Intruder Killed By Homeowner Had Long Criminal History

Monday, February 5th 2007, 8:49 pm
By: News On 6

There are deadly consequences for a man police say tried to force his way in to an East Tulsa home. Now the question is will the shooting fall under the “Make My Day” law and protect the homeowner? News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren reports on the latest in the investigation.

It was close to 3 o’clock on Super Bowl Sunday when people in a quiet East Tulsa neighborhood heard an unfamiliar sound.

"Sitting in there watching TV and I heard three gun shots," neighbor Kris Orman said.

The shots he heard came from a 16-gauge shotgun at the front door of his neighbor’s house. The man, who lives in the home near 11th and 145th East Avenue, and his wife, say they were inside when an unknown man began beating on their door. They say the man finally kicked the door in, and that’s when the homeowner opened fire, hitting 39-year-old Jerry Allen Savino at least three times. He died instantly.

"A person has a right of expectation of safety in their home," Tulsa Police Officer Scott Walton said.

Police questioned the homeowner, but they did not arrest him, they say the evidence collected at the house was consistent with a foiled burglary attempt.

"It appears that the subject did attempt to kick the door in, said Tulsa Police Captain Eric Dalgleish. “The scene is consistent with the homeowners statements."

That means Oklahoma's “Make My Day” law will likely apply in this case. The “Make My Day” law allows people to use deadly force in their homes when they fear for their safety.

Savino's criminal record should help prove the homeowner’s case. He had a long criminal history dating back to the 1980s. And he had more than a dozen convictions, most of them for burglaries and drug possession. But the final “Make My Day” decision will be up to the District Attorneys office.

"Each of those has to be taken on a case by case basis, because what someone may perceive as a threat someone else may not,” Walton said. “So there again that’s why the court system exists."

Last year the “Make My Day” law was updated with the “Stand Your Ground” law. The “Stand Your Ground” law extends victim's protections to other locations, like a car. It also clarifies the law's boundaries, so deadly force cannot be used against someone who has the right to be there.