A Cedar Hill homeowner fatally shot an intruder who broke into his home shortly before midnight Christmas Eve, authorities say.
Joshua Slaven, 31, was pronounced dead at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Dallas County medical examiner.
Slaven is the stepson of Mayor Rob Franke.
The homeowner, Gareth Long, was questioned by police but not arrested. The standard practice is to refer such cases to a grand jury, which is likely to decline to indict Long under the state’s castle doctrine.
“It’s very unfortunate that Mr. Long was forced into a position of having to defend himself, his wife and his home from a nighttime intruder,” said Chris Knox, Long’s attorney. “Nobody ever asks to be placed in such a life-threatening position, but Mr. Long’s actions were absolutely justified and completely protected under Texas law.”
According to Knox and Cedar Hill officials, Slaven broke in through a bedroom window using a tree branch shortly before midnight at Long’s home in the 1300 block of Stoney Creek Drive. The brick home is down a long private driveway with a sign that states “no trespassing.”
Long told his attorney he and his wife were asleep when they heard a loud bang and realized an intruder had broken in. Long retrieved his handgun and went to investigate. He discovered a wet stranger dripping in the hallway outside his bedroom.
Knox said Long told the intruder, whom authorities identified as Slaven, that he had a weapon and repeatedly asked him to leave before shooting the man.
“You’re telling the children you’re waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney, [and] instead, you’ve got a drug-crazed guy breaking into your window,” Gareth Long said.