Surprise! Here’s another case of shoot first, plead “Stand Your Ground” later.
A 73-year-old Nevada man, currently being held on $2 million bond, is asking a Washoe County judge to release him on his own recognizance, claiming that he shot two sleeping people in self defense.
In February, Wayne Burgarello shot 34 year old Cody Devine five times, after finding him and a woman sleeping in the back bedroom of a vacant duplex he owns. Burgarello killed Devine and seriously injured 29 year old Janai Wilson, who prosecutors claim was also asleep at the time of the shooting.
Wilson pleads ‘Stand Your Ground.’
Burgarello is pleading self-defense under the state’s Stand Your Ground law.
According to Komo News, Burgarello took two guns with him to the unoccupied property, after receiving a call from a neighbor who reported ‘suspicious activity.’
Instead of calling the police, Burgarello went to the house, going room to room with his two guns. When he got to the back bedroom, he found Devine and Wilson. He claims that Devine raised his arm like it was a gun, so he shot him five times, once in the head. He doesn’t seem to have an explanation as to how he shot Wilson in self defense.
Prosecutors state that Devine’s injuries are not consistent with self defense. Under Nevada’s stand your ground law, the shooter cannot be the aggressor. In this case, Burgarello was clearly the aggressor.
Trespassing is a crime, there’s no doubt about that, but it is not a crime that is punishable by death in the United States. Neither Devine nor Wilson had a weapon when they were attacked by Burgarello.
Burgarello has been in jail since May, but his attorneys hope to see him released “on his own recognizance,” claiming that he’s not a flight risk and has no prior criminal record. Prosecutors oppose his release, saying that the evidence will show that Burgello is lying about his self defense story.
Komo News reports Burgarello’s property had been vandalized and robbed in the past. It seems likely that Burgarello chose not to call the police because he planned to bring his own brand of vigilante justice to the neighborhood.
If the law allows you to execute people who are sleeping on your property, the way that Burgarello executed Devine and attempted to execute Wilson, there’s not much the law won’t allow you to do.
Here’s a video with a discussion on the shooting from The Young Turks:
Featured photo: Marilyn Newton/RSJ.