Criminal Justice

Man Convicted of Murder From 30 Miles Away

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A Missouri man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of a police officer, even though he was hiding in a woods 30 miles away at the time.

Jurors deliberated more than three hours before returning the guilty verdict against Massigh J. Stallmann, 28, of High Ridge.

The trooper was Ralph C. Tatoian of north St. Louis County, a trained sniper who was rushing along Interstate 44 to join the manhunt in Franklin County on April 20, 2005. He died when he struck a tractor-trailer that had stopped to help another motorist.

Even though Stallmann was hiding in woods some 30 miles away from Tatoian's crash site, prosecutors won the murder conviction. Missouri law allows a felony murder charge when an officer is killed while responding to aid in a felony arrest.

The defendant isn't the most sympathetic figure. He had exchanged gunfire with other officers before the manhunt. But it's the precedent that's troubling. And this makes the conviction even more suspect:

Taaffe said Tatoian had a slight blood-alcohol level, was late for his callout to duty and drove fast in a construction zone. A prosecution witness said that the low level of alcohol wouldn't impair the trooper.

I'm not a fan of the felony murder doctrine to begin with. This case seems to be a good example of the absurd results you can get when you start charging people for crimes they didn't intend to commit.

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  1. Wow,

    I’m surprised nobody realizes how stupid this is. And Radley, I think the law sets the precedent rather than the conviction. The prosecution should have to prove you directly caused the death of the officer, not assume any death that occurs is the fault of the defendant.

    Then again, today’s society says we are guilty until proven innocent.

  2. In Ohio if you have an accident with ANY amount of alcohol in your blood YOU will be charged.Ther are also stiff penalties for speeding in a construction zone.Unless you a cop.

  3. Well, I have to start this with what I’m doing tomorrow. Anyone not from Missouri doesn’t know this, but those of you who do, well, here it is.

    Missouri State Trooper Ralph C. Tatoian, 32 was killed Wednesday morning in a car crash near Pacific as he rushed to help search for a burglary suspect who had wounded a sheriff’s deputy in a shootout in Gasconade County.

    First, I have to say my heart goes out to the family of Trooper Tatoian. I have to relay a story about the guy, because although I only met him once, it is kind of a funny story.

    This was a trooper dedicated to doing right. I was working midnights last year, and I get a call to assist another department in my sector. Turns out Trooper Tatoian, just returning from vacation, was attempting to drive home after picking up his car from headquarters. So, Tatoian is dressed in civilian clothing, but driving a marked state trooper vehicle. Talk about an ackward traffic stop! Anyway, turns out that the car was full of drunk Mexicans, and they were driving all over the road, even flipped Trooper Tatoian the bird! So, this guy, dedicated to the job, pulls them over, 100% on his own time.

    Eventually, I got a Mexican interpreter out there, (I know, Spanish, it’s a joke) and arrested the driver for DWI, but the point of the story is that this was a good and dedicated man, wanting to do right no matter what time it was. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is now short one very good trooper.

    http://rookiecop.blogspot.com/atom.xml

  4. So, since I’m never on duty, would I be an even more dedicated cop if I pulled some drunk Mexicans over, since it will always be 100% on my own time?

  5. Lost_In_Translation,

    I think that would be more of a hobby, actually.

  6. A dedicated amateur LEO, I like the sound of that. I wouldn’t even need a uniform, just an ex-cop car.

  7. “Missouri law allows a felony murder charge when an officer is killed while responding to aid in a felony arrest.”

    Who knows if the news account is summarizing the law correctly, but the way it reads here you could be convicted for murder if a cop is killed while responding to a mistaken or false arrest.

  8. So, some dumbass cop speeds through a construction zone and hits a stationary tractor-trailer rig and the guy he was rushing to arrest, some 30 miles away gets charged with his murder and the jury convicts him???

    WTF!

  9. It’s amazing that Mr. Stallman wasn’t convicted of DUI by proxy.

  10. Good case for the concept of jury nullification.

    “Hate” crimes aside, the only thing left is prosecution for your very thoughts. I’m sure someone, somewhere is working on it. They need only find a way to measure it. And present it to a Neanderthal jury.

  11. Taaffe said Tatoian had a slight blood-alcohol level, was late for his callout to duty and drove fast in a construction zone. A prosecution witness said that the low level of alcohol wouldn’t impair the trooper.

    But I thought “buzz driving is drunk driving?”

  12. Who knows if the news account is summarizing the law correctly, but the way it reads here you could be convicted for murder if a cop is killed while responding to a mistaken or false arrest.

    Well, there are other prerequisites to invoking the “felony-murder” rule besides what the article mentioned. One is that you must be actually involved in a bona fide felony. Presumably another is that your felony must have some nexus to the felony that the Missouri cop is trying to make a felony arrest on. I think that stuff is fairly implied by the language of the article.

  13. Taaffe?
    Tatoian?

    sounds like a bunch of furnierz.

  14. Tatooine?

  15. watch it, there Grand Muff (sic) Dutchman.

  16. One could make an argument here that this was a reaonable conviction. There clearly is a causal/effect relationship here. That is, if this guy hadn’t committed armed robbery and shot at the police, this officer would still be alive.

    Of course, you could also make the other argument that the officer was driving recklessly and that was the cause of the accident.

    It’s an interesting legal case.

  17. I think the law sets the precedent rather than the conviction.

    No, I’m pretty sure it’s the conviction.

    Good case for the concept of jury nullification.

    It might have been, had the jury not voted him guilty of murder.

    FWIW I live literally a stones-throw from I-44. I find this completely outrageous. Charging people for crimes they didn’t intend to commit may be shaky ground, but actually convicting them for crimes you know they didn’t commit is tyranny.

    Just as bad, is the whole “the law doesn’t apply to cops” paradigm. Unless you believe this was the fist time “Tatoian had a slight blood-alcohol level, was late for his callout to duty and drove fast in a construction zone.” Even given the maximum benefit of all doubts, if you hit a parked vehicle, you are always at fault.

  18. According to a Columbus Dispatch investigation,almost half[45%] of crashes invloving the police in Ohio are the officer’s fault.Yet they are rarely charged and you must pay for the damage to your car due to goverment immunity.You can sue,but,good luck.

  19. So if a crime is committed and a cop decides to cut through a mall Blues Brothers style and kills swarthes of people, how many life/death sentences would the man committing the OTHER crime get?

  20. Similarly, news reports of the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta always cite two deaths- one of a woman who actually died as a result of the blast, and one of a Turkish photojournalist who died of a heart attack while rushing to the scene. I always thought that was BS.

  21. “how many life/death sentences would the man committing the OTHER crime get?”

    76.

  22. My problem with felony murder laws is that they have the potential to turn any felony into murder, even when the felony being committed isn’t a violent one.

    I mean, if you’re in possession of enough marijuana to qualify as intending to distribute, if the cops on their way to arrest you drive recklessly, you can be charged with murder. If you bring a video phone to a movie theater and record the movie on it, and the theater calls the police, you can be charged with murder if something happens to them on the way.

  23. Drunk cop gets himself killed, and it’s the fault of the guy he was chasing?

  24. “Tatoian had a slight blood-alcohol level, was late for his callout to duty and drove fast in a construction zone. A prosecution witness said that the low level of alcohol wouldn’t impair the trooper.”

    And if that had been you, and One Great Cop pulled you over, he would have said, “Take it easy, and go home and get some sleep.”

  25. Wait a second. It’s in Missouri. You can’t expect those people to make an intelligent decision.

  26. Michael Pack
    According to a Columbus Dispatch investigation,almost half[45%] of crashes invloving the police in Ohio are the officer’s fault.Yet they are rarely charged and you must pay for the damage to your car due to goverment immunity.You can sue,but,good luck.

    I got a traffic ticket once that was the cop’s fault. I was at a stop sign, looked both ways, could see about 100 feet down each way, and no one was coming. I pull into the street and a cop comes flying down the road and almost hits me. He obviously pulls me over and blames me for not stopping at the stop sign, instead of recognizing that he almost hit me because he was going at double the speed limit.

    I contested the ticket and won when the cop didn’t show up to the courthouse. Yay.

  27. California law and the Model Penal Code don’t make deaths resulting from just any felony “felony-murder,” though I think many states’ laws do. Don’t get me started on Misdemeanor-Manslaughter.

