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Rogue River man won't face charges for killing intruder

A Rogue River-area man won't face criminal charges for shooting to death an intruder who threatened to assault him inside his house during an early-morning fight April 23, authorities said.

Christopher Haase, 26, acted in self-defense and was justified when he fired a single rifle shot that killed David Anthony Vaughn, 30, at Haase's mobile home in the 9800 block of West Evans Creek Road, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office announced Monday.

Haase fired the rifle from his hip and the .223-caliber bullet struck Vaughn in the shoulder, traveling through both lungs and his aorta, according to prosecutors.

Haase fired the shot after Vaughn entered his home and attacked Haase's friend, Josef Flynn, and then threatened to assault Haase while moving toward him, prosecutors said.

Haase lived in one of two mobile homes on the property, while Vaughn's father, Timothy Vaughn, lived in another, Deputy District Attorney Nick Geil said. The elder Vaughn and Flynn had a previous dispute that rekindled when Flynn left Haase's home to join a party at the other trailer occupied by Timothy Vaughn and others, Geil said.

"We never were entirely clear about what it was about," Geil said. "They had continued bad blood."

The elder Vaughn then summoned his son to the property, and both Flynn and Haase believed it was to assault Flynn, so Haase pulled out his rifle and put it in his living room, prosecutors said.

Haase told deputies he had met David Vaughn and did not really know him but knew of his reputation for assaults on behalf of his father, prosecutors said.

When David Vaughn arrived about a half-hour later, his father warned him that Haase had a gun, that the conflict was over and not to engage Flynn, prosecutors said. Haase also told David Vaughn not to approach or enter his house, but Vaughn and Flynn got into a verbal argument that turned physical on Haase's porch and spilled inside, prosecutors said.

After David Vaughn knocked Flynn down in the living room, he stepped over Flynn toward Haase and threatened to assault Haase before the fatal shot was fired, Geil said.

Haase then called police, who found the spent rifle casing where Haase said he was standing when the shot was fired, prosecutors said.

Oregon law allows someone to use deadly physical force against another person if he or she reasonably believes the person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary and that the person was about to use unlawful physical force.

Burglary in Oregon is entering or attempting to enter a building with the intent to commit a crime.

The determination that Haase's actions were justified were based on witness statements and physical evidence, prosecutors said in a statement.

— Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtfribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.