by William Skink
Let’s get right into the justification for NOT bringing charges against a budding psychopath who, after murdering Mousso, went on to threaten his mom, build a torture room for her, and forced a standoff with law enforcement where he lives, in Florence.
Here’s Pabst’s justification for non-prosecution:
Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst explained it this way, “We are bound ethically to follow the law and can only file charges where probable cause is met and where we are likely to obtain a conviction.”
“We are looking at the reasonable person standard,” said Pabst.
Montana law specifically allows someone, in this case Paniagua, to use force, including deadly force, to prevent a robbery.
Here’s how that statute reads: 45-3-102.Use of force in defense of person. A person is justified in the use of force or threat to use force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that the conduct is necessary for self-defense or the defense of another against the other person’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, the person is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm only if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm to the person or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
When Pabst talks about ethics and being bound by the law I want to puke.
Mousso’a mom, Aly Wilding, isn’t buying this legal justification. Here is her response from the article:
Wilding criticizes the law.
“There are murky sections. Here we have a case where they are talking about felonies involved. How can you be dealing drugs, which is an illegal act, then claim a legal protection to murder someone to protect your drugs?” she asked.
Damn good question. Can any drug dealer now claim legal protection to kill if they “reasonably believes that the conduct is necessary for self-defense”?
Pabst continues defending her office’s inexplicable actions:
Pabst explains prosecutors must look at it from both a subjective and objective viewpoint.
“It is important to know the person who is acting had a subjective fear for his or her own life. It is also objective in that fear has to reasonable, so if you or I were in the same situation we would have the same fear. That is to prevent people from over-reacting and using their own fear as justification for something else” she said.
And Wilding continues accurately de-mystifying this legalese bullshit:
But Wilding believes the message is clear. Tell investigators you are reasonably afraid, and you can kill and not face a judge. She asked other attorneys, in both Montana and Washington, to weigh in.
Wilding said, “They said that (Missoula County’s) decisions were wrong. That it made no sense that they were not charging the men in the car, that they were not charging homicide.”
Wilding is right, it doesn’t make any sense, unless something else is going on here.
Is there something else going on here?
If it was JUST this case, that would be bad enough, but it’s not just this case.
Around the same time Ben Mousso was murdered, Sean Stevenson was murdered by Johnny Lee Perry at the Poverello Center. Similarly to the Mousso murder, authorities claim Perry was justified in using lethal force–strangulation, in this case–to defend himself against Stevenson.
Pabst has not publicly commented on the non-prosecution of Sean Stevenson’s killer, Johnny Lee Perry.
So what is going on here? Is there some unspoken reason authorities have for protecting violent killers like Perry and Paniagua?
If there is a reason, the families deserve to know. Instead it seems what these families are getting from the Missoula County Attorney’s office is damage control.