    I can’t find a copy of the relevant Model Penal Code sections online, but here’s some commentary on how the MPC deals with felony murder, versus how states do:

    Some of the Model Penal Code provisions have not been widely accepted. For
    example, while the Model Penal Code generally rejects the common law’s “felony
    murder” rule, which in its broadest form holds all killings in the course of a felony to be
    murder, most states have retained the rule.

    source

    In the particular case of felony murder, a serious strict liability offense under the common law whose definition required no mental state with respect to the act ofhomicide, the Model Code transformed the definitional question into an evidentiary one. Instead of eliminating the requirement of a mental state with respect to the homicidal act, as the common law had done, the Code instead established a rebuttable presumption that the perpetrator of an underlying felony in fact had the required mental state with respect to the killing

    source

    Under California law (Penal Code sec. 189), felony murder is any murder

    which is committed in the perpetration
    of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery,
    burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, or any act punishable
    under Section 206, 286, 288, 288a, or 289

    source
    Sec. 206 is torture, sec. 286 is sodomy, sec. 288 and 288(a) are lewd and lascicious acts on a child, and 289 is rape.

  28. R. Tatoian? This isn’t a publicity stunt for Pixar gone horribly awry, is it?

    Seriously, it’s tragic that this officer died responding to this manhunt. But shouldn’t there be SOMETHING specific that the person does that causes the death? I might have some sympathy if the manhuntee does something extraordinary to evade arrest, like leading officers into a dangerous swamp or desert where the officer dies in an accident in an environment he’s not trained for. Or if he’s in active high-speed pursuit on a highway and spins out when the suspect makes some wild maneuver. But if the guy’s just driving fast to get from point a to point b and does so unsafely, that’s not something that the suspect caused. Hiding in some woods isn’t an action that one could reasonably expect to threaten the life of an officer.

  29. It wasn’t the hiding in the woods that threatened the officer’s life. It was committing a crime, which most (all?) courts hold to include making the getaway. If you commit a crime you should anticipate that police will attempt to catch you, and that they may endanger themselves in doing so.

    I do NOT mean to endorse the result in this case, but it was entirely foreseeable that a policeman racing to the scene of the manhunt would get in a car accident and die, or cause the death of some third party. Had the suspect “gotten away” (reached a place of temporary safety and respite), that would have severed the chain of events (and the suspect’s potential liability for accidents), but it sounds like he was still actively on the run.

  30. Seriously, it’s tragic that this officer died responding to this manhunt. But shouldn’t there be SOMETHING specific that the person does that causes the death? I might have some sympathy if the manhuntee does something extraordinary to evade arrest, like leading officers into a dangerous swamp or desert where the officer dies in an accident in an environment he’s not trained for. Or if he’s in active high-speed pursuit on a highway and spins out when the suspect makes some wild maneuver. But if the guy’s just driving fast to get from point a to point b and does so unsafely, that’s not something that the suspect caused. Hiding in some woods isn’t an action that one could reasonably expect to threaten the life of an officer.

    These kind of causality issues are explored in lots of classic tort cases like Palsgraf and Wagon Mound. Doctrines like intervening act and last clear chance come up, too. Interesting stuff, but it sort of goes out the window when you go to a “strict liability” regime as Missouri has here.

    The judge probably should have thrown the case out, or directed a verdict or whatever, when a BAC of the deceased was not provided to the court. To me, no BAC means automatic reasonable doubt about what really caused the death. If he hadn’t been racing to the manhunt, then he just would have been drunk driving somewhere else and probably taken out a family or two of pedestrians. The felon actually saved a bunch of lives.

  31. “One is that you must be actually involved in a bona fide felony. Presumably another is that your felony must have some nexus to the felony that the Missouri cop is trying to make a felony arrest on.”
    Pardon me, but that is one BIG NEXUS.

  32. Haven’t the concepts of intent and mens rhea been pretty much eliminated from US law at this point?

    Not “on paper” of course but de facto.

  33. There’s another problem.The guy’s a trained sniper yet he’s going to work after drinking?This from the same people that say that one drink and you can’t drive.

  34. What’s wrong with charging someone with crimes that are the foreseeable outcomes of crimes they did intend to commit? If someone tries to kill the guy next to you, but injures you instead, would you request the charges to be dropped because he didn’t intend to injure you? While I’m with you most of the time, sometimes the “I’m against cops” routine can take a turn for the absurd. Sometimes it’s OK to put people in prison.

  35. Did I see this on an episode of Law and Order? If not wait for it.

  36. I would imagine the conviction will be overturned, but it is scary that these same jurors vote for President. No wonder we get the guys we do in the White House.

