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Author Topic: help needed  (Read 8806 times)

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help needed
« on: March 14, 2014, 01:20:40 PM »

I have some questions for the forum concerning how the law would deal with my main characters after the actions they perpetrate at the end of my story.

Here's the setup:

It's September 11, 2001, and, running through South Carolina woods, Tony, 16, comes upon sheriff's-office and other law-enforcement personnel who are looking for him and his two runaway friends, Matt, 15, and Rob, 15.  Tony has just escaped a clearing in the woods where Elias, 44, an unrepentant racist homophobe Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard, is in the process, the last Tony saw over his shoulder, of stringing up Matt and Rob with nooses on the bough of a massive old oak.  Elias, hidden beneath his hood and robe, is willing to do this to his own son, Rob, because of the anger and betrayal he feels at Rob's having come out as Matt's boyfriend.  Tony grows impatient with the sheriff's-office detective and deputy wanting to waste time asking questions.  Tony grabs the sidearm out of the deputy's holster and races back to the clearing.  By now, Elias has Matt and Rob standing on stools with the rough hemp of the nooses already chafing the boys' throats and necks.  Tony, holding the sidearm in a trembling two-handed grasp, orders Elias to let his friends go.  Elias removes his hood and coolly faces Tony and the weapon Tony has trained on him.  Elias orders his minions to charge and tackle Tony, and Tony warns them to stop, going so far as to fire a shot at their feet.  Behind them Elias kicks the stools out from under Matt and Rob's feet.  Tony runs forward, but trips, but not before getting off a shot, which blasts Elias's shoulder.  One of the hooded figures rushes Tony, and Tony shoots him in the chest, killing him instantly.  The other hooded figures try to take off into the woods, but they're intercepted by the arrival of the law personnel, who want to help Matt and Rob but have to first take care of the fact that Tony is standing there, pointing the weapon squarely at Elias, who's sprawled on the ground.  In the background Matt and Rob have stopped writhing and thrashing.  Tony tells the detective that Elias deserves to die, the detective tries to talk the boy down, but Elias trips Tony, and the two disappear out of sight in the tall grass.  Scuffling.  A couple of screams.  One gunshot.  The detective and deputy rush to Tony, while others in the team rush to Matt and Rob, cutting them down and trying to resuscitate them (alas, to no avail).  The deputy puts his fingers on Elias's carotid, shakes his head at the detective, who has helped Tony to sit up.  "I didn't want to shoot him," Tony tells the detective.  "I just wanted him to pay."

Here are my questions for you all:

1: What legal repercussions would Tony incur for stealing and using the deputy's sidearm?

2: Would Elias be charged posthumously with the murder of Matt and Rob?  If so, what degree of murder?

3: Is Matt's shooting of the KKK minion, as described, considered murder or self-defense under the law?

4: As described, would Tony be charged with the murder of Elias?  If so, what entity would do the charging?  Would there be a trial?  Would Tony's age be a factor?

5: Would Tony's statements to the detective in front of the deputy be used against him?

6: With what crimes would the surviving "minions" be charged?

7: Was the detective correct in not allowing any of his men to rush forward and help Matt and Rob as long as Tony was still brandishing the weapon?

8: What sanctions, if any, would the deputy incur for allowing a private citizen to get his sidearm away from him?

Thanks in advance.  I look forward to your replies.

Old Bill

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Re: help needed
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2014, 09:05:59 AM »

The only point that readers may be wondering about is why, if Tony has a gun pointed at Elias and for all practical purposes is holding him at bay, why wouldn't Tony tell the deputies to help Matt and Rob? And at that point, the deputies would probably take out Tony if they perceived him as a deterrent to saving Matt and Rob. Sounds like you have an interesting story going, but too many times authors with civilian protagonists tend to make the cops standby and act stupidly...just one of my pet peeves and my two cents.

I'll let some of our more knowledgeable contributors tackle the largely self-defense and procedural questions.  Good luck with your story.

Old Bill
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