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Homeowner won't be charged in fatal shooting

Published: Sep. 18, 2009 at 7:52 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2009 at 8:02 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte homeowner was tied up, held at gunpoint and had his house robbed "feared for his life" when he "fired in self-defense" and killed one of the four suspects after the August robbery, prosecutors said Friday.

The Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office has decided that no charges should be filed against C.L. McClure, a 76-year-old man who shot and killed one of four teens who tied him up and robbed him and his wife during a robbery.

"...it appears from all the credible evidence that Mr. McClure feared for his life," District Attorney Peter Gilchrist said in a statement released on Friday that cleared McClure.

After the robbery at a Grier Road home, the victim, McClure, managed to get free and follow the suspects, claiming to search for the suspects' car, confronting them and fatally shooting one. Authorities said Friday that they determined  that McClure's "life was in danger and fired in self-defense."

Gilchrist said that even though he followed the suspect from his home, McClure's "idea to find the vehicle and try to delay the escape of those who invaded his home did not make him the aggressor nor did that take away his right of self defense."

The robbery happened when McClure was sitting inside his basement on August 22 when he saw a young black male walk by the door, police said. McClure thought it might his grandson.  When the young man didn't come in to visit with McClure, he got suspicious.

The intruder had his face covered and was armed with a weapon.   Police say McClure was duct taped and robbed by the young intruder.   Another person also entered the basement.  McClure, police said, pleaded for the intruders not to hurt his wife who was in the main part of the house.  The intruders also stole property from the house, police said.

After the teens left, police say McClure got free, chased the teens down and shot and killed 15-year-old Marcus Fluker.

McClure said soon after the incident that he received death threats after the shooting.  A police car was parked near his home for a couple of days following the shooting.

The investigation found that one suspect involved, Matthew Morgan, 17, was arrested twice last year for stealing a car and robbery. He was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet and awaiting a trial date when, police say, he and his three friends robbed and tied up the elderly couple at their home on Grier Road.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the bracelet helped tie Morgan to the crime scene.  When police searched his house, they found two guns and duct tape. Morgan and two other suspects, Tahjaue Wiley and Joseph Graves are still in jail.

Press Release from District Attorney Peter Gilchrist

THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE HAS DECIDED THAT NO CHARGES WILL BE FILED AGAINST C.L. MCCLURE IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF MARCUS FLUTER

The investigation into the shooting death of Marcus Fluker by Mr. C.L. McClure has been completed and turned over to the District Attorney's Office.   The investigating officers utilized a procedure established by this office which allows departments to request that we make the charging decision.  This procedure can be followed when investigation indicates probable cause to arrest is present but officers have questions and request we review the evidence they have gathered in order to determine whether charges should be brought.

On August 22, 2009, 76 year old C.L. McClure was sitting in his basement room cooling off after cutting his yard.  At approximately 12:30 in the afternoon, he saw a young black male walk past the door of this room.  He thought it was his grandson coming by to see him.  When he didn't come into the room, Mr. McClure walked to the door to see what he was doing.  He was greeted by a young man with his face covered and armed with a weapon.

Mr. McClure was told to get on the ground.  He was duct taped and robbed of cash and jewelry.  Another man entered into the basement as well.  Mr. McClure was asked who and what was in the main house.  Mr. McClure told them his wife was upstairs and to please not hurt her.  One man left the other stayed.  Mr. McClure's wife was also a victim of this home invasion when they entered the home and took items from there as well.

After a brief period, the other man left and Mr. McClure got off the ground, retrieved a gun he had in the basement, and went to check on his wife.  He saw a number of young men running from his house into the woods.  From previous break-ins at his residence he believed that the robbers were running to a vehicle on the other side of the woods.  His wife told him she was okay and he got into his vehicle.  His intention at that time was to get to their car before they did and to shoot out the tires to immobilize their car until the police arrived.

As Mr. McClure approached the area where he thought a car might be parked, there was no car, and instead he saw all the young men running towards him.  At this point he fired a shot in the air in an attempt to scatter them away from him and his vehicle and back into the woods.  Instead, they kept running towards him.  Some passed in front of his car and some behind.  As Marcus Fluker passed his car he began to turn towards Mr. McClure.  McClure, an Army veteran, had identified the weapon pointed at him at his house as some type of automatic weapon.  When Fluker turned towards him he thought he was about to get "sprayed" by fire from this automatic weapon.  He fired at him.  McClure did not know if he struck him because Mr. Fluker turned back around and continued to run.  At this point, McClure no longer felt in danger and did not fire his weapon again.

After the police arrived they went with Mr. McClure into the apartment complex where the individuals had been last scene.  At this point, it was learned that Marcus Fluker had been struck by a single gunshot wound.  At the place where he was found there was no gun.  This location was not secure until the police arrived.

The investigation of this case recovered two firearms taken from Mr. McClure's home and it is clear that Mr. Fluker was one of the individuals involved in the home invasion robbery.  As a result of these events, Mr. McClure's 70 year old wife suffered a heart attack.

In making a decision as to whether to charge Mr. McClure in this case, the District Attorney's Office has considered all of the above facts as well as the law of self defense.

The only eyewitness to this shooting is Mr. McClure.  The physical evidence corroborates what he told detectives.  His idea to find the vehicle and try to delay the escape of those who invaded his home did not make him the aggressor nor did that take away his right of self defense.  Mr. McClure believed that his life was in danger and fired in self-defense.  It is the burden of the State in a criminal case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a charged individual did not act in self defense.  The State cannot meet that burden in this case as it appears from all the credible evidence that Mr. McClure feared for his life.