  37. I would imagine the conviction will be overturned

    Why?

  38. Greg,that’s flawed reasoning.The man would be directly linked to shooting you. Officers when rushing to a scene are still obliged to proceed in a safe and resonable manner.It is apparent he caused the crash.His estate should be liable for any damage he caused.

  39. “One could make an argument here that this was a reasonable conviction. There clearly is a causal/effect relationship here. That is, if this guy hadn’t committed armed robbery and shot at the police, this officer would still be alive.”

    That’s just idiotic. For someone to be held FULLY culpable for a specific outcome, they should at least do something that has a forseeable outcome of a specific sort of harm. It should just blanket cover ANY random thing that happens, especially when its quite clear that it is NOT a common or normal occurrence for a drunk officer to drive off the road as a result of you hiding in the WOODS.

  40. “There’s another problem.The guy’s a trained sniper yet he’s going to work after drinking?This from the same people that say that one drink and you can’t drive.”

    Yeah, I wonder what MADD’s response to this is.

    Serve alcohol to minors to keep them from driving somewhere else to drink and then driving home? Life in prison. Drink and drive at unsafe speeds, get sainted? Explain that logic.

  41. intent and mens rhea

    The womens rhea is definitely less attractive. And those emus! Don’t get me started.

  42. Michael,

    It isn’t “flawed reasoning” to say that someone ought to be tried for crimes that are the foreseeable outcomes of the intended crime. Now, you might argue that the cop broke the chain of causation, but I think it’s foreseeable that a person who commits a felony will be chased by police (in the same way that malpractice is foreseeable and does not relieve an original tortfeasor of liability).

    None of that is to say that the police officer doesn’t have his own duty to act as a reasonably prudent person would under the circumstances, and perhaps his estate is separately liable for a different tort. But just because he might have breached some duty shouldn’t relieve the original criminal of liability.

    THAT, Mike, is flawed reasoning.

  43. This is my favorite, altought the court (barely) got it right:

    Appeal No. 82,647: State v. Sanexay Sophophone

    The court, in a 4-3 decision, holds that Sophophone may not be convicted of felony murder for the killing of his co-felon if the co-felon was killed by a law enforcement officer acting in self-defense while making an arrest. (In this case, Sophophone was handcuffed and sitting in a patrol car when co-felon Somphone Sysoumphone was killed after he fired at an officer and the officer returned fire following an Emporia residential burglary.) Writing for the majority is Justice Edward Larson. A dissent by Justice Bob Abbott is joined by Chief Justice Kay McFarland and Justice Robert E. Davis, reversing Lyon County District Court.

    If this was allowed to stand, police could up your sentence by shooting a few random people while arresting you.

  44. It isn’t “flawed reasoning” to say that someone ought to be tried for crimes that are the foreseeable outcomes of the intended crime.

    What’s flawed here is the idea that this is even remotely foreseeable. The officer wasn’t in pursuit of a felon, he was 30 miles away driving to a crime scene. And he was impaired, using the standards that police and courts would use to judge a “civilian”.

    Sorry, but even the most devoted cop sucker should be able to see this as raw bullshit.

  45. Greg,To think a suspect caused a cop to get in a car after drinking,speed down the road and crash is a leap of faith,not logic.It is also very likely against departmaet policy to report to work after drinking.I doubt his boss likes his snipers to down a few before sighting in he’s .30 .06.So we have reckless operation and disragarding police policy.You can’t break the rules to enforce the law.I also find it interesting,from what I know,his bac wasn’t entered into the record.If your in a accident and have a low bac you will still face a much harsher sentance than a person that doesn’t drink.Goverment statistics count an accident acohol related if anyone,not just the driver,has a bac of .01.Why was his hidden?

  46. Isn’t the point of this law to shift blame away from our militarized police and their reckless use of force. Of course then in turn authorizing the police to use such reckless force in any case where a felony is suspected without fear of disciplinary action. One wonders what would have happened if the officer in question had killed someone while driving impaired but had survived the accident himself.

  47. At best, Mike, your argument just means that in this case, the accident was not a foreseeable effect of the defendant’s crime. That’s a fact question, and a jury decided you were wrong. Maybe you’re not. But my point is, it isn’t anti-liberty to prosecute felony murders the way Radley makes it sound. I think Radley has done an absolutely amazing job chronicling police abuse and excess, and he ought to be much more famous than he is for that work.

