Newport Beach Case Closed!

As many of you know, The MAJ and I have been retained by the homeowner in Newport Beach who used deadly force against a home invader at 4:20 in the morning a few weeks ago. Up to this point we have purposely kept quiet about the event, and our representation of the client, as the case went through the procedural legal system.


This last Monday I received a phone call from our District Attorney, Todd Spitzer, officially closing out the case. The Orange County DA’s office has formally decided not to pursue charges against our client, finding that his use of deadly force was completely justifiable. (More on that conversation later.)


One of the aspects of this case was its purity.


Our client literally did everything right.


The client (we are keeping his name secret for the time being to protect his confidentiality) has been a longtime client of Artemis. As a matter of fact, he was one of our first civilian clients. He and his wife live alone in Newport Beach in a nice house fairly close to John Wayne Airport. He takes his weapons training very, very seriously. He has joined us on the range numerous times, and has taken several speciality classes with us. He also received his CCW training from us and has gone through all of his renewals with us as well.


He is a professional and treats his weapons training and tactics in a similar fashion to how he structures his life: deliberate and methodological. This has translated to not only how to fire a gun, but to the preparatory work for self-defense, as well as the post-incident work regarding legal liability.


This made our job as his legal defense team unbelievably easy. It also helped that we have a really good relationship with Newport Beach PD. That “working” relationship helps to ameliorate what potentially could be an adversarial one between defense counsel and law enforcement.


(Many lawyers suffer from what we call LES… Litigate Everything Syndrome. It is something that needs to be kept in check. There is a time to draw a line, and a time to be accommodating. If the goal is to provide the best defense for a client, ensuring a smooth and cooperative investigation with law enforcement is critical. Unfortunately, not all of our colleagues subscribe to this principle.)


On December 2nd, we will be hosting an evening event here at Artemis to discuss the case in granular detail. Of course, The MAJ and I will be talking, but both our client and his wife have indicated they are willing to participate as well. There was a tremendous amount of lessons learned from this, not because the client did anything wrong… quite the opposite. Literally, he performed in flawless fashion and this helps to create an archetype of what to do.


Without going into too much detail on the case here, an individual who was a temporary resident at a sober-living home, three doors down from our client, decided to go on a bit of a walk-about around midnight on a Thursday evening a few weeks ago. The toxicology results are not back yet, but from the Ring doorbell cameras it would certainly appear the suspect was intoxicated on some form of narcotic. What is clear is that he was definitely manic.


(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)


At 4:20 in the morning he broke down our client’s front door that was dead bolted shut and made entrance to his home. Our client was awoken by his startled and terrified wife. He grabbed his pistol and took up a defensive position at the top of the stairs. He knew someone was in the home, but was not about to go “hunting” for him. His wife began the process of dialing 911 when the suspect came around the staircase and looked up at our client. Our client began screaming at the suspect to get out.


The suspect, instead, decided to charge up the staircase towards our client who was pointing his gun at him.


In fear for his life, and the life of his spouse, and having a reasonable belief that due to the suspect’s actions there was a likelihood of death or great bodily injury, our client shot the suspect permanently stopping him.


As I mentioned above, on Monday of last week I received a phone call from District Attorney Todd Spitzer. During our conversation he said something that bears repeating to all of our readers of this blog. DA Spitzer wants it to be known that if residents of Orange County suffer the crime of having someone break into their house and they are forced to defend themselves against death or great bodily injury, he wants those residents to know “that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office” has their back.


Those are strong words and, frankly, refreshing ones. Spitzer also had some choice words about the sober-living homes dotting our neighborhoods, and I suspect we are probably going to see some action on that fairly soon.


So… look out for the email regarding our “debrief night”, and raise your glass in a toast to our honorable client that had the presence of mind, and the requisite training to defend himself and his wife against an attack that could have easily led to their own destruction.

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Comments (22)

  • Michael Sherman Reply

    Its never “awesome” for some poor soul to lose their life, but choices are choices. This is indeed refreshing to hear. Thanks for providing excellent training to the community.

    10/20/2021 at 07:41
  • Kristi Maharrey Reply

    Thank you for sharing this valuable “lesson”. This empowers me as a single Mom to not be fearful of defending my home and family.Thank you for all you do at Artemis.

    10/20/2021 at 07:41
  • Robert P. Reply

    Huzzah to you, your client, the NBPD, and particularly the OCDA. Any chance the after action report meeting in November could be recorded/live streamed for those of us outside the immediate area? I know confidentiality is vital, but it sounds like a great learning opportunity for all home defenders.

