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Rifle-toting homeowner who fatally shot intruder through front door won't be charged; grand jury agrees it's a 'stand your ground' self-defense case

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FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

A Tennessee grand jury will not bring charges against a Lenoir City homeowner who fatally shot an intruder through a front door in May, saying the shooting was a "stand your ground" self-defense case, according to a Wednesday press release from Russell Johnson, the 9th Judicial District Attorney General.

What are the details?

The deceased suspect, Michael Owen, had just jumped through a window at 502 W. 2nd Ave. — a known drug house — on the evening of May 17 when police were called regarding a disturbance at a neighboring residence on the same street.

Police body camera with audio captured some of that disturbance: a loud noise followed by Owen banging on the door of the neighboring residence, loud shouting, and finally, multiple gunshots, the press release said.

The investigation revealed Owen first threw a large planter at the front porch window of the neighboring home and that screws in the window frame came loose from the impact.

Owen left a bloody handprint on the window, but it was determined that he had cut his head jumping through the window of the first address — 502 W. 2nd Ave., the known drug house — before making his way across the street and up to the neighboring home, the press release said.

Owen was yelling and banging on the front door of the home and trying to make entry inside. The home was occupied by a man and his parents.

The homeowner's father — described in the press release as "older" — was trying to close the door after Owen had gotten it partly open.

The homeowner son then shot through the front door with a rifle five times, killing Owen, the press release said.

The autopsy revealed that Owen was hit by gunfire multiple times and that marijuana and an extremely high level of methamphetamine were in his system, the press release added.

The grand jury reviewed a presentation by Lenoir City Police Department detectives Lynnette Ladd and Jon Yates and agreed with the District Attorney General Johnson's decision not to bring criminal charges against the homeowner who fatally shot Owen based on the "stand your ground" statute and that it was a case of self-defense.

According to WATE-TV, the state's “stand your ground” statute guarantees one's right to use force for self-defense if there is a reasonable belief of imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

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