James Michael Meyer, 72, has been charged with murder. He was in the Dallas County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail Friday evening.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, officers were dispatched at 7:04 a.m. on a home invasion call in the 5400 block of Philip Avenue, near Interstate 30 and Grand Avenue, where they found the body of an unknown male face down in a park behind the home.
Dallas-Fire Rescue workers noted that blood on the body was dry and eventually determined that the person had been dead for some time.
Meyer told police that he had been awakened about 5 a.m. by noise outside and saw someone trying to break into his storage shed with a pickax when he looked through the window, the affidavit said.
Meyer said he grabbed his handgun and chambered a round, then came out of his home yelling at the person to stop what he was doing and not come any closer or else he'd shoot.
Instead, he told police, the person took several steps toward him, so he fired his gun, according to the affidavit.
At that point, the burglar dropped the pickax and ran toward the park.
Meyer said he fired an additional shot "into the night" in the direction of the park, even though "from the suspect's accounts, the threat of serious bodily injury against him was over when the complainant dropped the pickax and ran off," the affidavit said.
Meyer said he didn't know whether he had struck the person, so he went back to bed.
As the sun began to rise, Meyer again looked outside and saw "a black bag" in the park. Upon closer inspection, he found the individual lying face down in the park.
Meyer's wife called an attorney for advice before Meyer called 911, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, he refused to answer the dispatcher's questions, saying repeatedly that he was the victim of a crime and that medical assistance was needed.
When investigators couldn't find any spent shell casings, Meyer told them he had thrown them in the trash.
- Not calling 911 when someone attacks you on your property and you shoot him: Not good
- Calling an attorney before you do eventually call 911: Okay, although plenty of cops won't like it
- Not answering the 911 operator's questions: Good (probably as advised by the lawyer), because those things are recorded, and plenty of people have been convicted based on what they said in a 911 call
- Stating to the cops when questioned, after having talked to a lawyer, that you altered the crime scene and destroyed evidence: Wow, did the lawyer not mention about not talking to the cops without him? Even if it's what you did, there has to be a better way to state it formally.