Homeowner will not be charged in death of intruder
MINDEN — A Gardnerville resident who shot and killed a gunman invading his home earlier this month will not be charged in the man’s death.
The intruder’s death was justified, according to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.
“By statute if a person is acting in defense of themselves or their family against the threat of death or substantial bodily harm, they are justified in using deadly force,” said Kris Brown, deputy district attorney for Douglas County.
Walter Hetrick, 40, of Antioch, Calif., died Aug. 3 from a gunshot wound that punctured a major artery in his leg after he used a rock to break a window and open a door to the home belonging to Charles Cryderman, 52, on Log Cabin Road home in the Pinenut Road area.
Cryderman fired five shots from a .357-caliber revolver, hitting Hetrick in the foot, thigh and shoulder. The shot to the thigh shattered the femur, severing the artery, and Hetrick quickly bled to death.
Hetrick had been released from prison in California in 1995 after being convicted of the October 1984 killing of Jessie Leon Haffner, 24, who was found shot several times in the head in the bathroom of his mother’s Antioch home.
Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Gary Strankman ruled Hetrick was guilty of first-degree murder but insane at the time of the crime and still suffering from mental illness.
Hetrick spent time at state hospitals in Patton and Napa and was on supervised probation with the California Department of Mental Health until three months before his death.
A lieutenant with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office refused to speculate on Hetrick’s intent in entering the home until District Attorney Scott Doyle determines whether an inquest should occur.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Biaggini said Hetrick’s selection of the Cryderman home appears to be a “random, off-the-cuff situation.”
“He had absolutely no connection to the family,” Biaggini said. “He made threatening comments to members of the residence.”