Hello, burglar; here's my gun

Cary Ashby • Oct 1, 2012 at 11:18 PM

A burglary victim turned aggressor after his neighbor reportedly broke a kitchen window to access the ex-Marine's home.

Two Erie County sheriff's deputies found the homeowner, Scott A. Stith, 45, holding the suspect at gunpoint when they responded to a burglary-in-progress at 118 Strecker Road, Milan. Dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call about 12:40 a.m. Thursday.

"He was upstairs sleeping with his family and heard this loud bang," Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said.

Stith went downstairs to check on the noise, he said, and after he heard "the window being smashed," Stith retrieved his gun from his bedroom.

Sgts. Dennis Papineau and Daniel McGlothlin found Stith with a .45 caliber Springfield Armory Model 1911-A1 when they arrived at the would-be victim's home. The deputies said the homeowner "cleared his weapon, made it safe and secured it" after they found Stith standing inside the kitchen holding the handgun while the suspect, Jesse H. Murr, was lying face down on the floor inside the enclosed back porch and Stith's wife was in the kitchen.

Murr, 29, of 110 Strecker Road, Milan, is charged with burglary, which is punishable by two to eight years in prison. He must post a $100,000 bond before being released from the Erie County Jail.

"He was standing in the kitchen when Mr. Stith confronted him," Sigsworth said. "Obviously, it's a very, very serious situation at the time."

Stith and his wife reported nothing appeared to be missing.

"He just broke into my back door," Stith told dispatchers during the 9-1-1 call.

"I've got glass all over the place. I got him down on the floor and I got a gun right on him," said Stith, who told Murr "don't you (expletive) move" at one point.

Sigsworth said Murr is accused of breaking a back window in the kitchen to enter the home.

"Jesse was difficult to speak with because he was crying and repeatedly apologizing to Scott and his wife for having entered their home," according to the deputy's report.

"Scott advised that the door was definitely locked when he and (his wife) Jodi went to bed and that Jesse would have to have reached in through the broken glass to unlock it and gain entry," McGlothlin wrote.

"Scott advised that Jesse was standing several steps inside the back door. Scott advised that Jesse turned to walk out of the house, at which time he ordered Jesse down to the floor. Jesse remained on the floor until I arrived and took him into custody," McGlothlin said in his report.

"While transporting Jesse to the jail, he repeatedly apologized for his actions. Jesse could offer no explanation for his behavior and at one point even denied having been inside Scott and Jodi's home," the deputy wrote.

About 10 minutes before the 9-1-1 call, Murr fled his home after a domestic dispute, Sigsworth said.

"Nobody was injured. There was an indication someone was pushed by Mr. Murr," the sheriff said.

Deputies weren't able to find the suspect upon responding to the domestic dispute complaint, which involved two female relatives.

"They indicated they didn't want charges filed," Sigsworth said.

The women, during the burglary investigation, told deputies they want Murr to get help for his alcohol-related issues, he said. Sigsworth also said deputies have responded to Murr's house in the past about incidents in which alcohol was a factor.

Deputies reported detecting "a very strong odor of intoxicating beverages coming from on or about his person" as they spoke to Murr on Thursday.

Stith and his wife couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.

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