“Why didn’t you call 911?” This is the only argument the State of Maryland has against Matthew Pinkerton. Matt is a Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He shot and killed a home intruder by the name of Kendall Green, just before 2 a.m. on September 15, 2013 in the town of Glen Burnie, Maryland.
As reported by the Capital Gazette:
“Pinkerton shot Green once in the chest from 10 to 15 feet away, but Green continued to advance toward him, his wife Jessica and two friends who were at the house, [Peter] O’Neill (Pinkerton’s attorney) said. That’s when Pinkerton shot him again. He died at the scene.”
The state has charged Matthew Pinkerton with 2nd Degree Murder. Their sole basis for this charge is that he should have called 911. There is no nationwide average response time for a 911 call, however unless they are faster than 1,310 ft/s, there really is no point in calling 911 in the case of a hostile home invasion. While the Assistant State’s Attorney, Glen Neubauer, maintains that he should have called 911, and that even the act of grabbing the gun in the first place is “bizarre behavior in itself,” Pinkerton’s lawyer, Peter O’Neill, said it best when he acknowledged that, “By the time 911 is called, he’s dead.”
Even the judge presiding over the case, the Honorable Judge Jonas Legum of the Maryland Circuit Court, admits that he finds it “amazing” that the probable cause statement provided to him by investigators is only a scant two pages long, with only two sentences pertaining to the shooting.
I interviewed Matthew’s brother, Michael Pinkerton, who was there the night of the shooting. In the interview, he defends his brother saying: “Matt is a family man that has no criminal record; he is a true symbol of what America stands for. He stands by his country and his family.”
When asked about that night Michael says:
“The night in question Matt feared for his safety. After closing the door on the gentleman, he [Mr. Green] chose to barge thru and enter the house. Matt told him several times to get out but he insisted to charge forward. Thus resulting in him getting shot.” He also adds that “The press is making it sound as though Mr. Green and Matt knew each other well but that was not the case.”
Since the incident, Michael says that he and his family have been harassed by the friends and family of Mr. Green several times.
“Since that night, we sit on the front porch as we always did, to enjoy our coffee and a cigar after dinner. The only difference is, now we occasionally have a drive by of friends of the guy shot yelling out ‘murderer.'” Michael added: “we are worried that once the trial begins, that if they are doing this now, what will it be like then?”
When asked if the family has any plans to relocate outside of Maryland, Michael stated that:
“Matt and Jessica are purchasing the home they live in. They have been here for 8 years. They have raised their kids in this community.” He added that “They both are active members in the youth sports association for the area.” He also noted that “everyone has been very supportive except for the friends and family of Mr. Green.”
It seems that Mr. Green had an interest in Mr. Pinkerton’s wife. All of the evidence shows that Jessica Pinkerton was only interested in Mr. Green as a friend, but he wanted more. “When Jessica Pinkerton tried to end the relationship, Green continued to pursue it,” O’Neill stated.
Mr. Green arrived early on Sunday morning and staked out the Pinkerton residence. When he knocked on the door, Matthew retrieved his handgun, a Glock 17 9mm, and put it in his back pocket, as he was not expecting a visitor that evening.
Upon opening the door, Green identified himself and demanded to see Jessica. Matthew advised Mr. Green to leave and that he had no business being there. When Matthew shut the door to diffuse the situation, Mr. Green broke the door in.
After being warned to leave, Mr. Green was shot once as “he was motioning to his waist band flipping his shirt” and he was shot again when he continued to advance, according to Michael.
“He kept coming forward so Matt fired. He rocked backwards and took another step forward at which time Matt took his second shot. He stumbled backwards and fell out the door onto the porch.”
Michael stated that Mr. Green was wearing a hoodie that night, making it impossible to verify if he had a weapon under it or not, and that both shots hit him center mass.
“When the shots were fired Jessica called 911,” Michael continued. “Matt spoke to the operator; he removed the clip from his gun and the bullet in the chamber. Police arrived within five minutes.”
