Castle Doctrine May Apply In Fatal Washington Co. Home Invasion
WASHINGTON (KDKA) -The newly passed Castle Doctrine may come into play after an alleged home invader was shot and killed in Washington County Sunday morning.
At about 2:45 a.m. Sunday, 32-year-old Ezequiel Pando tried to kick his way in to 611 Penn Avenue in Washington leaving his footprint on the door.
It woke a neighbor out of a sound sleep.
“She ran across the street and she was yelling call 9-1-1,” 12-year-old Corey Lenhart said.
Her normally quiet neighborhood was chaotic.
“Like a whole big group of people yelling and screaming and stuff,” Lenhart said.
According to Washington City Police Chief James Blyth, inside the house at the time of the shooting were a man, a woman and her two children.
“(He) did gain entry to the house. Him and another gentleman had a scuffle and he was shot,” Chief Blyth said.
Pando, of Lovington, N.M., died of a single gunshot to the chest.
Police said the woman was having relationships with both men. Four hours earlier, Pando was asked to leave the home.
“We did have a call on a small domestic. Our department had to escort him from the house,” Chief Blyth said.
The investigation is complicated by the newly passed Castle Doctrine Law, which expands the use of deadly force in protecting an occupied home.
“With the Washington County District Attorney’s office and the Coroner’s office, [we’re] trying to make sure everything plugs into the Castle Doctrine,” Chief Blyth said.
The man who fired the gun, who has not been identified, was licensed to have the weapon.
According to New Mexico Court Records, Pando had previously been convicted on minor offenses including DUI and driving on a suspended license.