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Local attorney breaks down Wisconsin's self-defense law after Kenosha homeowner kills intruder

In Wisconsin, it can be argued that the law does favor the homeowner in this case.
kenosha deadly home invasion
Posted at 3:08 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 19:19:04-04

KENOSHA, Wis. — Days after Kenosha police say ahomeowner killed an intruder at a home near 69th Street and 64th Avenue, details remain limited. No new information has been released about the homeowner or the person they killed.

Local attorney Jonathan LaVoy tells TMJ4 News that in a case like this, it all comes down to the way Wisconsin's self-defense law is written. He adds that it could take days or weeks before the public learns whether the homeowner was justified in killing the intruder.

"The District Attorney's office is doing a careful analysis of what occurred," said LaVoy. "A person can use deadly force when they reasonably believe that their life is in danger, or their loved ones lives are in danger."

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On the night of the incident, emergency responders could be heard over the scanner saying, "We got a lot of blood here." On the day after the incident, TMJ4 News crews spoke with neighbors in the community who described the commotion.

"The guy was going absolutely crazy, throwing rocks at cars, houses," said Jayme Raddatz, who witnessed the subject believed to be the intruder who was killed.

Now, while considering Wisconsin's law, LaVoy says a self-defense case can be built from what we do know, so far.

"Self-defense always comes down to reasonableness. So, if the person who was killed was engaging in criminal behavior, violent behavior, those types of things, it's much more likely that it is reasonable for a homeowner to use deadly force," said LaVoy.

In Wisconsin, it can be argued that the law does favor the homeowner in this case.

"In Wisconsin, we have what's called the castle doctrine, which provides a presumption that a homeowner that's protecting their property is presumed to be reasonable when protecting their own property," said LaVoy.

It's a case to follow in a community particularly sensitive to self-defense laws following last year's Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

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