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another strange on in the news today:

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13506408

No jail for man in shooting death
Slaying » Judge cites law allowing deadly force for protection.

By Stephen Hunt

The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 10/07/2009 05:35:04 PM MDT

West Jordan » Steven Lovendahl pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a man, but a 3rd District Court judge on Wednesday declined to impose any jail time after saying some slayings are allowed under Utah law.

"I'm pretty happy with what happened," Lovendahl said following his sentencing hearing. "It's been **** for a couple of years."

Lovendahl shot Kevin Michael Shepherd, 36, as Shepherd straddled Lovendahl's common-law wife and beat her with both fists about the face and head.

Judge Robert Adkins said Wednesday that Utah law allows the use of deadly force to prevent imminent death or bodily injury to oneself or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony, which includes aggravated assault.

Adkins noted that according to an independent witness, Shepherd was "relentless" in his beating of Anique Baeuregard and gave no indication of stopping anytime soon.

Beauregard's injuries were so severe that paramedics called for a helicopter to transport her to a hospital. Defense attorneys Steven Shapiro and Cara Tangaro said Beauregard suffers migraine headaches and has permanent nerve damage that causes her left eye to twitch.

Prosecutor Aaron Flater had recommended the judge follow the recommendation of a pre-sentence report and send Lovendahl to jail for a year.

But the judge said he could not "in good conscience" do that. Nor could he "ignore what led up to this,"
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the judge said, adding that Lovendahl has no prior history of violence.

Shepherd, on the other hand, had five assaults on his record, according to the defense. At the time of his death, Shepherd was being prosecuted for second-degree felony aggravated assault for attacking a tow truck driver in 2006.

Shapiro said Lovendahl should never have been prosecuted. Lovendahl, 32, was charged with first-degree felony murder for the Aug. 11, 2007, shooting in the front yard of his Copperton home.

To avoid the risk of a murder conviction, and spending 15 years to life in prison, Lovendahl pleaded guilty to class A misdemeanor negligent homicide, admitting his handgun discharged when he swung it at Shepherd.

Prosecutors have said the significant reduction in charges reflects problems in proving Lovendahl's intent to kill, as well as the potential for Lovendahl to claim self-defense at trial.

Shepherd's mother, Mary Louis Walter, told the judge Wednesday her family has twice been victimized: first by Shepherd's death, and again by the justice system.

"Is Kevin's life worth only a misdemeanor?" she asked.

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Events leading up to the shooting

According to court documents, Kevin Michael Shepherd of West Jordan helped install carpet at Steven Lovendahl's home. Then Shepherd, Lovendahl, Anique Beauregard and Beauregard's brother drove to a nearby tavern.

At the bar, Shepherd began flirting with an aquaintance of Beauregard's, and Lovendahl asked him to stop. On the way home, Shepherd tried to get in the woman's car. When Lovendahl intervened, Shepherd punched and choked him until passersby broke up the fight.

When the group arrived at Lovendahl's home, Shepherd chased Lovendahl, who ran into his house. Shepherd then attacked Beauregard.

After Shepherd was shot, two friends put him in a vehicle and drove him more than five miles before stopping to call 911, according to police. When paramedics responded, Shepherd was already dead.
 

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Its nice to see SOME judges still have morals and a conscience. Based on the article it sounds like its too bad he even had to plead guilty to ANYTHING at all!
 

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I don't believe I'd have taken the plea bargain based on the news report. As with most things there is probably much more to the story. I am grateful that this judge understood the intent of our current laws. I have my doubts about the prosecutor. :raisedbrow:
 

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I have been in many trainings, and classes taught by prosecutors, and the number one thing they always pound into you, is to charge everything possible on a crime, and let it be sorted out later. I think this is pretty sad. Anyone with decent moral character, and an understanding of law and justice, would have stopped this a lot sooner, before it ever got to court. Of course, I only know the details given in this story.
 

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:agree:

Unless there was a lot more going on than is in the story, it's a travesty that he was ever charged at all.
 

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It was a good decision and we ay never know everything however, it was a travesty that this man was even charged. Prosecutors more often than not, often go too far.

In response to this:
Shepherd's mother, Mary Louis Walter, told the judge Wednesday her family has twice been victimized: first by Shepherd's death, and again by the justice system.

"Is Kevin's life worth only a misdemeanor?" she asked
That is correct, as soon as he began his assault he forfeited the right to life based on his actions. In this instance he actually had to pay for his crime.
 

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Cinhil said:
"Is Kevin's life worth only a misdemeanor?" she asked
That is correct, as soon as he began his assault he forfeited the right to life based on his actions. In this instance he actually had to pay for his crime.
So true. Did she even stop to think about all the trouble this guy got in with the law? At some point you have to realize your child is just a bad seed.
 

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xRapidDavex said:
Cinhil said:
"Is Kevin's life worth only a misdemeanor?" she asked
That is correct, as soon as he began his assault he forfeited the right to life based on his actions. In this instance he actually had to pay for his crime.
So true. Did she even stop to think about all the trouble this guy got in with the law? At some point you have to realize your child is just a bad seed.
Yep--Yes, you can (and should) love your child/children, but when they do stupid things & disobey the law, as this man certainly did, as a parent you must take that high road of loving your child and decrying the sin. A lot more good would occur if people took responsibility and correctly identified and spoke against evil in society, if if that evil is from your own child.
You know the saying, "Do good to those who despitefully use you..and love the sinner but hate the sin." At some point it makes you wonder how much the mother of the criominal may have enabled him?
 

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Cin,

That is exactly right on. "Love the sinner but hate the sin" is a good way to put it.

Do the crime, pay the price.

-Jay
 

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Its a shame he was charged at all.

Family of criminals or of people who commit a criminal act need to think about the act more than the person, and then think of the victim.
 
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