Miller County Prosecutor Matt Howard will not file charges against an Iberia homeowner who shot an intruder in the back while he was walking or running away.
According to a letter to Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbot which was made public, Howard explains that while homeowner Mark Routh was not in immediate danger at the time of the shooting, he was justified in shooting Donovane Hanna, 34, of Iberia in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun.
According to court documents, Routh and his family were at home at their rural Iberia residence on the evening of May 8 when his nephew saw a man who appeared to be breaking in to the rear entrance of the home. Routh went outside with a shotgun to confront Hanna, at which time a fight ensued and Routh was seriously stabbed in the upper leg.
After a struggle, Hanna began to move away with his back turned and was shot by Routh at a distance of 66 feet, near the outer effective limit for a 12-gauge. The shot peppered Hanna in the back and buttocks with shot, and he fell down and stopped moving.
Prosecutor Howard said that in making his decision not to prosecute, he took into account the fact that there had been a struggle, that Hanna was armed and used a weapon against Routh, and that Routh had a right to stop Hanna, whom he considered a danger, from escaping, possibly to return.
Instead, Hanna is charged with assault in the first degree, attempted burglary, and armed criminal action.