Man charged after shooting alleged intruder

March 27, 2012 3:16:59 PM PDT
An 81-year-old homeowner shot and wounded a man police say was breaking into his home.

The alleged intruder is charged. But, so is the homeowner, Homer Wright. He faces unlawful use of a weapon charges-- and his neighbors are upset.

Wright was arrested and charged after the shooting at his Englewood home, which is also his place of business. Wright is a convicted felon and is not allowed to own a gun.

Wright was released on an I-bond. Many family members were in court supporting him.

"The judge seen it himself, an old man protecting his family and his home," said Homer Wright's grandson Courtney Cook. "An 81-year-old man is protecting himself and his family. Is he supposed to be the victim?"

Some Englewood community residents are upset that Wright was arrested for allegedly shooting 19-year-old Anthony Robinson.

Police say Robinson broke into Wright's home situated behind the tavern he owns.

"Where in America can you not defend yourself?" said Darryl Smith of the Englewood Political Task Force. "And because you have a felony is your life less valuable than any other person? Had he not had a gun, we would be here for another reason, because he was beaten to death."

"If they come into your house, whether you are a convicted felon or not, you are going to protect yourself and your family," said 18th Ward Committeeman William Delay.

Wright has two felony convictions on his record dating back close to 20 years.

"He has a right to defend himself," said Richard Kling, clinical professor of law at Chicago Kent College of Law. "Had he not been a convicted felon, he would have the right to shoot the person dead. His problem is not the shooting but that he possessed a gun, which he was not allowed to do because of a prior record... He certainly could have used a knife. If he had used a knife there would have been no charges."

Englewood residents are demanding that state's attorney Anita Alvarez drop the charges against Wright.

"I don't know that the state's attorney has the discretion to say we are not going to follow (the law)," said Kling. "Maybe the law should change so that, if convicted of a felony, after a certain period of time you are again allowed to possess a gun."

Kling said he believes there will be leniency in this case. He says the judge has discretion on an appropriate penalty if the case goes to trial.