A homeowner who shot and killed two people who were attempting to burglarize his home in Deerfield, New York, was believed to have acted out of self-defense.
Ronald Stolarczyk, 64, was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the homicide case. He fatally shot Patricia Talerico, 57, and her nephew Nicholas Talerico, 27, as they were breaking into his house. Stolarczyk said he had to act quickly as he feared for his life. According to authorities, the two burglars continued approaching him even after he shouted for them to leave.
Prosecutors had to consider several New York self-defense statutes in the case. Under state law, the “castle doctrine” legally allows individuals to kill someone to defend themselves in their own homes in an effort to stop a burglary. Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said Stolarczyk was justified in shooting the two people based on the law.
Details are very important in self-defense cases. Many different factors are examined, such as the ages of the people involved, where in the body the intruder was shot and whether any warnings were provided beforehand.
In order to justify a homicide under self-defense laws, your actions must be reasonable. It is typically up to the jury to determine whether a person’s actions were reasonable. For instance, shooting an intruder who is retreating would not be considered reasonable.
Deciding whether a homicide occurred due to self-defense can be complicated. The facts of each case are different. If you are facing homicide charges, you need a defense attorney who knows how to protect your rights and understands the intricacies of New York law. Contact Brill Legal Group to learn how we can help you.