It seems to be the norm. Some young person winds up being killed by a homeowner, and the family doesn’t want to accept the truth about the deceased.
We’ve seen this with the Trayvon Martin situation, with the Roderick Scott case, and with other cases. There’s another tragedy that occurred recently that seems to have stayed below the radar. It appears to be one of those tragic situations where a homeowner comes home to find an intruder in the process of stealing. A brief altercation ensues with the intruder ultimately being killed.
In this particular case, at least some of the intruder’s family is enraged. “On Tuesday, July 22, Robin Boyer, 58, told police he found an intruder on his property who was stealing items. Boyer allegedly confronted the intruder, identified by family members as Brandon Pacheco, 25. During the confrontation an altercation allegedly ensued which resulted in Pacheco being shot in the head with a shotgun by Boyer.”
Pacheco’s sister is adamant that he “was a good hard working kid that never would hurt anybody and was unarmed, and viciously mowed down.” She doubts the homeowner’s version of the story, saying that her brother would have run away, not stayed to fight or get into an altercation. That may have been the brother she knew, but what about the brother who was on drugs? Would he have done the same?
It’s another one of those situations where it’s the homeowner’s word alone that we either have to believe or not. The sister has chosen not to believe him.
Unlike the Trayvon Martin case, it is clear that Brandon Pacheco was not where he should have been. He was trespassing; and the homeowner believed that Pacheco was in the act of stealing things from him, which is why he confronted him. If an altercation did occur, the homeowner would have every right to defend himself, which is what he said he did.
The sister is also quoted as saying, “I want my brother back, but I can’t have him back. I hope that man gets charged with something.”
I can appreciate the fact that she wants her brother back. I would very much like to have my sister back, who died of a massive heart attack about four years ago. When someone you care about is taken from you – especially so suddenly – it makes it very difficult to understand and accept the situation. The pain stays with you for some time.
I also understand her anger and why she would want the homeowner “charged with something.” It’ll make her feel a bit better knowing that something happened against the man who took her brother’s life. I think most of us can appreciate these sentiments.
But the problem is that, in the end, Brandon Pacheco was doing something illegal; and he was where he should not have been. According to a newspaper report, “Brandon was convicted of theft back in March. During that same incident, police found Brandon to be in possession of meth and he was undergoing court ordered classes for his drug problems. That seemed to be going well, until he was arrested again in early July on suspicion of burglary. Just a couple of weeks later is when he was shot and killed in the alleged incident mentioned above.”
Also, according to the same report, the homeowner had witnessed Pacheco trespass on his property several times in the past. Beyond this, “According to the Turlock police activity log, Brandon Pacheco and Blake Pacheco, 20 of Turlock, were arrested on March 11 after being found with a stolen catalytic converter and in possession of methamphetamine.” He pled guilty to grand theft.
Did Brandon have a drug problem? Sadly, it certainly seemed like it. While he may well have been a hard worker and someone who would not have hurt someone else, as his sister claims, the truth is that he was not a stranger to drugs. It’s likely that no matter how hard he worked, he didn’t make enough to support his drug habit. If that’s the case, like many drug addicts, he needed to steal to continue to use drugs.
Stealing placed him in dangerous positions. In this most recent case, he may have felt cornered and instead of fleeing, as his sister believed he would do, he chose to fight, possibly thinking he could overpower the homeowner. We don’t know.
His sister and family members must have known about his drug problems. He was under court orders to take classes to help him deal with his drug problem. Drugs change a person immensely, and it doesn’t matter what the drug is either.
My heart goes out to this sister and family over the loss of their son. My heart also goes out to the homeowner who has stated that due to an altercation, he was left no choice but to shoot for his own protection.
Some would likely say that if only the homeowner had simply called the police and stayed away, Brandon would be alive today. By the same token, if Brandon had never started experimenting with drugs, he would never have become hooked. Had he never become hooked, he never would have begun stealing. Had he never started stealing, he would not have been trespassing at this homeowner’s property taking what did not belong to him.
In the end, whose fault is this? Brandon’s presence put himself and the homeowner in a difficult and dangerous situation. If Brandon chose to escalate that situation by engaging in a physical confrontation, he left the homeowner with few options.
We’ll have to see what comes out of this, and whether or not the homeowner has charges filed against him, and this thing goes to trial.
People make bad decisions every day. Had Brandon Pacheco not decided to trespass and steal, he would very likely be alive right now.
Photo credit: michelle.irish (Creative Commons)