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Hattori v. Peairs

Louisiana Court of Appeal
662 So.2d 509 (1995)


Yoshihiro Hattori (Yoshi), a 16-year-old Japanese exchange student, was seeking to attend a Halloween party with his friend, Webb Haymaker (Webb). Yoshi was in a Saturday Night Fever Halloween costume and was carrying a camera. Yoshi and Webb arrived at the house they thought was hosting the party. However, the boys had gone to the wrong house. The house at which they arrived was actually that of Rodney and Bonnie Peairs. The boys rang the doorbell and then walked over to the driveway. Bonnie opened the door, and when Webb, who was dressed as an accident victim for Halloween, attempted to say something, Bonnie slammed the door. Bonnie ran to her husband, Rodney (defendant), and told him to get his gun. Rodney got the gun and opened the door. The boys had started to walk away, but upon the door opening, Yoshi turned back. Rodney yelled at Yoshi to freeze, but Yoshi was laughing and said that the boys were there for the party. Yoshi continued to walk toward Rodney, at which point Rodney fired the gun, killing Yoshi. Yoshi’s parents, the Hattoris (plaintiffs), brought a wrongful-death suit against Rodney. At trial, Rodney claimed self-defense, testifying that he had never seen his wife so scared and that he was in fear for his life. Rodney also asserted that he believed that Yoshi was armed, but acknowledged that he did not actually see a weapon. The trial court found in favor of the Hattoris. Rodney appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lottinger, C.J.)

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