D.C. Man Who Fought Back Against Robber Now Charged With Murder

A man who escaped the attack of a robber is now being charged with murder for killing the robber during the struggle.


The media harasses Mr. Stoddard.

A tow truck driver in Washington D.C. was in his truck lot when the robber approached and when he tried to run away, he tripped and fell. It was only seconds before the robber was upon him with gun drawn.

Driver Corey Stoddard, 35, was just going about his day when scumbag Lewis Crouch, 22, decided to rob the older man. It was his last mistake.

Reports say that Stoddard threw his wallet to distract the robber and then jumped into his truck. Then he ran the robber down with the vehicle. Robber Crouch died several hours later.

The tow truck driver admitted to these details but told police he was simply trying to flee a dangerous situation. But now he has been charged with second-degree murder.

Crouch has a long criminal record, of course. He has convictions for carjacking and spent 4 years in a youth facility when he was a teen.

The murder charge is way over the top, many feel.

But this is the America we are living in, folks. We aren’t even allowed to defend ourselves when attacked by criminals.

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Posted by on January 6, 2014.
Filed under Big government, corruption, Culture, Culture Of Corruption, DC, Democrats, Dumb Criminals, Liberals.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • GarandFan

    Someone in the DA’s office wants to score PC points.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

    The man should he decorated and rewarded for ridding the streets of a dangerous predator.

  • Idahoser

    the robbers after him now are much more experienced.

  • jim_m

    He killed a member of the core constituency of the left (criminals). Also, he presumed to performed the job of a protected union member by defending himself. He should have waited the requisite 75 minutes for a union police officer to arrive. He must be punished.

  • EricSteel

    I don’t think the murder charge is over the top. From the story, Stoddard threw his wallet and the robber went for the wallet. Stoddard then jumped into his tow truck and ran over the robber dragging his body 100 feet.
    If the robber is no longer a threat, you don’t have the right to kill him and THEN claim self defense.

    • jim_m

      The robber was still there. He was still in the act of committing the robbery. You have the right to defend yourself and your property. Stoddard has the right to retain his property and/or retrieve it.

      That being said, Stoddard should have been carrying so he could have put a bullet in the thug’s head. But should it make a difference if you shoot the robber or run him over? No, it should not.

      • EricSteel

        “But should it make a difference if you shoot the robber or run him over? No, it should not.”
        Actually, yes it does. If your life is in peril then it is self defense. If however, the robber takes your wallet, walks away and then you shoot him in the back. It’s not self defense anymore.
        You are not arguing self defense anymore. You are arguing that Stoddard had the right to kill the robber just to get his wallet back.

        • jim_m

          Yes I am.

          • EricSteel

            Really? You are willing to take another person’s life to get your wallet back? Even if that person is no longer a threat to you?

          • jim_m

            I would have shot him before giving him my wallet.

          • EricSteel

            At that point I would support self defense. Because, Crouch was threatening Stoddard with a gun. Self defense would be justified. But is that justification absolute? Do you have the right to pursue the robber back to his home and kill him in his sleep? I hope you would say of course not.
            In this case. Stoddard threw his wallet and had time to get into his tow truck, drive up ONTO the sidewalk and run over the robber.
            Was Stoddard still in harm’s way from a BB gun while inside his truck? Was the robber fleeing the truck? We don’t know from the evidence that we have.
            If the robber was still a threat, or Stoddard had a reasonable fear that he was still a threat, then his action might be considered justifiable.
            If however, Stoddard ran over the guy as retribution for taking his wallet. That is not justified. And I strongly suggest you buy and read Andrew Branca’s “Law of Self Defense”

          • Vagabond661

            Since the robber now has Stoddard’s wallet, he has all of his personal info. How was Stoddard to deduce that the robber wouldn’t come after him and his family at his residence? Have you never seen a murder mystery before?

          • EricSteel

            I would pay money to see that argument made to a judge. “Come on Your Honor, haven’t you ever seen a murder mystery on TV before?”

          • jim_m

            There you go. He was reasonably in fear for his life.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          Any violent felony should be rewarded with a one way trip to the mortuary for the assailant.

          • EricSteel

            Rambo G. Graves. Judge, jury and executioner.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            EricSteel, apologist for violent felons.

          • EricSteel

            Not hardly. I support the rule of law, not vigilantism.
            In my opinion, in this case the facts are not conclusive that Stoddard had the right to kill the robber. If the robber was a continued threat to Stoddard after he got into his truck, then deadly force is justified.
            If however, the robber was no longer a threat, and Stoddard killed him anyway. It is no longer self defense.

          • jim_m

            facts are not conclusive that Stoddard had the right to kill the robber

            benefit of the doubt then goes to Mr Stoddard.

