A jury in Colorado Springs, Colorado is deliberating a case that involves Colorado’s controversial “Make My Day” law. The jury is weighing whether U.S. Army Green Beret Michael Joseph Gavin, 35, will be charged for the November 3rd shooting of Robert Carrigan at Galvin’s home in Colorado Springs. Charges against Galvin include negligent homicide. Galvin could spend up to three years in prison if found guilty but Galvin’s defense argues that Galvin was practicing Colorado’s “Make My Day” law that allows homeowners to protect themselves and property with deadly force.
Colorado’s Make My Day Law gives legal gun owners in Colorado the option to use deadly force on an intruder if the person believes the intruder is likely to commit a crime or use physical force, no matter the severity of the threat. Colorado does require the “duty to retreat” for normal self-defense protocol but when an intruder enters private property citizens can evoke the Make My Day law. The Make My Day Law has been legislation in Colorado since 1985. There have been several instances where prosecution and defense have argued the merits of the law in a criminal case. In most cases the jury has agreed with those who utilized the law to justify lethal force unless the crime was taking place outside of the residence with the homeowner inside the residence.
According to the prosecution Galvin confronted Carrigan at night while Carrigan was illegally in Galvin’s detached garage. An unarmed Carrigan attempted to escape the scene but was shot three times in the back by Galvin and expired from his injuries.
Galvin’s defense argued that Carrigan reached for Galvin’s pistol and that was the cause for the shooting. The defense also argues that Galvin took drastic action because of safety concerns with his wife and two children in the home, an argument that matches with Colorado’s law.
Galvin has been a member of the Army Special Forces unit based in Fort Carson, Colorado for 12 years. Galvin serves as a communications sergeant and Arabic language expert. Though the defense argues that the shooting was justified, the interpretation of the controversial law is in the hands of the jury.