No charges against elderly man in self-defense shooting

GRANTS PASS, Ore.– The Josephine County District Attorney’s Office will not be charging a Grants Pass homeowner who shot and killed a man on his property in the fall.

District Attorney Ryan Mulkins said the use of deadly force was justified under Oregon law. But while the criminal case appears closed, the victim’s widow says the fight isn’t over.

“His conduct was within the parameters of Oregon law and therefore charges would not be appropriate,” said Mulkins.

Robert Barry, 58, was found by police at an elderly couple’s home on Foothill Boulevard in Grants Pass back in October. The couple told police it was self-defense but Barry’s wife says he was simply looking for help after his car broke down.

The DA said the 77-year old husband told police he thought Barry he looked like a transient and appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Mulkins says the homeowner asked Barry what he wanted several times and got no response.

“He’s telling him, ‘Get out of here, get off my property,'” said Mulkins. “He advises Mr. Barry that he’s armed with a firearm and he needs to leave.”

After warning Barry repeatedly that he had a gun, and fearing for both his and his wife’s safety, Mulkins says the elderly man shot Barry from 10 feet away. Mulkins called the shooting justified.

“Under Oregon law, a citizen is allowed to use deadly physical force to prevent the attempted commission of a burglary in their home,” he said.

Barry’s car was found about a mile away on I-5 at milepost 52, between Rogue River and Grants Pass. Oregon State Police told NBC5 News during the investigation that Barry visited another home that night as well.

“He was at another property earlier, he didn’t ask for help at that property,” said Sgt. Jeff Proulx, Oregon State Police. “In fact, he didn’t say anything.”

NBC5 also spoke with Barry’s widow, Judy, in November. She said she didn’t understand why someone would shoot her husband.

“There is no reason to walk on your front porch and shoot a man on your front porch at 6 o’clock at night,” she said.

She wasn’t available to talk on camera Tuesday but said over the phone she’s not putting the incident behind her just yet, she’s now planning to hire a lawyer to seek out justice on her own.

NBC5 News is choosing not to name the homeowners because they aren’t being charged in the case.

According to the DA’s office – Barry had both prescription pain medicine and a muscle relaxer in his system at the time of his death.

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