Burglar Shoots Homeowner, Files Lawsuit Against Homeowner for Returning Fire

One thief in California is suing the homeowner who shot him three times during a botched robbery. It’s almost hard to believe — it’s practically a self-parody, like something you’d see out of a slapstick comedy movie.

But, it’s no laughing matter. Just watch this clip of 90-year-old Jay Leone, the homeowner, as he describes the harrowing robbery. (The clip ends at 2:10 and then has several minutes of nothing.)

See those bandages on his cheek? Those are from a freakin’ bullet wound. But first let’s back up a bit.

Jay Leone was alone in his home back in January of this year when Samuel Cutrufelli kicked down the door to his home. Cutrufelli tied up the senior citizen while he scoured Leone’s home for valuables. Eventually, Leone convinced Cutrufelli that he had to go to the bathroom, so he let him go. It was all a ruse, though. Leone kept a .357 revolver stored in the bathroom for, one can assume, situations like this.

Leone grabbed his gun and ran back into the room, pointing it at Cutrufelli. In response Cutrufelli shot Leone. The bullet struck Leone in the cheek and exited out through the back of his neck. Leone may be old, but he’s no wimp. The former Marin County Sheriff’s deputy remained standing and leveled his gun at Cutrufelli.

That’s when Cutrufelli, who was apparently out of bullets, begged for his life. “Don’t kill me,” he said, “Don’t kill me. I’ve got a daughter.”

But it, apparently had little affect on Leone. Later describing the event from the hospital bed, Leone said, “Fuck you… pow, pow, pow, pow!” Three of the bullets hit their mark, but Cutrufelli wasn’t about to go down.

“Sure enough, he wrestled me to the floor, put the gun to my head, pulled the trigger, and it went, ‘click.’” Leone had intentionally unloaded the weapon so that Cutrufelli couldn’t use it against him.

Cutrufelli bolted and quickly ended up in the hands of police. In court, Cutrufelli’s defense was to undercut Leone by saying that Leone made up the whole story and there wasn’t enough evidence to back up Leone’s accounts. Cutrufelli’s lawyer, Sandord Troy, said, “If you look up ‘reasonable doubt’ in the dictionary, you’re going to see ‘People vs. Cutrufelli. We, in the defense, have to prove zip. El Zippo, as they say in Spanish.”

Well, technically he’s right. In our justice system the burden of proof lies on the state to prove guilt. Here’s some advice, though: if you ever get a lawyer whose main argument is, “We ain’t gotta prove squat!” then it might be time to get a new lawyer.

The prosecutor, Dorothy Chou Proudfoot, gave an airtight argument. “There’s no ambiguity when you shoot somebody in the head,” she said. “You shoot somebody in the head, you’re trying to kill them.”

Cutrufelli was convicted of two counts of attempted murder – one for taking Leone’s gun and another for shooting him. Cutrufelli is going down, but not without a fight. Cutrufelli has filed a lawsuit against Leone, alleging that Leone caused “great bodily injury and other financial damage, including loss of Mr. Cutrufelli’s home and also the dissolution of Mr. Cutrufelli’s marriage.”

Leone scoffed at the suit. “He’s the one who busted my door in,”Leone said. “I’ll just countersue him then. That’s what I’ll need to do.” The lawsuit is scheduled for case management in March, 2013.

So, what do our readers think? Do you think Cutrufelli has a case, or will he be laughed out of the courtroom?

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