Man Cites ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law After Shooting Neighbor Over Loud Music

Retired firefighter Raul Rodriguez says the killing of his neighbor over a noisy party was justified self-defense.

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Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle/AP

Raul Rodriguez, right, stands with his attorney Bill Stradley as he is found guilty of killing Kelly Danaher Wednesday, June 13, 2012, in Houston.

Retired firefighter Raul Rodriguez has been convicted by a Texas Jury for shooting and killing his neighbor during an argument over loud music. His defense? That he was well within his rights to do so according to the “stand your ground” law.

Prosecutor Kelli Johnson argued that Rodriguez, who has a concealed handgun license and was said to have knowledge of the law, “felt he had the ultimate control, the control to decide who lives and who dies.”

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The stand-your-ground law allows for defendants to argue self-defense in cases where deadly force has been used. It’s been most famously associated with the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, whose killer, George Zimmerman, argued he had acted in accordance with the law. Zimmerman is now facing trial for second degree murder.

The Texas incident took place two years ago when Rodriguez, 47, went to confront his neighbor Kelly Danaher, 36, over the loud music coming from his party.

Not only did Rodriguez bring his gun along with him to make the complaint, he also took a camera to make a video of the altercation – which was eventually used as evidence to convict him. He can be heard in the video telling a 911 operator his life was in danger as the confrontation unfolded. Shots were heard after he was heard saying “now, I’m standing my ground here. Now, these people are going to try and kill me.”

It seems his defense attorney did not have much hope for his case – “This is a difficult defense to mount,” she said to ABC News, ““He had no injury, he brought a gun to a noise complaint, and it appeared he was escalating it, by baiting the party-goers.”

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