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Man Avoids Charges After Fatally Shooting Elderly Man With Alzheimer’s

A man who fatally shot an elderly Alzheimer’s patient will not face any criminal charges for his actions. Georgia native Joe Hendrix, 35, shot and killed 72-year-old Ronald Westbrook last November after he entered the home of his fiancee and believed he was a robber. Hendrix has openly regretted killing Westbrook, but has insisted that he acted in self-defense.

Hendrix reportedly yelled at Westbrook to stop, but the elderly man made no verbal response advanced towards him in a “quick and aggressive manner.” Once he got within striking distance, he pulled out his gun and fired four shots before killing the Alzheimer’s patient. But because of a Georgia state law that allows homeowners to use deadly force if they believe their lives are in danger, Hendrix will walk away without charges to his name.

“In Georgia, the prosecution bears the burden of disproving a self defense claim beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Walker County District Attorney Herbert Franklin. “After looking at the facts from Hendrix’ perspective, it would be impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hendrix did not reasonably act in self defense.”

Tragically, unnecessary fatal shootings involving home intruders have become far too common lately. Last year, Theodore Wafer shot and killed a 19-year-old girl seeking help after a car accident. Outrage was sparked after it was initially believed that Wafer would escape any criminal prosecution, but he was ultimately charged with murder.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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  • GaLiberal

    This story is wrong. I live in Atlanta and the man never entered the house. He was banging on the front door wanting in because he used to live there. The occupants had already called the police who told them to stay inside. Instead this asshole got his gun and went out the back door and confronted this man. What happened then is based solely on what this redneck stupid ass told the cops. He claimed the man walked toward him and didn’t stop when the redneck told him to (like he’s cop). So fearing for his life (which he wouldn’t have if he’d stayed inside) he blindly fired four times hitting the man once. Typical for the south.

    • Coolcooker

      Thanks for the info about what really occurred. Too often we get the media version when they are trying to sell more papers even the online version.

    • robbiecee

      Thank you and may he rot in hell!

  • MAXINE DELICATA

    what in the hell is this world coming to a strong young man WITH A GUN shoots, AND KILLS, an old man WITHOUT A GUN, and walks. THIS IS CRAP.

  • MAXINE DELICATA

    I don’t like my neighbor I think they are going to hurt me, I think I will stand my ground, and kill them, oh, I forgot I don’t live in the south, so maybe this won’t fly.

  • Valentino

    So wait let me get this right, a 35 year old is afraid enough to use deadly force against a 72 year old UNARMED man? GTFOOH!!