          • EricSteel

            Jim, you live in a dream world if you think that. A person’s life was taken. No one is given the benefit of the doubt.
            The right to self defense is not absolute, and not just because you claim it.
            If you are carrying, then I strongly suggest you get Andrew Branca’s book.

          • jim_m

            To a point I am instigating. I live in Illinois so the first CCW permits probably won’t be released until the end of March at the very earliest. I have heard of Branca’s book before and that it is very good.

          • EricSteel

            It is a good book. Contrary to Rodney’s claim that I am apologizing for felons, I am simply being realistic about the situation. Stoddard’s claim of self defense isn’t clean cut legally.
            If we’ve learned anything from the Zimmerman case, self defense is a complicated claim. Legally, the burden of proof is on you to show that self defense was justifiable. Otherwise, you are admitting that you committed homicide.
            In a self defense claim, there is a principle called duration of force, get the book and look it up. Stoddard, threw away his wallet. Crouch went for the wallet. Stoddard then had time to go to his truck and then use the truck to kill Couch. Was that duration reasonable for Stoddard’s use of deadly force?
            Stoddard claimed he was trying to get away. But evidence is that he drove up onto the sidewalk and hit Crouch. To quote from Branca’s book, “If you know that he is no longer capable of further harm, you must stop.”
            Crouch had broken off contact with Stoddard, going after the wallet. Stoddard got to the safety of his vehicle.
            Was Crouch still a threat at that point?
            Could Stoddard have gotten away without using deadly force?

        • Hawk_TX

          Self defense is defined as the act of defending yourself, your property, etc. In order for Stoddard to defend his property (his wallet) he had a right to use what ever force was necessary. Seeing that this was D.C. he was denied his Constitutional right to bear arms. Though leftist should take note that D.C. gun restrictions did not dissuade this criminal. This forced him to use the only weapon he could, his truck.

          Self defense does not require your life to be in peril. It merely requires that you or your property are threatened. Liberals have been trying to redefine self defense for long time. With some success in legislatures and courts. You seem to of fallen for their narrow interpretation.

          • EricSteel

            Actually, you are wrong. You are not justified in using deadly force to defend your wallet. In most states, your wallet is deemed modestly defensible, which means you can defend it short of deadly force.

          • 914

            1.) How did Stoddard know that Crouch wasn’t packing and was going to cap his rear after he got his wallet?

            2.) How do we know that Stoddard was not panic stricken and in a frenzy and Crouch jumped at him as he was trying to get away?

            Kind of like Zimmerman Martin in a way.

          • Retired military

            You don’t live in Texas that is obvious.
            In Texas you can defend your property no matter what it is. IF you feel threatened (not for your life just threatened) or if you feel your property is threatened (as in being stolen) you can use deadly force.

          • EricSteel

            Nope, I don’t live in Texas. You know who else doesn’t live in Texas? Corey Stoddard. He lives in Washington, D.C. And he is subject to the laws of Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., you can’t rundown and kill some guy with your car because he mugged you.

      • Mr Evilwrench

        He’d gotten in the truck, and was somewhat safe there with a method of escape. The robber was not actively attacking the truck, so a claim of fear of death or gross bodily harm is a very hard sell, and that fear must exist to invoke self defense. Second degree murder is a reasonable charge here.

        Was he actually in DC? The possibility of him being able to carry without facing a felony charge just for that are essentially nil. Here in America, I’d just pull my .45 and turn the guy’s head inside out. From the face side.

        • Paul Hooson

          Legally, the first part of your comment is what the DA is thinking as well. Lawyers for the tow driver will now have to prove that the run down was accidental and not intentional to avoid the conviction of their client. – I wish prosecutors wouldn’t pursue some cases, because it only emboldens some criminals, but I see the legal path the prosecutor is looking at here, even though I’m not real happy about it either. To a prosecutor it looks like a revenge killing out of anger because the tow driver was pissed off at the criminal.
          Some years ago some criminals tried to steal wheels off a car we had. I simply pulled their keys out of their own steering column, leaving them no way to leave with a car, and called the police, handing the police the keys to their car to tow away, loaded with plenty of evidence of stuff that they had stolen from various neighbors. Some times there’s easy and simple ways to defuse a crime situation. Hey, it’s against the law to leave keys in an unattended motor vehicle and these guys broke the law….

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          Who knew he had a bullet proof truck?

          • EricSteel

            Crouch had a BB gun.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Who, besides the decedent felon, knew that at the time?

          • EricSteel

            Rodney, use your Google skills and look up the Charging Document, it is now on the Internet. Also, go look up the location 1329 Kenilworth Ave NE, Washington D.C.
            According to the Charging Document Stoddard said he threw the wallet and ran the opposite way, he then got into his truck and ran over the decedent.
            Here’s the thing. Again according to the Charging Document, Crouch was killed on the grassy area off the sidewalk of Kenilworth Avenue.
            So explain to me how Crouch continued to be an imminent threat after Stoddard threw the wallet, ran in the opposite direction, and got his tow truck. He then drove it BACK toward the decedent, turned onto Kenilworth Ave, drove off of the road, crossed the sidewalk and then hit the decedent dragging him 100 feet.

