Man faces murder charge because shooting took place in broad daylight Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen By JOHNNY JOHNSON Cox East Texas Tuesday, May 08, 2007 If Reginald Fountain had been caught vandalizing Buster and Violet Ford's car seven hours earlier, or eight hours later, Buster might not now be charged with murder in connection with the shooting of the 50-year-old man. But the 71-year-old homeowner, who said Fountain was beating in the windshield of the couple's car outside their home near Center, is now facing homicide charges because Ford allegedly shot Fountain in broad daylight, not at night. The crime It was a little after noon Sunday when the Fords heard a ruckus outside their home U.S. Hwy. 96 just north of Center. According to Shelby County officials, Buster Ford went outside to find a man on top of the hood of the couple's vehicle, beating in the windshield. Details are sketchy on exactly what happened next, but police learned of the end result from a 911 call — when Ford told county dispatchers what had happened. When officers arrived, they found 50-year-old Reginald Paul Fountain with an apparent gunshot wound. EMS responders confirmed that the man was dead, and Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Burt Furlow responded to the scene to perform the death inquest. Ford was arrested and transported to the Shelby County jail, where bond was set at $10,000. He was later released on a personal-recognizance bond and is left to await a decision on his action by a Shelby County grand jury. The victim No one knows why Fountain behaved the way he did Sunday afternoon, but authorities suspect his actions may have been drug-related, and Fountain has a criminal history of erratic behavior. "I don't know that he was under the influence of any drugs that day," Shelby County District Attorney Linda K. Russell said, "but he has tested positive in the past." Fountain made headlines a few months back when he was arrested by the Center Police Department, after he was found walking down the street, repeatedly biting a dog he was carrying in his arms. "He chewed the ears off of a puppy," Russell said. "He just kept biting this puppy, and it turned out he was on a mixture of PCP and cocaine, at that time." Russell said she has ordered an autopsy and toxicology screening for Fountain's body, and the results of those tests will be given to a grand jury on May 30. The law According to Section 9.42 of the Texas Penal Code, a person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or property to prevent arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft or criminal mischief during the nighttime. "That means you have the right to defend your property at night with deadly force, but not in broad open daylight," Russell said. "Now, if an intruder is in your home, you can shoot them whether it's daylight or dark," she said. "But according to the law, property is not as valuable as human life." It's a law that Russell said puts her in an awkward position. "I do not always agree with law, but I have to go by what the law says," she said. "The sheriff did what he had to do by charging him (Ford) with murder. But a grand jury also has the right to 'no bill' him if that is what they believe should happen." So how will a grand jury take the case? That's what Russell hopes to find out before the end of the month. "I'm hoping for a pretty quick resolution," she said. "I know there are a lot of people who are mad, and they are saying this man a right to shoot him. "I wasn't there, so I don't know all the details, and I haven't seen the offense report, yet," she continued. "But I know what the law is — a person actually has to be coming at you, and, even at that, you have a duty to retreat." In fact, the Shelby County shooting would not be justified under the state's new "Castle Doctrine," which gives homeowners more rights to protect their property with deadly force. According to Nacogdoches District Attorney Stephanie Stephens, the new law, which goes into effect in September, takes away a homeowner's duty to retreat from a threat, and also extends use of deadly force to an occupied vehicle, as well. --- Hope he gets off, sounds like he did society a favor.