    But at times he can go overboard, and this is one of those times.

    For the record, the standard isn’t whether the defendant caused the particular act that led to the death. It’s whether the death is a foreseeable outcome of the defendant’s underlying felony. And it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that a fleeing felon will be chased by law enforcement, and it’s foreseeable that cop will act negligently. As such, the criminal ought to be held liable. Again, an original tortfeasor will still be held liable for his tort, even if an intervening act (e.g., a negligent rescue; medical malpractice) exacerbates the injury, provided the intervening act was foreseeable. I see this case as analogous, and I would’ve voted happily to convict.

    That said, I’d likely also vote to impose liability on the cop for whatever damage he did while driving negligently. The conviction and the cop’s liability are not mutually exclusive.

  48. Greg-As a 1L I think you are correct that the analysis is one of foreseeability. It seems obvious to me you have some knowledge with the law. Then perhaps you are familiar with the judicial saying “on a clear day everything is foreseeable.” Is it foreseeable when you commit a crime that police are going to come? Yes. Is it foreseeable that they will drive impaired, be in a wreck and kill someone ON THE WAY to the crime (not at the scene of in giving chase) while you are dozens of miles away? That’s only foreseeable in the sense of “could remotely happen” and it strikes me for the concept of foreseeability to have any bounded meaning it must mean something more like “likely.” To use a legal term I find it highly extraordinary that one event led to the other, and in respect for a meaningful concept of personal responsibility, I would argue the suspect is not personally responsible for this event.
    As I argued a while back in a post on the insanity defense a view that takes personal responsibility seriously must be one that has a boundary where we say “here we will not hold a person responsibility.” The person who holds another person culpable for events for which they had no control over does not in my opinion have a real respect for personal responsibility, they just like punishment. I think the insanity defense recognizes something deeply held in our society; that we will always hold culpable those who were in control of the bad events they caused, but not those who were not. In the same fashion I think that in this case (perhaps not all felony murder cases) this person was not in control of nor caused this event. The cop did.

  49. Greg,if this guy,a police sniper,had made the scene and shot the wrong person due to drinking was that foreseeable too?The bac was never reveiled and I’m sure the prosecution didn’t want to argue it was a non-factor when they use the opposite tatic agaist defendants every day.They can’t have it both ways.Pushing zero tolerance on the public,yes you can be charged with DUI with a low bac,then disregarding it when conveinent is highly suspect.If this officer would have been hit by someone who had been drinking instead would they have charged the driver and the suspect they were looking for.

  50. Mr. Nice Guy:

    Hang in there, 1L, you’ll learn some law one day. Again (and this is getting exhausting): neither medical malpractice nor negligent rescue is an unforeseeable intervening act that relieves an original tortfeasor of liability. Similarly, the fact that the cop acted negligently should not relieve this defendant of his own criminal liability.

    You’re just wrong that “foreseeable” means “likely.” You might think it should mean that, but it just simply doesn’t. Again, 1L, hang in there.

    Mike:

    Police negligence is foreseeable in the same way that medical malpractice is. If you commit a tort that, say, requires foot surgery, and the doctor negligently amputates the foot, you’ll be liable for the amputation, because malpractice is foreseeable (not necessarily “likely,” 1L).

    All the rest of these collateral issues (e.g., “zero tolerance,” hypocrisy, cops held to a different standard) are all worthless in the analysis of a) is the law a good one? and b) does this case fit the facts necessary to convict under the law? They might be good policy debates, but they’re utterly irrelevant to the legal analysis. I’d bet even Nice Guy up there could get that right.

  51. Greg,we’er not talking if he was negligent,the officer commited a crime.If a doctor kills someone while drunk he would be criminally liable,much like a pilot fo an aircraft.I totally agree with you on negligent part.

  52. Eric Robert Rudolph was in the mountains (of North Carolina?) for well over a year. Police/FBI/BATF agents were in “active pursuit” of him for the entire time.

    So Eric Robert Rudolph would be responsible for the results of ANY accident that ANY of the 1000+ agents who were actively involved in the search for him for over a year, as long as they were driving to the initial search point for “that” day?

    Absolutely amazing logic.

    CB

  53. cracker’s boy,The scope of law has expanded to include almost everyone in the country.I would say 100 or even 50 years ago one could go through life without breaking any law.Now that’s almost immpossible,weather it’s tax law,driving[seatbelts and child seats],drugs and alcohol,or playing poker at a club with friends[In my state,ohio,it is illegal to play poker at my golf club and is a violation of the liquor laws].I wonder how we managed when I was growing up 30 years ago.

