It's a frightening ordeal to imagine, but one Baxter Springs resident was recently the victim of an attempted home invasion in broad daylight.
BAXTER SPRINGS - It's a frightening ordeal to imagine, but one Baxter Springs resident was recently the victim of an attempted home invasion in broad daylight. The nightmarish situation forced the homeowner into what is being called a self-defense shooting. The home invasion occurred early Sunday afternoon at 234 East 6th Street, in Baxter Springs.
Baxter Springs Chief of Police Mike Kliewer said Chebonnie E. Saggert, 43, entered the residence armed with a knife. The home owners were present at the time, and Saggert is said to have assaulted and threatened them with the knife. After a struggle that disarmed the suspect's weapon, one of the residents fatally shot the suspect with a firearm. The Saggert was pronounced dead at the scene, and was identified by the Baxter Springs Police Department.
As there is no apparent connection between the suspect and the home owners, it remains unclear at this time why Saggert broke into the residence. The case is currently under investigation by the Baxter Springs Police Department. The police reported they've had previous dealings with Saggert, and it is possible he may have known the house was occupied by an elderly couple.
Until the investigation is closed and the police have issued an official report, it's merely speculation, but early evidence suggests the situation is likely to fall under Kansas's "stand-your-ground" law. Kansas is one of several states to have a "castle doctrine", or a law which grants legal protection to an individual who uses a gun for self defense in their home. The term 'castle doctrine' is derived from the dictum that "an Englishman's home is his castle". This concept was established as English law by the 17th century jurist Sir Edward Coke, in his The Institutes of the Laws of England, 1628, and subsequently came to the New World with the colonists.
These days most states have stand-your-ground laws where individuals can use deadly force in circumstances of self-defense. In Kansas the specific laws are Kansas' Self-Defense & Defense of Others Statutes (KSA 2011 21-5220 through 21-5231), and first went into effect in 2006. The laws cleared up a misconception about whether or not individuals had to attempt to retreat. Now, if you're defending yourself, you do not have to retreat, hence the colloquialism, stand-your-ground.
Critics of these types of laws have argued that this allows citizens to use excessive force, and paint a picture of a lawless, wild west. The issue was catapulted into public discussion in 2012 when George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, fatally shot Trayvon Martin, 17.
The stand-your-ground law apparently has not been applied much in Kansas, and no specific numbers are available statewide. A spike in justifiable homicides by citizens could be an indicator that stand-your-ground laws were creating a problem, although justifiable homicides wouldn’t necessarily be directly correlated to a stand-your-ground incident. Nationally, the recent rate of justifiable homicides by citizens has been fairly steady, according to the FBI, climbing about four to five percent annually the last decade.