    10/20/2021 at 07:49
  • Will Woods Reply

    Congrats to you and, more importantly, your client! Hopefully, Mr. Spitzer’s remarks are words of commitment and he is not on the campaign trail.

    Bravo Zulu!

    10/20/2021 at 07:57
  • Kohei Fujimura Reply

    Will you record or stream this for those of us who can’t show up in person?

    10/20/2021 at 08:01
  • James E. Morrissey Reply


    A detailed description of the incident, Artemis member’s training to respond to deadly force, and you and the Major’s follow through is outstanding.

    The positive outcome of this terrible incident can be directly attributed to Artemis leadership and the exceedly high caliber and passion of the instructors.


    10/20/2021 at 08:06
  • Bill Ward Reply

    Way to go Steve,
    I have been a reader of your Newsletter for years . As a CCW holder myself it gives me great comfort to know you and the MAJ are professionals regarding both firearms and the law are there to help the firearm holder community. I hope I never am put in the same position as your client. But if I ever am are you on the list of attorneys that USCCA would call if I was involved in a self defense shooting?

    10/20/2021 at 08:30
  • SW Reply

    Quick thinking of the homeowner in saving their lives. Curious about the civil liability side of things. Hopefully he had CCW insurance.

    10/20/2021 at 08:46
  • Jim Manning Reply

    Yes, he did things perfectly. Thanks for the post.

    10/20/2021 at 08:48
  • Ken Gryske Reply

    Let’s take this bitch back! The county, state and nation.

    10/20/2021 at 09:08
  • Kelly O'Brian Reply

    You and your client should be very proud. I’m also elated to hear the response from DA Spitzer – definitely worth repeating. This is a great example of the beneficial consequences Doing The Right Thing(s); people have your back.

    10/20/2021 at 09:20
  • Nathan C Reply

    Awesome! Such an encouragement that life in this tyrannical state still has spots of sanity!

    10/20/2021 at 09:23
  • Eric Perea Reply

    This reiterates the core values of the Artemis Defense Institute. The content, manner and passion of the education you provide at Artemis can literally save ones life. Congrats to you and Sandy for creating a “brand” that sustains our ever changing environment.

    10/20/2021 at 09:34
  • Max Reply

    Awesome news!
    Maybe not all of us will be as fortunate to receive such an outcome in today, and tomorrow’s, legal world; but it’s nice to know that some will.

    Looking forward to to Dec. 2nd

    10/20/2021 at 10:07
  • david b mcqueen Reply

    well done

    10/20/2021 at 10:47
  • Ben Townsend Reply

    Congrats to all involved and to the family. Once again a good guy with a gun WELL TRAINED by the Artemis Team takes out the bad guy. This would be an excellent story for USCCW even thou they weren’t the legal defense team but a show of being well trained and prepared.

    10/20/2021 at 11:56
  • Terriel Cagnolatti Reply

    Love this article Steven, and the comment made by the Orange County DA. Todd Spitzer. Terry C

    10/20/2021 at 13:15
  • Jeff Reply

    Thank you for sharing this story Steven. My wife and I live in the Back Bay Area which is close to we’re this happened and we also live near a newly built Sober living home. The visual you provided is frightening given the layout of our house, location to a sober living home and our self defense strategy. What’s missing is we lack that level of training your client has but this motivates us to get back to Artemis and finish our training.

    Thank you again for sharing.

    10/20/2021 at 15:59
  • Sal Sanders Reply

    In many senseless jurisdictions, in these seemingly hopeless times, it’s a stifling crap shoot. You are left hanging at the risk of criminal prosecution for protecting your home against deadly intruders.

    Self-defense, especially in the sanctity of your home, used to be commonly adhered to as well-settled black letter law.

    This hopeful case, kudos to Newport Beach and its fine Officers, is a sensible breath of fresh air.

    10/20/2021 at 19:16
  • Allen Wortman Reply

    Great job by all parties

    10/20/2021 at 20:51
  • Joe Block Reply

    Unfortunately this poor soul will never know what it is like to get & live sober. One of the very first lessons you learn on that adventure is that there are concequence to your actions. A lesson that seems to currently be lost on every level of our society. Sometimes that concequence can be your life.

    10/21/2021 at 22:59
  • bob jordan Reply

    Thanks for sharing. It’ really good to know that this came out right.

    10/22/2021 at 12:15

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