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Kentucky farmer, 92, shoots, kills intruder, and has no regrets

September 05, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Earl Jones, 92, chats with his neighbor, Mary Simpson, after he shot and killed a burglar in his home.
Earl Jones, 92, chats with his neighbor, Mary Simpson, after he shot and… (Associated Press )

America, meet your new hero: Earl Jones.

A War War II veteran and 92-year-old Kentucky farmer, Jones shot and killed a man who broke into his home early Monday, saying he had no problem aiming "right for the heart" of the would-be thief.

It might be a sign of how weary Americans have become of crime and violence that almost everyone who read this story, which was pinging around the Internet Wednesday, lined up behind Jones. Many had comments that went something like this one, posted online at Cincinnati.com: "This guy is my hero. He is part of the 'Greatest Generation.'"

Jones told the news outlet that, when he heard someone scuffling around in his basement, he reached for his .22-caliber rifle. "He kicked it hard and dang near knocked it off the hinges,” Jones said of the intruder's entrance through the cellar door and into his home. "When the body appeared, that’s when I raised the rifle, and I fired one shot."

The shooting followed a rash of break-ins at Jones' home in Verona. The break-ins had become such a problem that the Boone County Sheriff's Department recently installed a motion-activated security camera outside the home -- a camera that captured images of three men trying to break in that morning around 2 a.m.

"He then called his neighbor who in turn called 911," according to a statement posted online by the sheriff's departtment. What happened next seems to come straight out of a Hollywood movie.

Jones told authorities he aimed for the burglar's heart but suspects he "missed the shot by an inch," according to the news outlet. He said he was certain that the body toppled backward, down the stairs. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the outside basement door ajar -- but no one other than Jones at the residence.

Within minutes, however, neighboring Kenton County police responded to a 911 call about a man being shot. Those officers found Lloyd "Adam" Maxwell, 24, of Richmond, Ky., dead of a gunshot wound on a nearby road. His body was in a Chevrolet Impala;  two other men were with him.

"The two uninjured men were brought back to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and questioned where they admitted their involvement in the burglary on Violet Road," officials said. Maxwell's cohorts now face charges including burglary.

Phone calls to law enforcement officials in Boone and Kenton counties were not immediately returned Wednesday. But legal experts told NKY.com that Jones appears to be well within his right to pull the trigger under Kentucky's so-called "castle" doctrine, giving a person the right to defend his or her home with deadly force if needed.

Not that Jones is worried about what anyone else thinks. Jones said he never considered calling 911 and waiting around for help after hearing the noises in his basement.

"I’m a military man -- I ain’t going to dial somebody and have to wait for an hour while the guy shoots me in the face and is gone," he told a reporter. "Time is of the [essence]."

Jones said he hopes it will teach thieves in the area a lesson. "Maybe this will stop all this stealing and robbing."

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