Michael also wanted it to be noted that he “feels as though had it not been an election year, and the fact that the new gun laws went into effect in Maryland October 1st, that this would not be happening.”
Legal costs for the Pinkerton family have been mounting. According to Michael, “they already had to take out a loan for 25k to get him out on bond” and “now is lawyer fees are another 25k; all for defending his home and family.”
A fundraising page to help with legal expenses has been started on the website ‘Give Forward’ with the goal of raising $50,000 towards legal fees. Update: the previous website was taken down, but here is the new one: support page
Eight of Matthew’s fellow service men and women showed up to support him at his bail review. When Matthew was released on bond, they took up a collection and gave him a card with $800 on it, which Michael said was “very gracious.”
I was also fortunate enough to obtain an interview with Jessica Pinkerton, wife of Matthew Pinkerton. Jessica is a veteran of the Air Force security service.
While Matthew was overseas serving in Korea, Jessica’s brother was in a horrific car accident and was in a coma for 11 days. Green was a friend of her brother who, along with other friends, volunteered to help Jessica with the kids and her brother.
Jessica told me that:
“His group of friends were very supportive to me and my mother and my husband was overseas (Korea) so I was a full time, employed, single mom of two boys, and my only help with the kids for after school was in a coma. I was also attending college full time online as well. These friends, including Green, began spending time at my home allowing myself to trade shifts at the hospital with my mom (my father passed in 2010). The only family here is my mom, brother, me Matt and the boys.”
She continued to describe her friendship with Green:
“Most of the friends began fading off the longer my brother remained in the hospital. Green, however, began fighting with his mom and needed a place to sleep. Matt and I have opened our doors to multiple people who needed a place to stay over our 15 years of marriage, so I allowed him to stay here. I also had a single mother with her two girls living here at the time as well.”
After a while, her brother was discharged from the hospital and into a rehab facility. Jessica’s life was also less complicated, as she had also finished school.
“I had finished my semester, and took the following semester off, so now it was all about his convenience [Mr. Green], he would have his friends over and they would party in the basement.”
As the time came closer for Matthew to come home, he advised Jessica to notify the houseguests that they were to find other accommodations. He felt as if, in Jessica’s words, that that “they took advantage of me long enough.”
When Matthew returned home, the mother and her two children had already left, but Green remained, so he asked Green to leave. At this point, Jessica informed me that “Green punched about 15 holes in the wall.”
“Basically,” Jessica summed, “Green was angry that Matt took away his ‘life’ when he returned home and told him he was no longer welcome here. Green had texted me sometime in July or August saying that he missed the kids, and Matt didn’t deserve us and that he deserved a chance. He wanted more.”
Jessica concluded our interview by expressing that: “What I’m maddest about is that you are not innocent until proven guilty, you are guilty and remain so, unless you can come up with the money to have someone fight for your innocence.
She also made this comment,”I don’t know if you know any of this, or if it matters, but Matt is an NRA life member; he coaches youth soccer and runs the Harundale youth soccer web page; he has built homes for Habitat for Humanity here in the local area. He gives a lot of his time to help others.”
I asked Michael if there is anything that the patriots who read Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children could do to help in addition to donating money. He said to “send messages to the support page and let him know that they are supporting him,” adding that “there are days where he gets down on himself, and he needs to be re-affirmed that he did nothing that anyone else in the same situation would not have done.” He also worries about how this will affect his two young boys.
Incidents like this one are why many states such as Alaska, Wisconsin, and Iowa have Castle doctrines. A Castle doctrine allows you to use your best judgment in the use of deadly force, without “duty to retreat.” Maryland self defense laws state that one has the “duty to retreat or avoid danger if such means were within his power and consistent with his safety.”
When retreat is not practical in certain circumstances, such as in this case (where there were three other lives in the home to consider), Maryland law does not seem to expressly prohibit the use of deadly force; of course, this is all up to how the judge interprets the rule of the law and his interpretation of events. Rulings are always given the opportunity of an appeal in appellate court.
A status conference is currently set for December 13, 2013, and the jury trial is scheduled for February 11, 2014.