Three Shot, One Dead, No Charges Filed

A very brief item in the Chronicle today reports that a northwest Houston homeowner shot three people in his front yard last night and killed one of them.

"Police said the man shot the three men during an argument outside his home in the 7300 block of West Knoll about 10:30 p.m.," the item said. "No charges have been filed against the homeowner, who has not been identified. He was not arrested and the case will be referred to a Harris County grand jury."

Whoa -- takes down two, kills one and doesn't even get arrested? That's Wild West time right there.

Actually, it's not that unusual that no arrest was made, DA spokesman George Flynn tells Hair Balls. If the police and the prosecutor working intake determine there was a good cause, such as self-defense, no arrests or charges will be made.

"It's weighed on a case-by-case basis on the individual facts; there's no policy on it," Flynn says. "If they feel like there are credible claims, reasonably supported by the evidence and by witnesses if there are any" the prosecutor can choose not to file charges.

The DAs office makes the decision, not the cops, he says. The case will be presented to a grand jury, though.

Still, that's a pretty impressive head count to rack up and stay out of jail. Who says Houston's gotten tame?

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