By Tom Knighton
A Washington state man was sentenced to 8 and a half years in prison for manslaughter after he killed a neighbor while shooting at a car thief. Tobin Panton, age 40, accidentally shot and killed 61-year-old Linda Green when he exited his home after noticing his Jeep leaving his driveway.
Tobin Panton, 40, of Bonney Lake in the Tacoma area, was sentenced last week in Pierce County Superior Court on one count of manslaughter in the first degree for the death of 61-year-old Linda Green.
“Instead of calling 911 he took matters into his own hands,” said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erika Nohavec. “He didn’t think of any of his neighbors and Linda Green lost her life that day.”
The incident, which occurred last November, happened just after Tobin was getting out of the shower and saw his Jeep leaving his driveway. Retrieving his .40-caliber Glock, Tobin fired at the departing vehicle from his porch until he ran out of ammunition. Pierce County deputies were called a brief time later to a home two blocks away from the man’s residence, where Green was found shot in the head in her sleep.
Detectives discovered a bullet hole in the window of Green’s home that faced Tobin’s porch and numerous “strike marks” on the front of her residence as well as her next-door neighbor’s home.
Undoubtedly, comments will be made regarding Panton’s accuracy, but I also think that’s the wrong lesson to take away here.
First, he used force in a situation that didn’t necessarily warrant the use of force. While I believe anyone who has been the victim of a theft understands the sentiment, firing in a situation where you did not have a legitimate fear of physical harm is a bad idea. It would have been different if Panton was being Click to see the original article