HOUSTON, July 1 (UPI) -- A grand jury in Texas has declined to indict a man who shot and killed two men who were burglarizing a neighboring house, court officials said.
The decision by the Harris County panel Monday not to charge Joe Horn, 62, of Pasadena, Texas, served to expand the scope of the state's so-called Castle Doctrine law, passed last year, San Antonio radio station WOAI reported. Previously a homeowner was considered exempt from charges if he or she shot an intruder but Horn went next door and shot the two burglars in the back as they left a neighbor's home. The law does not specify the same immunity holds true if a person is protecting someone else's property
Horn had claimed he fired at the pair Nov. 14, 2007, when they came into his yard and threatened him. However, he shot them in the back.
The shootings took place after Horn called 911 and was told by the operator not to go next door.
The two men he shot turned out to be illegal immigrants from Colombia.