            There is a point where it stops being self defense and turns into murder. Killing somebody because they took your wallet is still murder.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      Running over him is a bit much, I think.
      Backing up and running over him again would be way too much.

      • jim_m

        but satisfying none the less.

        • Paul Hooson

          Criminals tend to make you feel that way. You’re angry and feel violated by them.

          • jim_m

            You just described most people’s relationship with government

          • Paul Hooson

            Dealing with government is always frustrating to me. Local government recently required me to retrofit my bar’s kitchen with a $17,000 grease trap system that had my bar torn up for days and broken concrete and dirt piled up everywhere. A lot of money and a big mess as well.

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          Yeah… but still, excessive. It’ll make people talk, and look at you funny.

          • jim_m

            Look at me funny and I’ll run you over too!

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            I’m glad we’ve got an agreement, then. ;)

          • jim_m

            Look at me funny and I’ll run you over too!

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          Yeah… but still, excessive. It’ll make people talk, and look at you funny.

      • Paul Hooson

        It does look too much like an act of anger rather than something that was necessary for his own safety here to satisfy the prosecutor. It seems like more action than was necessary for his own safety here to the prosecutor.

        • EricSteel

          Paul I suspect the key thing for the prosecutor is that Stoddard drove up onto the sidewalk and hit Crouch despite claiming that he was simply trying to escape.

          • Paul Hooson

            Christ! Up on the sidewalk? That’s not good at all….

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Nope, that’s kind of past the ‘excessive’ point.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Nope, that’s kind of past the ‘excessive’ point.

  • Lawrence Westlake

    I always get a kick out of these sorts of posts on blogs. As is typical, the author here and most the commenters couldn’t pass a 1L criminal law exam if you spotted them 3/4 of the questions and also gave them private tutoring, using a puppet show. Blogs certainly are the bastion of the uneducated and inexperienced, but ironically not the silent. FYI, Cochise, there’s not a criminal prosecutor anywhere in the country who wouldn’t have charged this event as 2nd-degree murder. Legally speaking you can’t chase a guy as he’s absconding, run him down, drag his corpse along the sidewalk and then also claim self defense. Doesn’t work that way in the real world. Now, of course, obviously, there’s the practical fact that this guy almost certainly will not be convicted of M2. Most jurors would nullify and either acquit or go for lesser included offenses, such as manslaughter. And the most probable outcome is a no-jail-time plea deal to something like manslaughter. Personally speaking I’d give the guy a pat on the back. But the charge itself is not over the top. Under the circumstances it’s sophomoric.

    • Scalia

      Blogs certainly are the bastion of the uneducated and inexperienced…

      Then why are you here?

      [T]here’s not a criminal prosecutor anywhere in the country who wouldn’t have charged this event as 2nd-degree murder.

      Wrong again. You really should become less “uneducated and inexperienced” before you hit the keyboard. Defense of property is legal in some jurisdictions.

    • Paul Hooson

      I know exactly what you’re saying. Some of the logic here runs along the lines of Bernhard Goetz reasoning, which also landed Goetz in jail on a gun charge as well as having to pay a $43 million dollar civil damage claim. – Some guys need to leave playing Dirty Harry up to the professional actors like Clint Eastwood. But, I do understand their frustration with crime.

      • mikegiles

        They proved that Goetz went out looking for someone to shot. He had a gun illegally, which accounts for the gun charge. And he shot one of the “youths” who had spoken with members of the group, but had never accosted him, which accounts for the civil damages. Point though, anyone who has just been in a life or death situation with a criminal, is probably somewhat shaken up. Which might account for his “bad driving”.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          In criminal court he was convicted only of violating the Sullivan Act.

          • mikegiles

            As I said. however he did lose the civil suit.

  • LiberalNightmare

    How long before Stoddard is described as a white latino?

  • Vagabond661

    Just another thought. The robber could have avoided the situation and still be alive today if he only didn’t try BREAKING THE LAW and robbing someone. The robber had all of Stoddard’s personal info and spare condom . Would he sell Stoddard’s identity? Use the info to kidnap his daughter? Stoddard obviously had no gun or this would have ended where it started.
    If he did have a gun, Stoddard would have threw his wallet and when the robber turned to get it, Stoddard would say “Touch it and die.” Then the robber would have fled with his life intact. If you ask me, the lack of a gun, cost the robber his life.
    As ususal criminals pick what they think are easy marks. His next victim could be your grandmother, sister, or wife. Stoddard did us all a favor by running his ass over.

