Brandon Watson was minding his own business sitting in his house watching T.V. when suddenly he hears someone trying to break into his home and sees a red laser pointed at his chest.
The neighborhood in which Watson lives there are weapons everywhere. Watson did not think twice about grabbing his licensed gun to protect his wife and children.
Brandon remembers, “We ran upstairs very quickly … she saw guys in all black from right here in this window looking down.” Watson said he couldn’t immediately find his cell phone to call 911 so he ran downstairs with his firearm and stood at the foot of the stairs, shielded by a wall.
Watson yelled out “Who is that? I have a gun.” Immediatle he noticed two red dots on his chest. Understandably, he quickly fired a warning shot. He shot a single shot not aimed at anyone but through the window- not directly at anyone. He was not trying to kill anyone- he just wanted to scare them off.
AsWatson left his house he learned that the men in his backyard were Portsmouth police officers who had NOT announced themselves.
What were the police doing in his backyard? It later came out in court that the police were in the wrong backyard.
Even though the prosecutor knew the police were in the wrong back yard and Watson’s gun was licensed they STILL charged him with misdemeanor reckless handling of a fire arm. Watson was found guilty. So he appealed the decision, and a second judge declared a mistrial. At that point, Watson chose to have a jury trial.
“This can’t be doing your job. You come in my backyard, try to open my door, open my window and flash red laser beams on my chest because you thought I was the burglar, and I thought you were the burglar,” Watson said.
The seven-person jury bought that, and found Brandon Watson not guilty, after deliberating only 47 minutes. The jury thought Watson showed restraint by only firing one shot.