DA: Intruder shooting justified

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 07:29 PM

A Henderson homeowner who shot to death an intruder Dec. 16 did so protecting an uncle and a child, and he will not face prosecution, according to District Attorney Sam Currin.

An investigation into the shooting death of Deyon Durham, a 24-year-old, concluded that while at a 1200 block Montgomery Street Extension home at 7 a.m. on a Sunday he was justifiably confronted by the homeowner and shot dead, Currin said.

“It was self defense and defense of others,” Currin said. “It was a justified killing. The person who was shot was breaking into an automobile in the curtilage of the homeowner’s house.”

A curtilage is a fenced-in ground and buildings immediately surrounding a house or dwelling.

Currin said that an uncle was sleeping in a lived-in shack directly next to that vehicle, and there was a child in the house itself.

“The homeowner didn’t have a way of knowing it, but the person had a record for child abuse,” Currin said.

According to Currin, there is an application of the 2011 North Carolina Castle Doctrine gun law to this incident so that the homeowner’s rights to self-defense are further strengthened.

The doctrine applies to situations in which an intruder attempts to unlawfully or forcibly enter an occupied residence, business or vehicle, so that occupants reasonably believe the intruder intends harm or another felony such as arson or burglary.

Currin explained that the vehicle in question was definitely within the doctrine’s inclusion of a household occupation area, or curtilage.

“The incident fits the Castle Doctrine,” Currin said. “You can assume that he’s up to no good, and you have a right to use deadly force.”

Durham used a brick to smash a passenger side window of a green 1999 Chevrolet GMT-400 truck, according to a police incident report.

Henderson police reports stated Durham, of 279 Faulkner St., was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to state incarceration records, Durham had been convicted of multiple break-in, larceny and sexual offenses in the past. He was recently jailed for failing to maintain current information on the sex offender registry.

On April 30, 2007, Durham received a sentence of up to two years in prison for pleading guilty on sexual battery and indecent liberties charges. A rape charge alleging he molested an elementary-aged child was dropped.


Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.