TACOMA, Wash. – Car prowlers victimized James Reha, but he’s the one going to prison.
A Pierce County judge gave Reha a 10-year sentence for shooting and killing one of the people who stole from his car in November 2016.
Morgan Deines died as she drove a getaway car out of Tacoma parking lot where her friend had just broken into Reha’s car. Reha was asleep in the car, and when he woke up, he started firing at Deines’ car as she drove off. The other burglar ran away.
Reha pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges and was sentenced Friday afternoon.
Prosecutors said he should have called 911.
“Our laws do give you the right to defend yourself, your family, and even bystanders,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, “But it has to be reasonable.”
Lindquist said someone running away from a burglary attempt does not usually qualify as a threat.
He noted the law allows gun owners to protect people, but not property.