Shooting Prompting Lynch Mob Mentality



As progress proceeds on what I consider to be the legalized lynching of "trail rage" shooter Harold Fish, I think it is important for at least one resident to make it clear that not everyone in the Rim country has been infected by the modern-day lynch mob virus spread by newcomer John McCauley and others.

Unless the Coconino County Attorney's Office has evidence that Fish has previously shown himself to be a violent, vicious and very anger-prone person with a "hair-trigger" temper, I don't see how a case can be made that he shot Grant Kuenzli in a fit of rage.

Therefore, I am inclined to accept the investigating deputy sheriff's conclusion that Fish shot Kuenzli in self-defense.

In other words, I can accept that Fish concluded that he was in imminent anger of possibly being beaten and kicked to death by an enraged Kuenzli. Much is made of the fact that Fish fired three shots into Kuenzli. I don't find that difficult to explain if he was frightened out of his wits.

Accordingly, I consider the indictment of Fish for second degree murder a disgrace and an egregious miscarriage of justice.

Coconino County Attorney Terry Hance apparently takes the position that Fish should have known that he could not justify using lethal force against Kuenzli -- because one cannot be killed by an unarmed person.

Unless Hance is exceptionally powerful or a master of one of the martial arts, I have known a number of men who could have beaten him to death with bare fists "without breaking a sweat," as the expression goes. I am convinced that several of them could have killed him with a single powerful blow to the nose, which would have driven a jagged bone fragment into his brain.

What a tragic meeting took place on that fateful day. As a result, one man is dead and the other's life is ruined, no matter how his trial turns out, because he will go to his grave knowing that he killed a fellow human being regardless of the circumstances. Additionally, the unwarranted and very destructive lust for vengeance that followed that unfortunate confrontation is very discouraging and disillusioning.

Otis M. Trimble, Payson

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