BY SARAH STEPHENS, OWNER AND EDITOR
Editor’ Note: We will update this story with a mugshot from the sheriff’s office when it is available.
Mason Burdette, 20, of the Holtville/Slapout area, was arrested today, Oct. 20, for Assault first-degree over the weekend, but was also released on a $5,000 bond, Elmore Sheriff Bill Franklin told the EAN.
The victim of the shooting was identified as Nathan Weimorts, 19, also of the Holtville/Slapout area, and he remains in a Montgomery hospital with a serious wound to his leg.
“This is going to be interesting to see what the Grand Jury does with the case,” Sheriff Franklin said. “But this is a good reminder to everyone out there that you cannot use deadly force over a property crime. That is the law and it is pretty clear. You can only use deadly force if you feel your life, or the life of another, is in danger.”
Over the weekend, the Sheriff said that Burdette and Weimorts got into an argument in Holtville.
“Apparently these two have a long, ongoing feud,” he said. “Around 2:08 a.m. Saturday, Weimorts went to Burdette’s home on Ceasarville Road and began breaking out windows of vehicles on Burdette’s property. Burdette heard the commotion and exited his home with a high-powered rifle and got off a couple of shots. Weimorts was struck in the leg and transported to a Montgomery hospital.”
The wound was very serious, and at some point doctors considered amputating due to the injury, the sheriff said.
“At this time, to our knowledge, physicians were able to save the leg, but Weimorts remains in the hospital,” Franklin said. “However, when Weimorts is released he is going to face some charges as well for damage done to Burdette’s property.”
Burdette was detained over the weekend on an investigations hold, but went before the Court Magistrate today, Sunday.
“I believe the bond amount may have had something to do with the fact that Burdette was also a victim,” Franklin said. “But this is a good learning lesson to others out there who think they will just start shooting if someone is trying to break into their vehicles, or damage property. That does not qualify as a self-defense case unless your life or the life of someone else is in danger.”
Sheriff Franklin said a lot of people may appreciate the fact that Burdette was at his own home when Weimorts allegedly showed up and started damaging property, but the law is clear.
“The outcome of this will depend on how both men articulate what happened that night,” Franklin said.
“I can tell you in Elmore County a lot of grand juries in the past erred on the side of the old adage about your home is your castle. While I respect that, the law is very clear. You cannot use deadly force to protect some type of property. That only refers to your life or the life of another.”