March 22, 2006

The Grass is Always Greener…

Filed under: deaths — Alex @ 10:28 pm

(AP) BATAVIA, Ohio — A man who neighbors say was devoted to his meticulously kept lawn was charged with murder in the shooting of a 15-year-old boy who apparently walked across his yard.

Charles Martin called 911 on Sunday afternoon, saying calmly: "I just killed a kid."

Police, who released the call's contents, said Martin also told the dispatcher: "I've been harassed by him and his parents for five years. Today just blew it up."

Larry Mugrage, whose family lived next door, was shot in the chest with a shotgun. The high school freshman was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Armed gardener Charles SmithMartin, 66, allegedly told police he had several times had problems with neighbors walking on his lawn. He remained jailed without bond Monday. His jailers said no attorney was listed for him.

From a Cincinnati News article:

Union Township police Lt. Scott Gaviglia said Martin told police he was tired of fighting with others who he said were always walking on his lawn. He told police he had several disputes over it with neighbors.

Police said Martin hadn't complained to them about it and the last time he contacted police was 2003, Gaviglia said.

"I wish he would have called us," Gaviglia said. "Maybe this tragedy could have been averted."Crazy old gardener

Mugrage was shot "once, possibly twice" with a deer rifle, Gaviglia said.

Neighbors said Martin lived alone and was quiet, but odd, often sitting outside his house to shoot birds with a BB gun.

From Australia's The Age:

Martin opened fire from his house and then, according to police, walked up to the wounded teen and pulled the trigger again at close range, killing him. Martin has been charged with murder.

Even in a country with a long history of gun violence, the killing of Larry Mugrage in a quiet Cincinnati suburb on Monday stands out as particularly senseless. Martin seems to have been liked in the neat bungalow-lined streets of Union Township, but he appears to have been obsessed with the territorial integrity of his patchy lawn.

Alex Says:  If the crazy old man down the street is sitting in his front lawn shooting birds and screaming to stay off his lawn… let's not push our luck with him, nnnkay?  Particularly when he looks like he does.

And, I might add, I REALLY think all related news articles should be printing photos of the lawn.  And maybe the kid.  'cuz, let's be frank: Some yards are bad-ass, and some kids are shitters.  I'm just saying.

Butlan Declares:  The guy looks like a really dehydrated Willem Dafoe.

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