s office.

Jack Dillon said the couple suspected that the burglar may have entered through a window they found unlocked, and they decided to leave the window unlocked again in case the culprit returned. They set up a smaller television on their empty entertainment center and left the lights on just as they had been the night before.

“I figured he was coming back,” Jack Dillon told police the night of the shooting.

Linda Dillon told police that she was home alone and thought she would be able to protect herself if the intruder returned, but around 10 p.m. Oct. 18 she became afraid and called her husband at work and picked him up when he agreed to return home.

The couple made a bed on the floor of the dining room and Jack Dillon bedded down with a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. Linda Dillon told police she was upstairs for a time but came downstairs after hearing a loud car and seeing a person walk by outside the house.

The Dillons were both on the makeshift bed when they said they heard what Linda Dillon described as a tapping noise.

Jack Dillon told police when he stood up he saw Carson holding the family’s Wii game system.

“I was sleeping downstairs. I was woken up by a noise. I had a gentleman crawling through my living room window. By the time I stood up he was at our TV stand with the components under his arm. I told him to stop…” Jack Dillon said during his interview with police. “He turned, came towards me and that’s when I fired at him.”

He told police that Carson had made “a motion” toward him before he fired six shots, emptying the gun’s magazine.

A police report said that Jack Dillon told an officer at the scene that after he shot Carson, the man tried to leave the house through a window, but then sat down on the couch and didn’t move.

A panicked Linda Dillon called 911 and when police arrived they initially believed Carson was dead. Paramedics later detected a faint pulse and transported Carson to EMH Elyria Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy determined that Carson, who had an extensive criminal record, was shot five times and had alcohol, cocaine and oxycodone in his system at the time of his death.

Both Dillons said they were in fear for their lives when Jack Dillon opened fire.

“Yeah, I was in fear of my life,” Linda Dillon told police after the shooting. “Absolutely I was in fear of my life. I didn’t know what that guy had in his hand.”

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

  • hottamomma

    of course not

  • hottamomma

    shouldnt have ever been a question about it

    • Bob Sweatt

      It was a question because people were questioning Mr. Dillons actions. Which I whole heartedly agree with.

      Like I said when this story broke. If the guy haven’t been in the house. He wouldn’t had been shot. The scumbag entered the wrong house, one to many times.

  • ken m

    mr dillion did what he had to do to protect himself ,wife and home..as you can see when these criminals are this high on drugs he was still trying to get away after being shot 5 times..had mr dillion went hand to hand with this guy,no matter how big, or trained,he would of lost the fight…this is what the police go thru everyday with these criminals..they won t stop,3 to 5 officers have a hard time with them because the punk is so high, and even shooting them doesn t do much good because as we can see, this guy was was hit 5 times with a 45 cal”very powerfull gun”…this is the type of criminals that are out there.i would suggest everyone keep as much fire power as possible in there homes and learn how to use them..my best goes out to the dillions,it will take time,but you did the right thing..

    • guest

      I agree and it will only get worse. We have guns placed in the house and I wouldn’t hesitate to use one. I have read too many horror stories.

  • Zen Grouch

    Before reading the story I wondered why this went to a grand jury…

    Then I ran across the part about how this guy baited and set a lethal man trap.

    I really doubt he was fearing for his life as laid in wait, ready to ambush anything coming in through the window he left unlocked.

    Mr. Dillon is a very lucky man to not be in jail right now.

    • DWaldman

      Zen, yep.

      “I was sleeping downstairs. I was woken up by a noise. I had a
      gentleman crawling through my living room window. By the time I stood up
      he was at our TV stand with the components under his arm. I told him to
      stop…” Jack Dillon said during his interview with police. “He turned,
      came towards me and that’s when I fired at him.”

      He told police that Carson had made “a motion” toward him before he fired six shots, emptying the gun’s magazine.

      • Zen Grouch

        ***Jack Dillon said the couple suspected that the burglar may have
        entered through a window they found unlocked, and they decided to leave the window unlocked again in case the culprit returned. They set up a smaller television on their empty entertainment center and left the lights on just as they had been the night before.

        “I figured he was coming back,” Jack Dillon told police the night of the shooting.***

        If you can’t see that this is was a trap, I can’t explain it to ya’.

        • Bob Sweatt

          Lured???? No one made that scumbag druggie go through that Window. He did it ALL on his own.

          If Carson hadn’t gone ILLEGALLY into the house. He might still be alive today.

          • Zen Grouch

            If there was no question as to whether or not the window was left open and the television was illuminated, after deliberation, to *lure* the burglar back into the home…

            …then why did it take the grand jury 8 months to let Mr. Dillon off the hook for a possible murder charge?

          • Bob Sweatt

            Because it took tje grand jury 8 months to get their collective heads out of their butts and realize what the rest of us who have common sense already knew.

            If Carson would have not tried to rob those law abiding folks. He might still be alive today.

        • Pablo Jones

          I have a tv in my living room. Am I baiting a criminal? I’m hot and I open the window. Am I setting a trap? There is a lot of crime in the area I figure if I sleep in the living room I can prevent stuff from being stolen from my home.

          Just because the news paper can selectively phrase a story doesn’t mean that is exactly how it happened. If the story said the guy slept with the light on in the living room hoping a criminal would see him and pass his house by, the story wouldn’t be controversial and wouldn’t make the headlines.

          • Zen Grouch

            Seriously… why do you believe the Dillons decided to leave their window open, knowing that was the entry location on an earlier burglary?

            The point I’m trying to make is that killing someone when it’s not absolutely necessary can put a burn on your soul, or whatever you want to call it.

            And I’m guessing the scum bag Dillon shot could have been persuaded to stop his evil ways (by the sound of a round being chambered) long enough to be taken away by the cops and put into the system.