  54. It gets even more ridiculous when the underlying felony is more of an administration felony. There’s a guy who had an accident while driving with a suspended license. No alcohol, no drugs. Just an accident. His passenger died and he is charged with felony-murder. Go here for details: http://blog.jeffcitylaw.com

  55. Randy,A late hunting friend of mine would like to smoke a joint on the way home after we finised sai it helped the pais in his damaged knee.I drove,I had the dogs and truck,and I always had a cigar,sometimes cuban.The way I understand the laws today,if caught I would have been guilty of a felony since guns were present although the amount of pot he had was a $50 fine in Ohio.

  56. Newburn-I think I explicitly said that the concept of foreseeability should be something more like “likely” or “probability” in order for it to make sense. I think the fact that so many on this thread find it, well, strange for this man to be held liable here demonstrates that common sense notions of what is included inside and outside the “chain of causation” would find this event to be on the outside. I’m quite aware that many courts would come to this conclusion, I’m just saying it’s quite silly.
    In addition, I’m confused by your vehemence in saying that foreseeable is so different from “likely.” In fact the Restatement 2nd uses the concept “extraordinary” in this area, as in not highly extraordinary in retrospect. Something that is extraordinary is unlikely, right?

  57. Great. So when I drive from Idaho into Washington and forget to buckle my seatbelt and the Washington cop kills someone while chasing after me, I’m responsible?

    Just because they CAN convict the guy for felony murder doesn’t mean it’s just.

  58. Greg-

    The “foreseeability” standard in a criminal case such as this can’t be compared to the standard in a tort case. You’re right — if I injure you, and then you’re further injured due to medical malpractice, or the ambulance crashing on the way to the hospital, or whatever else, I can be held liable for the further injury. But in a criminal case the standard is (and really does have to be) far higher. For felony murder, it’s foreseeable that if you’re holding up a liquor store clerk and she has a heart attack and dies on the spot. It’s not foreseeable that a cop who’s been drinking is going to drive negligently from 30 miles away.

    I think you’re overestimating the foreseeability of the result here. I’m not sure this would even satisfy the old Pfalsgraff test if it was a tort case, let alone a criminal case.

  59. More for Greg–

    The problem is (and you obviously understand this) that the law violates most people’s idea of common sense. That’s why it’s being held up here for ridicule.

    If I borrow my brother’s car and get into a car accident, he can be held liable for my accident. Even sillier, if he sells a stranger his car, but forgets to register the sale, he can be held liable for the stranger’s car accidents. To somebody outside the legal profession, this appears unfair, even unjust. And truly, it is.

    Lawyer logic and common sense often don’t mix very well. And that’s why so many people hold the legal profession in low esteem. The law is an ass.

  60. Im really glad that i live in europe. USA is such a BIG democracy.

  61. I live in Fayetteville, AR and one of my teachers worked with and knew Trooper Tatoian. Although some of you may not understand why Stallmann was charged with murder in relation to Tatoian…maybe it was because he had already shot one officer in the head and deserved to be charged with something. No, he didn’t directly kill Officer Tatoin, but he deserved the punishment he got even if it should have been for the other officer he shot.

  62. i would like to state RIGHT HERE and RIGHT NOW. Trooper Tatoian was a great man. he did his job well, and for those of you who would like to trastalk what “you think is right here” i will tell you that it is the Meth head who held the woman to gunpoints fault they even had to call Tatoian to the scene. HE chose to make the decision to hold up the girl for drug money. HE chose that he was going to hold a gun to her face. HE chose to threaten her life. HE chose to shoot at another officer. HE chose to run. It was not Tatoian’s choice to get woken up at 4 am out of his SLEEP. it was his fault they called the sniper that Tatoian was. it was HIS fault he chose to choose that path. Tatoian was only defending what he knew, and that was to protect the brotherhood he was apart of. Many of you may not know but there was an accident on the highway he died on. The semi stopped on the wrong side. it was NOT Tatoian who did things wrong. Although things were done wrong.. please understand that it is not the trooper’s fault he is gone today. his legacy will live on forever. he was good at what he did, an amazing father, a friend, and yes a smartass at times. but does not deserve the talk that i have seen.

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