When Samuel Joseph Cutrufelli kicked down Jay Leone’s door Wednesday, Leone was in trouble. In a CBS interview, Leone said he was held at gunpoint while the burglar ransacked his house, until he convinced Cutrufelli he needed to use the bathroom. Once there, he retrieved a .357 revolver “ran back and pointed it at the burglar.”
Leone said Cutrufelli shot him first. Here’s his narrative:
“After he shot me, I looked him straight in the eye,” said Leone. “He says, ‘Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me… I’ve got a daughter!’ I said, ‘f- you … pow, pow, pow, pow!’”
Cutrufelli was shot three times, but escaped in his car until he bled out too much, at which point he called emergency services and said he shot himself. Police determined the truth, and arrested him “on suspicion of burglary and attempted murder.”
Cutrufelli was convicted of attempted murder in 2001, when he attacked somebody “who complained about nearly being hit.”
Authorities said Cutrufelli, who had been drinking at a downtown bar, got out of the car, smashed a bottle over the 22-year-old victim’s head, and used a folding knife to stab him four times and cut tendons in his right hand. Cutrufelli left the victim in the street to crawl away for help.
Leone hasn’t been charged–yet.
In his book After You Shoot, Alan Korwin notes that about 50% of all convictions in what began as self-defense rely on 911 recordings. Korwin warns:
“Keep in mind that reporters, as observed in the overwhelming majority of their published work, hate guns, hate gun owners, don’t hold much stock in self defense and do not support keeping and bearing arms…”
Leone has now publicly testified that after retreating, he advanced from a possible safe place and purposefully engaged Cutrufelli. Next, after being shot, Leone took time to verbally notify Cutrufelli he was about to return fire, in a manner that could be taken as revenge for being shot. In the hands of a crafty prosecutor, this could show intent, converting Leone from victim to attacker.
Marin County, California is a hotbed of gun control radicalism. If the District Attorney thinks he’ll earn votes for convicting a vigilante, Leone’s ordeal may just be starting.
To paraphrase Korwin: After you shoot, call your attorney and avoid the media. The Miranda Warning says: “Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law.”