            Despite what some may perceive, I’m not defending or condemning anyone.

          • Lynn Westly

            The guy had already “been in the system” and it obviously didn’t work because the article says he had “an extensive criminal record”. He also had cocaine and oxycodone in his system was probably in the same system in the past for drug treatment. Frankly, I think Mr. Dillon’s system worked better.

          • Zen Grouch

            If you’re looking for a solution that has a sense of permanence to it, I guess blowing the criminals away even when it isn’t necessary is one way to go.

            I don’t know if you ever took anyone’s life before, but speaking from personal experience, when you do, you’re hit with a feeling of “permanence” like a brick wall. As in, what you did, can’t be taken back. Then everyone in the world has an opinion.

            So, if you do erase someone, you want to make sure you had no other choices.

            I broke in rookie cops in a very dangerous town which was the murder capitol of the U.S., where we’d deal with murders on a regular basis.

            I’d ask the rookies why they wanted to be cops and some would say, “So I can see what it’s like to kill someone.” I’d think, “wonderful! another one…”

            Anyway, one kid I broke in who seemed to have his head on right, became a good friend and would come over to get high and drunk, got really squirrely after killing a few people. Sure, the killings were justified, but not really necessary.

            After his fifth, he’d come over to get drunk and high and talk about the ghost of the people he killed keeping him awake at night. Dude went around the bend and got lost in the tall grass.

            Might seem like a macho thing to talk about blowing away scum bags, but now the Dillons have to live in a house that will have memories of a dead scum bag on the floor. Might take a while but they’ll probably go a little screwy and have to sell the house.

            Then again, maybe not, I don’t know the people, or why he pulled the trigger 5 times. Maybe he can convince himself that he had no other choices, than to leave the window open and wait for it…

        • Joyce Wagner Partin

          Jack Dillon is by no means a heartless man. But I can tell you he loves his family with his life. The man works for a living to provide for his loved ones. He can’t be at home non-stop. And yes he had every right to shot to kill. When a low life drug addict is coming into his home to rob them and put his family life’s in danger. Up holding low life’s must mean some thing to you or maybe you hang around with people like that and believe it is okay to take from the ones who live good lives and do what it takes to provide for a family. The druggie and thief should have known what is life was going to turn out to be when he started on the damn drugs in the first place. If he would have worked for a living and lived a clean life he would not be DEAD now. Don’t blame Jack for what that Jackass done to his own life.

          • Zen Grouch

            **”Up holding low life’s must mean some thing to you or maybe you hang
            around with people like that and believe it is okay to take from the
            ones who live good lives and do what it takes to provide for a family.”**

            …you really should work on your reading comprehension skills.

        • tomf352

          Zen come into my house at 2 in the morning thru a window and I will let your family know if I can live with shooting someone the next morning

          • Zen Grouch

            Sure thing!

            What’s your address Sparky?

    • tom feher

      Zen break into my house once and get away with it, It won’t happen a second time. My friends apartment was broken into and for several nights he could not sleep, I too would sit in the dark with a weapon and as Ken says A VERY Powerful one!

      • Zen Grouch

        Having your home broken into can be a traumatizing event. Been there done that… put the fear of God into the person who I later caught… but I didn’t feel the need to kill him.

        Like I said, if you can live with killing when it’s not necessary, go for it!

        …and remember that Jebus loves you!

      • guest

        It is an eerie feeling when your house is broken into. Who could ever feel safe again? For some reason these idiots come back too. Everyone needs to arm themselves.

  • ken m

    I don t care if you take all your windows out,unhing your doors and takr them off the frame…if some scum bag comes in your home to rob you,its your right to defend yourself,family,and home…for all those that feel sorry for the scumbag that got shot, go talk with rape victim,old folks,and many others in the hospitals that have been beaten senseless by these criminals….if it isn t your home,don t rob it !!!!! and don t care if this was a bait set up or not, the bad guy made a big mistake and paid for it, hell maybe more people should try this and the county could put out a bounty on how many of these assholes we could get off the streets….wanta bet crime would go wayyyyyyyyyy dowwwwnnnnn ?????

  • fatherof4

    If more law abiding homeowners protected their home as such there would be less thought of burglarizing homes and less burglars, win win situation to me. I say law abiding because there were no mention of charges for Mr. Dillons ownership of his .45 or protection of his home, salute to you Mr. Dillon for protecting your family, I pray I never have to make the choice you were forced to.

    • hottamomma

      i agree with u, but i also add even if he wasnt the owner of the gun, he wouldve been glad it was there to do what it did to protect his home

  • jz

    I,m not as sure about his one as some of you. Even the prosecutor says you are “presumed” to use what force is necessary. It’s as if he is not sure either. As much as the burglar probably got what he deserved, it is a little hard to believe that from a tap on the window to the burglar being next to the tv with the wi in his hand it was “the next thing I know”. And for some one to believe that “bait or not” murder is ok conflicts with the what I thought was law which states that your life has to be in danger or in serious physical harm before you can take someone life. I don,t see much difference between bait or not and premeditation. However I concede that the burglar is scum and hope nobody breaks into my house. I,d like to think that I would have the presence of mind to scare him away with a shot in the floor or something, rather than “I hate burglars” to override my thoughts so that I shoot someone needlessly, but if the burglar came at him, that is the question. The fact he withstood 5 shots happens often enough. Doesn,t look like the amount of drugs contributed to that so much as the shooter was probably in partial shock once he pulled the trigger and just kept on shooting. If he had a large amount of pcp or meth in his system that would seem more plausible. Was it a spit second decision or did he have time? Sounds like the shooter said all the right things. I would have locked the window in the first place. I don,t sit and wait for anyone but rest assured I would make the right decision should you break into my house.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/ Greg Laden

    Mantrap. This was homicide.