Castle Doctrine May Apply In Fatal Washington Co. Home Invasion

By: Mary Robb Jackson

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.

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One Comment

  1. JustSaying says:

    I’m not sure how the changes to the Castle Doctrine come into play here. It has ALWAYS been legal to protect yourself and your property from an intruder within your home. The changes to the Castle Doctrine apply to deadly force used OUTSIDE the home. It used to be you had to retreat before using deadly force. The changes take that stipulation out of play, you can now stand your ground without having to retreat from someone intent on causing harm.

    1. Kid310050 says:

      I have to agree with you. KDKA needs to get their facts straight with this one. This man came into their home, Castle Doctrine does not apply here. Good for this guy doing what he needed to do to protect himself and family.

  2. For thos that don't know... says:

    You don’t need a license to own a firearm in PA. Anyone not a criminal or ajudicated as mentaly incompetant may posses a loaded firearm in his/her residence. Before the May signing of the “Castle Doctrine” by the governor, you had to prove that you retreated within your home, too. The Bill signed in June expanded it to public areas. Now that is a “common sense approach” to public safety.

    1. Dave says:

      Exactly. And being that it was a long gun, you don’t even need a permit to carry it outside the home. Carry permits are for the concealing of licensed firearms. KDKA may have just written their worse article to date. And that’s no easy task!

    2. Kid310050 says:

      You do not and never had to retreat within your own home. The only time you had to retreat is when you were outside of your home.

  3. ITS ABOUT TIME says:

    Yay , for the Castle Doctrine it’s about time politicians woke up to citizens rights to defend themselves.
    Come into my home and try to do me and my family harm and you not me will be leaving in a body bag.
    Remember be prepared for a confrontation so that the end result is as described above.

  4. So-Co says:

    kdka needs to have some republicans on staff becasue all these dam liberals dont know there facts

  5. Seeking balance says:

    I’m relieved that this was signed into law, but this person kicked the door in and came INTO the house, so not relative.

Comments are closed.

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