Jury Sides With Trucker Who Fatally Injured Would-Be Thief

Jury Sides With Trucker Who Fatally Injured Would-Be Thief

Last week a Texas jury found a trucker not guilty of murder for delivering a fatal injury to a man who broke into his truck and assaulted him as he tried to defend his wife.

Trucker And Wife Interrupt Men In The Act Of Robbing Truck

The incident took place in Harris County, Texas, on June 25, 2012 around 10 p.m. Driver Dana McDonald, 51, and his wife were walking towards his 18 wheeler and caught two men who had broken into the truck and were still inside.

One of the men ran away. The other, who would later be identified as Frankie Ballard, came toward McDonald and his wife with a cheater bar in hand.

McDonald says, “So I ran back around to the driver side of the truck, and that’s when the guy was standing on the driver’s side of the truck and I put myself in between the guy and my wife …. that’s when he struck me with the metal pipe.

After wrestling with Ballard, McDonald was able to get the cheater bar away from him. McDonald struck Ballard with the cheater bar.

Ballard later died from his injuries in the hospital.

Trucker Charged With Murder After Thief And Attacker Dies

McDonald told police that he acted in self defense, but, incredibly, he was later arrested and charged with murder for Ballard’s death.

Jury Finds Trucker Not Guilty Of Murder

After a week long trial before state District Judge Catherine Evans, it took the jury only 40 minutes to return the “not guilty” verdict last Thursday.

McDonald said, “It’s tragic that somebody had to lose their life over some minor property, but it was scary because I didn’t know this guy, didn’t know if he had weapons. I thought I was going to get hurt. I had to protect myself and my wife, in that moment.

The case has caused a flurry of controversy in the Houston community from activists who say that race was a factor in charging McDonald, who is black, with the murder of Ballard, who is white, when the Castle Doctrine should have been enough justification for the use of deadly force.

Sources:
ABC 13
My San Antonio
The Houston Chronicle