Missouri man twice protected by castle doctrine in killings

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Michael T. Wieners was well-known to law enforcement before he caught national headlines for killing two of his former friends. Claiming self-defense, he was not charged. In this 2014 photo, courtesy of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, officials said he was being booked for driving while intoxicated.  Photo courtesy of STL Today.

Michael T. Wieners was well-known to law enforcement before he caught national headlines for killing two of his former friends. Claiming self-defense, he was not charged. In this 2014 photo, courtesy of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, officials said he was being booked for driving while intoxicated.
Photo courtesy of STL Today.

ROBERTSVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ A 55-year-old eastern Missouri man who killed two intruders at a home this year has been protected by the state’s castle doctrine in both cases.

Rural Franklin County resident Michael T. Wieners fatally shot a former roommate in February and stabbed a neighbor to death in June. Missouri law gives people occupying homes or vehicles broad license to protect themselves with deadly force.

Wieners told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he killed his former friends in self-defense.

“I wasn’t looking for that,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I am not that type of person. But I am not going to let somebody take my life.”

Records say Wieners vowed beforehand to take the law into his own hands over a burglary, despite discouragement from police. In another case, at least one deputy discredited Wieners’ fatal threats to a man as a mere side effect of being intoxicated. In multiple incident reports, Wieners’ occupation is listed as, “drunk.”

Wieners is among a group of people who live on the edge of the law and yet are keen or lucky enough to avoid prison, said Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke. There are things that concerned authorities in regard to the deaths, but he says there isn’t evidence to sway concerns in either direction. Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks says people get “the benefit of the doubt” due to the castle doctrine.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch