Elgin Man Going On Trial For Firing Warning Shot That Killed Teen
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ST. CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — An Elgin man is scheduled to go on trial Monday for the fourth of July 2011 killing of a teenager he claims was going to steal from him.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Julie Mann reports, the family of Guillermo Pineda, 18, is looking for justice, questioning why the man accused of killing their loved one, Donald Rattanavong, 58, has not been charged with murder, the Chicago Tribune reported.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Julie Mann reports
Rattanavong is charged with involuntary manslaughter and recklessly discharging his gun. The Tribune reports he fired his gun in the air as a warning to a group of approaching teens that included Pineda when he suspected they were going to break into his car just before 11 p.m. on July 4 of last year.
Instead, police say, a bullet hit Pineda and killed him, the Tribune reported. Rattanavong didn’t know he had struck anyone until finding Pineda’s body near his car, and called police himself, the newspaper reported.
A friend of Pineda’s told the Tribune the group of teens was indeed looking for cars to burglarize, but had quit that activity by the time of the confrontation with Rattanavong.
When asked, Rattanavong’s attorney disputed a characterization of the case as similar to the Trayvon Martin shooting. Attorney Lewis Gainor told the Tribune that the Rattanavong was protecting himself and his family while on his property, from a group of teens who have admitted they planned to burglarize cars, the Tribune reported.
The Tribune says none of the boys with Pineda last night was charged with a crime, and he was never charged with a firearms violation despite having two guns and no Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.