Crime

Man shot by Gig Harbor homeowner pleads not guilty to burglary charge

Staff writerNovember 12, 2013 

A Bremerton man shot by a Gig Harbor homeowner pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a burglary charge, and his attorney notified the court he intends to argue the case should be dismissed.

Brandon Bird, 37, was ordered jailed in lieu of $75,000 during his arraignment in Pierce County Superior Court.

Bird was booked into the Pierce County Jail on Saturday after being released from the hospital, where he'd been recovering from a gunshot wound to the back.

A Gig Harbor man shot Bird on Oct. 24 after he allegedly ignored repeated warnings not to enter the man's house, court records show.

The homeowner told investigators Bird drove down his long driveway, got out of his truck and said he was looking for a nearby address. The man said he tried to help Bird find his way, including printing him a map from the Internet, but became suspicious when Bird started asking questions about his family, court records show.

At one point, Bird began walking toward the front door of the man's house and ignored warnings to stop, the records show. The man fired at Bird as he opened the front door and walked inside. The homeowner told detectives he feared for his wife, mother and children, who were in the house at the time. Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has said the homeowner won't be charged.

Bird's attorney, Peter Santos of Bremerton, filed paperwork Tuesday asking the court to dismiss the case. Santos argued there is not enough evidence to support the charge against his client because there is no evidence he intended to commit a crime that day.

To convict Bird of residential burglary, prosecutors must prove Bird entered the house with the intention to commit a crime, Santos wrote, and there simply is no evidence to suggest that.

Santos told The News Tribune last week his client was lost and originally tried to leave after talking to the homeowner, but that the man insisted he stay.

"The case is not being handled accurately or fairly," Santos said.

 

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