Homeowner didn’t call 911 before going out and killing suspected truck thief

By Nahnda Garlow with CP files

HAMILTON — The man accused of murdering Jonathan Styres says he didn’t call 911 before he shot and killed him.

Peter Khill said during testimony on Tuesday that his military background urged him to go outside and shoot Styres dead while the man was attempting to steal Khill’s 2001 pick-up truck.

Khill testified that while he could have remained in his room and called police he instead chose to grab a weapon and go out into the darkness and confront the would-be robber on his own.

“It was instinctive,” Khill, 28, told prosecutor Steve O’Brien.

“Regardless of your allegedly instinctive reaction, you’re a civilian,” O’Brien said. “Everybody knows about 911. You pick up the phone and call the cops.”

Khill admits to shooting Styres but has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

He said he didn’t call 911 because he was worried someone could get into the house within seconds.

Calling 911 was the “obviously reasonable thing” to do, O’Brien said in repeatedly challenging Khill on why he had acted the way he did. The victim could have been a wayward teenager, not an armed insurgent, the prosecutor said.

“I thought my response was reasonable as well,” Khill insisted.

Khill recounted coming around the back of the 2001 truck he had bought for $2,900, saying he could only make out a silhouette in the darkness leaning into the cab through the open passenger door.

Jurors have heard one Styres was shot twice by Khill.

The trial will hear legal arguments without the jury present on Wednesday.

Note: this story has been edited to remove graphic content that may trigger a trauma response to our readership.

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