LOS ANGELES (AP) — An 80-year-old Long Beach man was justified in killing a burglar who falsely claimed she was pregnant and asked him not to shoot, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in declining to charge him.
Thomas Greer shot Andrea Miller twice as she tried to flee from his home July 22 after she and an accomplice assaulted and robbed him, a prosecutor said in a Dec. 5 report that was disclosed Monday. Greer told reporters that Miller said she was pregnant and asked him not to open fire.
"Thomas Greer is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury," according to the report signed by Deputy District Attorney Janet Moore. "Greer exercised his legal and legitimate right of self-defense when he shot and killed Andrea Miller."
Californians can use deadly force to protect themselves inside their homes if they feel they are in imminent danger.
Greer had been burglarized at least twice in the past when he returned home from work that night and found Miller and Gus Adams trying to crack open a safe, the report said. The two lied and said they were police officers and then started roughing him up, scraping and bruising him and breaking his collarbone, according to the report.
They eventually left him alone and returned to the safe, the report said.
Greer couldn't leave his house because his front gate was padlocked and a woman with a small child was demanding that he let her in, the report said. He correctly assumed the woman, who turned out to be Adams' mother, was an accomplice, the report said.
He got a small-caliber handgun from his bedroom and returned to the office area, where the two had managed to pry open the safe and get $5,000. They beat him again until they saw he was armed and then fled, the report said.
Greer squeezed off three shots, striking Miller, 28, in the left side of the chest and in the right knee. She fell, got up and then fell in the alley outside, the report said.
Adams ran to a car where his mother, Ruby Adams, was waiting and they drove away, the report said.
Gus Adams, 26, has pleaded not guilty to murder, burglary and robbery charges. He's charged with murder under the theory that he committed a felony that led to Miller's death.
Ruby Adams, 50, has pleaded not guilty to burglary and robbery charges.
The two are due in Long Beach Superior Court on Feb. 3.
Greer does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press.