    • EricSteel

      No doubt, Crouch was a dirtbag crook. The question is, did Stoddard cross the line between self defense and murder?
      Please answer,
      Just out of curiosity, what if Crouch took the wallet and went home, Stoddard followed Crouch home and then killed him in his front yard? Would that be self defense or murder?

      • Vagabond661

        your two choices do not apply. It was neither self defense or murder. Manslaughter maybe. If you have a gun, deadly force can only be used if you feel your life is threatened. So much simpler if everyone had a gun.
        What if Crouch took his wallet, followed stoddard home and kidnapped his daughter?

        • EricSteel

          How about answering my hypothetical first?
          Stoddard follows Crouch home and then kills him. Is it still self defense? Yes or no?

          • Vagabond661

            Did you not read my reply? Here it is again:

            “your two choices do not apply. It was neither self defense or murder. Manslaughter maybe.”

            Does he still have his wallet? Did Crouch threaten him? Did he call a racist name? Did he say Obamacare doesn’t work? Did he say Michelle Obama is divorcing The Prez? What if he went to a fast food restaurant and killed him there? Or he bought skittles and OJ and wore a hoodie? You are geting ridiculous.

          • EricSteel

            Stoddard killed Crouch after Crouch robbed him and is claiming self defense.

            I am trying to determine where the line is between self defense and murder. Because the prosecution feels that Stoddard crossed that line.

            How about if I rephrase it this way. In your opinion where is the line that Stoddard killing Crouch is no longer self defense and becomes murder?

          • Vagabond661

            Did Crouch have a gun? According to the report, yes. Did Crouch pistol whip Stoddard while he lay on the ground? Again, yes.

            So Stoddard knows Crouch is violent, has a gun and has his personal info. If that wallet included your mom’s address or daughter or graandmother’s address, what would Eric do? Let him ? Let the police pick him up?

            I know what I would have done. If you want me to condemn Stoddrd I won’t. I don’t have all the facts. We won’t know all the facts until it goes to trial. Based on what I know, I can’t answer you about that.

            BUT I have already answered you about the line between self defense and murder. If you feel your life is threatened, you can you deadly force. I am assuming you can use a gun, knife, baseball or frying pan….whatever. You can use deadly force. Ok?

          • EricSteel

            So in your mind, there is no time limit on Stoddard’s part. He is allowed to kill Crouch minutes, hours or even years later in retaliation for being mugged.

            Is that a fair statement?

          • Vagabond661

            Hell no, that is not a fair statement. That is a statement made by someone who didn’t read a single thing I wrote.

            so why waste my time with you anymore?

          • EricSteel

            Ok, now go back and read my question again. Where is the line between self defense and murder?

          • Vagabond661

            Go back and read my answer. It’s posted twice.

          • EricSteel

            You are being threatened, and use deadly force in response. That’s self defense. I get that.

            You keep defining self defense. My question is, where is the line where it no longer is self defense and turns into murder? You have not answered that part.

            How about if you are no longer being threatened? Can you still use deadly force?

            What if Crouch was walking away and Stoddard got in his car and ran him down in the street? Is that still self defense?

          • Vagabond661

            Can Crouch still shoot Stoddard? I am not playing “what ifs” with you. Again we don’t know what happened. We don’t know if Crouch pointed a gun at Stoddard when he jumped in the tow truck. get it?

          • EricSteel

            In my opinion, if Crouch was still shooting or even aiming the gun at Stoddard then self defense applies and he should be acquitted.

            BUT, according to the prosecution, Crouch was not aiming or shooting at Stoddard, Crouch was running away at the time. http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/12/tow-truck-driver-runs-over-suspected-attacker-98704.html

            According to the Charging Document the mugging took place in the tow truck lot at 1329 Kenilworth Avenue. Crouch was not killed in the lot but on the sidewalk of 1421 Kenilworth Avenue, that’s almost A BLOCK AWAY from the lot. The police say the tire tracks show that the tow truck drove onto the sidewalk and into the grassy median.

            If Crouch was running away and Stoddard chased him down from behind with a tow truck, would you still call that self defense? Because that is the fundamental question of the case.

          • Vagabond661

            I told you I ain’t playing what ifs. Get someone else to play with you or you can play with yourself.

          • EricSteel

            Its a simple question. And I am asking your opinion. If Crouch was running away, no longer threatening anyone, and Stoddard ran him down from behind with the tow truck, In YOUR opinion is self defense still justified?
            Yes or no?

          • EricSteel

            Its a simple question. And I am asking your opinion. If Crouch was running away, no longer threatening anyone, and Stoddard ran him down from behind with the tow truck, In YOUR opinion is self defense still justified?
            Yes or no?

          • Vagabond661

            I told you I ain’t playing what ifs. Get someone else to play with you or you can play with yourself.