The Aftermath: Teen Kills One of Three Home Invaders

Welcome to Aftermath, a portion of our First Line email newsletter where Attorney Anthony L. DeWitt walks you through a real-life self-defense incident and shares his key takeaways.

Teen Kills One of Three Home Invaders

Two adults and a teen invaded a Cobb County, Georgia, home a FOX 5 news article reported. Armed and expecting no trouble, the assailants confronted the sole 17-year-old occupant. The young defender fired at least twice, killing intruder Machavellia Bagsby and wounding his accomplice Taruss Miller in the leg. An unnamed 16-year-old suspect escaped but was arrested later. Miller stumbled next door and was caught on a Ring doorbell camera begging for the occupant to call an ambulance, saying “I’ve been shot!” Miller and the other surviving suspect are being charged with murder under the Felony Murder Rule. Miller was released on $8,000 bond. The 17-year-old home defender was not charged.

Does your state have Castle Doctrine to protect you legally when you protect yourself physically? If so, what does your Castle Doctrine say?

Not sure about Castle Doctrine in your state? Check out the USCCA Reciprocity Map to see your state laws.


I’m lucky to have “castle doctrine” in IL. This young man’s case is a great example how to treat armed home invaders and prevent such attempts in the future.

I’m not sure how justified is the usage of the firearm by 17 old kid in Illinois… but this is not my concern anymore.
We have to follow two rules while using deadly force within the house:
(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and she/he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, her/him or another then in the dwelling,
(2) Person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.


The only thing I can find, is “if a minor under the age of 14 gets a firearm that was not locked up/secured, and causes bodily harm/injury.”


He has as much right to protect himself as anyone else does. If happened to more criminals the crimes would go down


In IL a parent (that meets the requirements) can sign for a minor to get a FOID card. I wonder if that would address the age issue and access to the gun?


Not sure how much justification you require. People who break into your home with weapons deserve nor should be given any quarter.


@Kent22 True words! Welcome to the community, we are glad to have you here. :us:


Hello and welcome @Kent22

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In Arizona breaking into someone’s home is a good way to get shot.


The fuzzy grey area, that is Illinois law, says a minor 16 and older may be in possession of a long gun, if engaged in an activity involving firearms, with a valid FOID card. I would say a good lawyer could show a legal use of force as self defense, to be a legal activity involving a firearm.


Hello and welcome @Anthony281

That’s what protection means

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Hello and welcome @Michael1444

In Kentucky, we are justified in using deadly force to prevent the imminent entry of an intruder into your “dwelling”…to include your home, apartment, RV, and even a TENT…to be a dwelling, it only has to be designed to sleep in…We are also justified in using deadly force to prevent arson on any covered outbuilding…not to mention to prevent unauthorized access to your occupied vehicle.


I would have no problem filing charges against the minor as well as the adult for careless and reckless use of an unsecured firearm causing injury or some other unlawful act but when a firearm is used in a bonafide self-defense scenerio age or status of the home defender should never be an issue.


Hello and welcome @Wendell2 @Eric301

Reason dictates that in the case of self defense, age would be irrelevant.

In reality it would probably depend on where in the people’s republic of Illinois it occurred. In crook county the kid and his parents would probably be screwed.


This 17 yrs old kid should get the keys to the city a d it shouldn’t matter what state you’re in but unfortunately it does because this is the divided states of America


There is another question especially in states that may protect the perpetrator over the victim. That is the victim’s parent’s or the gun owner might be arrested over the unsecured firearm being accessed by the teen.

A " 17 year old kid" in Illinois can join the US mIlitary. I think he should be able to bring hellfire and damnation on these three morons.