We received an email from Wade Harless Elton John Richard II's father-in-law regarding our Sunday post entitled "Choices" (read it here or just scroll down). The email said some favorable things about our commentary (which we appreciate) but that's not why we're posting it here.
We asked permission to publish the email because it shed some additional light on the events leading up to Daniel Romero's shooting. After reading the email it made us even more convinced that Mr. Richard had no other choice but fire his weapon in self-defense. We believe it was self-defense because despite Richard's pursuit of a fleeing felon, he never fired his weapon until he was being attacked by the deceased.
A Word from Elton Richard's Father-In-Law
First of all, thank you for one of the best written articles about this incident I have read to date. Both sides of the coin were discussed and presented.
I would like to clarify some of the facts that some of the bloggers either do not have access to or they have heard some of the rumors which are not based on fact about the case. Just to lend credibility to this email, I am Elton's father-in-law and was present the first five days after this occurred, and have been following this case with every detail.
Running Romero Down to Shoot Him
Elton fought Romero in his yard while being beaten with a sledgehammer and other tools. Romero then progressed to back Elton down the street and into the corner of the cul-de-sac. As a Marine and as a Federal Officer, his training was to maintain a visual on the assailant and not lose the man until help arrives. Therefore, as his training kicked-in, he followed Romero as 911 had been called and the police were on their way.
After crossing the street and into the dark area, the shooting took place. I have never asked Elton specifically what happened up there, but having known Elton for many years, the only reason he would shoot another human being is due to fear for his life or the life of his family. Romero had already made the comment that he would be back when Elton was not there.
The autopsy report shows the angulation of the bullet such that determined that Elton was in a crouching position and Romero was over him with his arms out in a lunging position. Even without knowing the detail, this tells you there was a danger to Elton's personal well being.
As a trained sniper in the Marines, trust me, if Elton had intended to kill Romero at any given point, there would have been a bullet hole between his eyes.
Out on Bail
For three (3) years, Elton has been out on bail and was allowed, by the DA's office, to move home to Texas so he could be around family who could help them through this time. During that time they have had to sell their house, he lost his job, lost his benefits, have lost all of their savings and Elton's retirement and have gone into debt to pay defense expenses, etc. If he was such a "felon", why would he be allowed to leave the State? By the way, he called every week and followed the conditions of his bail for the entire time.
No Contest Plea
The "no contest" plea was agreed to as an assurance Elton would not be away from his son and wife. He did this knowing that he was pleading to something he did not do, but was not willing to chance adding further stress and torment to the life of his family. He also did this knowing that this would follow him all of his life. Even though this was not what I thought should have been done, we, the family supported him, without question, just as we have supported him in this since day one.
Now, with some of the facts, this young man has suffered for three (3) years in relation to the consequences of his actions. Yes, taking a life is a terrible thing. However, when you truly feel you are protecting your family and yourself, the resolve remains for a lifetime. None of the years can come back and Romero cannot be brought back, but the punishment should be based on factual information and not "he did not feel remorse". Thank goodness all of the judgements are not based on that. Most of the time the people on trial can lie better than most of us can tell the truth.
Thank you for allowing me the ability to respond to this blog. I appreciate your responsible reporting by providing all sides of this situation.
----- Post Script -----
If you take into account the sequence of events and the forensics, there can be little doubt that Mr. Richard felt his life was in danger when he made the decision to fire his weapon. The red herring in this case was the initial confrontation in Mr. Richard's front yard. If Romero had tried to steal his wallet and ended up dead we doubt that Richard would have ever been prosecuted.
Just because he pursued Romero with the intent to take him into custody, doesn't mean that Romero didn't threaten his life at the end of that pursuit. Again, if this had been a police officer giving chase it would have been deemed a justifiable homicide no matter how far the perp ran. The choice to turn and attack the officer (again) would have been enough to justify using deadly force.
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes