Local News

No charges filed against Durham homeowner who shot intruders

Posted December 28, 2010

— Durham County authorities said Tuesday that they don't plan to charge a homeowner who shot three people trying to break into his house three weeks ago.

Charles Dellerman was awakened on Dec. 10 by the sound of breaking glass in his house at 1017 Hamilton Way.

Dellerman picked up a pistol and went downstairs where he was confronted by three masked men. Police said he fired several shots at the intruders, hitting all three as they ran from the house.

Omari Mitchell, 20, and Timothy Nelson, 17, were hospitalized after being apprehended by deputies. Gary Brady, Jr., 19, suffered a slight wound to his arm but was treated and released.

All three, along with Devine Thorpe, 20, were charged in the incident.

Maj. Paul Martin of the Durham County Sheriff's Office said the incident was a clear case of self-defense, so Dellerman wouldn't be charged.


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  • 23tony Dec 29, 2010

    "Yes, way to go... that's all that needed to be said. If this happened more often blah blah blah? Let's say that every homeowner in the state was issued a gun; I'm pretty sure the b&e th*gs would strap up and vest up before every go. Then, they would have guns drawn the whole time."

    Really? Where is your evidence for this? Or is it all just conjecture?

    If you care for actual evidence, rather than a baseless emotional argument, just take a few minutes to look it up. Start with "More Guns Less Crime". Oh, and look at the FBI violent crime statistics for the past 10 years or so, and compare that with the increased ease of legal concealed carry and gun purchasing over the same period. Or take a look at the severe rise in violent crime that followed England's gun ban.

    Part of "Smartening up" involves actually knowing the facts.

  • 23tony Dec 29, 2010


    The operative phrase in the law is " to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry". If you take a CCW class, it's made pretty clear that this only applies DURING THE ACT OF ENTERING, and no longer applies once the intruder has actually entered.

    Reading the statute, a change of one word could totally change the meaning - " terminate the intruder's unlawful PRESENCE"

    It would also be good if the law protected the resident from legal action by the unlawful intruder.

  • UPTOP Dec 29, 2010

    shuffle: I wonder had that been you waking up in the middle of the night to this situation would you be thinking shoot or not to shoot !!

  • tarheel4life Dec 29, 2010

    " I remember hearing about a gun hating politician that found himself in the same situation...and protected himself the same way"

    Could you be any more non-specific there?

  • Dismald Dec 29, 2010

    A perfect example of what our Founding Fathers had in mind. Even back then(maybe more so?) good People had to be able to protect themselves. I remember hearing about a gun hating politician that found himself in the same situation...and protected himself the same way! Common sense will always rule!

  • TheDude abides... Dec 29, 2010

    tarheel4life- I can only hope you get to put that scenario to the test.

  • tarheel4life Dec 29, 2010

    "hitting all three as they ran from the house."

    How is that even legal? I thought you could only shoot if you were in fear of your life...which I wouldn't think would be the case if the intruders were running away from his house...

  • KwaziMojo Dec 29, 2010

    More time at the range and a better choice of weapon would have put 3 perps in the morgue.

  • TheDude abides... Dec 29, 2010

    Its a shame they even have to make a headline that reads "NO CHARGES FILED AGAINST DURHAM HOMEOWNER WHO SHOT INTRUDERS".

    It shouldnt even be a question. Jeez this is a backwards world.

  • roaddog3 Dec 29, 2010

    Its a shame the 3 even went to the hospital,(where we had to pay yet again). Isn't NAA or ACL looking for any payday out of this one?