Case Against Man on Trial for Shooting Intruder Dismissed

Emergency personnel carry Brian Swan’s daughter from her grandmother’s home after he was arrested for shooting a man who he said illegally trespassed. [Photo by Bobby Kroeker]

Today, the Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming confirmed that her office had dismissed the case against Brian Swan, who was arrested for shooting a man last April he said was an intruder.

Fleming said that the man who had been shot could not be located to testify. “Unfortunately,” she said, “in spite of a lot of effort to try to locate the victim, we could not find him…We had to dismiss with the understanding we can refile if we locate the victim.”

Local blogger John Chiv reported earlier, “Today, at trial assignment, instead of confirmation for jury trial, Brian Swan got a dismissal.”

On April 8, 2016, Swan was staying at the home of his four-year-old child at the request of the owner, the grandmother of his child. The current boyfriend of the mother of the child who did not live in the home opened the unlocked front door around 11:30 p.m. and walked up the stairs to the room where Swan was sitting with his sleeping daughter on the couch and stepped over the baby gate into the room.

Both Swan and Robert Babb, the man who was shot, agree that Swan repeatedly asked Babb to leave. Swan went into another room, retrieved a 12 gauge pump action shotgun and again told Babb to leave.

The details at this point are not clear but Swan eventually shot Babb.

According to Humboldt County Sheriff Investigator Greg Musson, Babb later told him, “It was my fault; I told him to shoot me and he did.”

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  • Awesome Brian!

  • Sweet you can defend you and yours!!!

    • Make no mistake, he was not let off because of righteous indignation. He was let off because they could not produce the witness to testify against him. forget not this is still California. And if the witness does come forward in a timely manner, I’m sure they will attempt prosecution anyways. I’m still not clear whether or not the person shot was being aggressive in any way, if not being blowed with a 12-gauge might have been a little excessive. Then again if you’re in someone else’s house against their will and asked to leave, you should probably do so, especially if they have a 12 gauge shotgun.

  • Mr. Swan needs to keep his attorney on retainer.

    Having the “understanding that charges can be refiled” hanging over him if the man he shot reappears can be incredibly stressful.

    If the investigation concluded that charges would be made and were, then the investigation must have some “legal” argument of value to the prosecutors office.

    I hope Mr. Swan’s attorney has all the documentation from the investigation at his or her disposal in order to be prepared if charges are refiled.

    Having an excellent attorney does indeed help those who are innocent.

    If you defend yourself with a weapon you need to understand the path you will travel after the incident.

    • Which in California the path is generally always uphill.

      • Maybe you should go somewhere where you can shoot whoever you want? Your constant whining about CA laws is getting old. We all like our guns but we have laws here that make sense to most of us.

        • sharpen your pencil

          Yes, most of the ignorant twits that believe harsher gun restrictions do anything to restrict CRIMINALS from getting them! Criminals don’t go to a firearms store and buy them, nope, they either go in after hours and “acquire” them, or buy them on the streets!

        • Some of the laws concerning guns actually make zero sense.
          This also is a reason trump was elected.
          Law abiding citizens are fed up up their right being infringed upon. The latest of browns gun control laws will be rrpealled in the near future as they and the ten day wait are unconstitutional.
          We are talking of rights not priviledges here.
          The mendocino county sheriff not to long ago reported that 90 percent of concealed carry permits ironically are held by the same liberal bunch of folks (bleeding heart liberals) that are trying to strip us of our rights to guns.

          • Could you tell me where you got the information that Sheriff Allman said that 90% of CC permits are held by the same bunch of people trying to strip of us of our right to guns? That is interesting.

        • So basically the guy entering the house is an old tweeker?
          Babbs is a tweeker? With the mother of the child thats 25 and him being old and tweeky?
          What was he doing that late? What was the real reason for him entering?
          Hes the boyfriend of the mother that wasnt there in a house thats not his or his girlfriends. He sounds a bit creepy.
          Sounds like he was up to no good. High on meth walking into others houses.
          He got what he asked for so the DA should throw this entire case out.
          Lets not waste more tax payers recourses on this sort of element.
          The tweekers should all be fully aware they will get blasted on entering others homes in the middle of the night.

    • He shoots the boyfriend of the owner of the house he’s in, in front of a four year old, and you think he’s innocent? Really sick of NRA aholes who try to justify murder, or attempted, as a response to any situation. The law does not protect him. That’s why he was arrested.

  • Stay out of my home

    I remember this story. Some tweeter breaks in the house at midnight and says he wants to talk. Mr swan tells him to leave. He doesn’t. Swan shoots him. Now the tweaker can’t be found but mr swan is here facing the music like a man. Sounds like the innocent man is swan and the piece of trash tweaker should be standing trial for breaking and entering. But they cant find him anyway… that says it all. If someone shots me and I live. You best believe I will be in court telling them who pulled the trigger. The tweaker must be guilty of something or atleast know he was in the wrong…

    • A tweaker Maybe,but yet, the boyfriend of the mother of the child. Maybe some other circumstances in play we’re not privy to? I wonder what the statute of limitation is for Swan? Hell of a thing to have hanging over your head for years.

      • Stay out of my home

        A 60-year-old man dating a 25-year-old girl is that still considered a boyfriend? Also looking back at the story the girlfriend wasn’t even at the house and the 60-year-old burgular shows up at midnight unannounced and wants to have a serious talk. The only way a 60-year-old tweaker dude is getting a 25-year-old girlfriend is if she likes his candy a little too much if you know what I’m saying. 60-year-old millionaire now that’s a different story. If you have a gun in your hand in your home and someone that’s not supposed to be there shows up at midnight and you tell them to leave multiple times and they then tell you that “you are going to have to shoot me” and steps towards you?.?. What are you supposed to do let them come take the gun out of your hand forcibly and beat or shot you with it? Come on. Don’t defend a guy high on meth in a house he’s not supposed to be in, in the middle of the night being asked to leave mulitie times by people that live their while thier children are asleep. If that’s is not enough to shot a creep breaking in I don’t know what is.

        • Hey fyi I’m not a millionaire, I don’t do drugs, neither does my girlfriend of 3yrs .. I’m 49 she is 25 she is with me for love and I am with her for the same…how does that play into your ever so educated assumption ? Stick to the facts buddy. Man enters home uninvited, ordered to leave at gunpoint then shot when he refuses to leave…. Hmmmm pretty clear when u just use facts and keep ur personal assumptions where they belong… In ur (presumedly) small mind..just sayin u can leave out the rhetoric and ur point is good

          • Good for you. Trouble is his assumptions are facts.

          • Dude, cats out of the bag.
            The entire town knows your a meth head.
            Your girlfriend wasnt even born when you were her age and she was 10 years old when you were 34. According to you.
            Do you see why that is funny in a place where meth runs rampid and your not a millionaire…
            Your both on meth deviant as fuck. Guaranteed.

  • Maybe ole tweeker boy is pushin up Daiseys and won’t make it to trial…

  • SMH at the whole thing.

  • I do indeed love those second amendment protections thank you founding fathers and Donald Trump

    • Do not thank lord dampnut. He will turn on you the minute he sees a reason.

    • If you shoot someone, make sure he won’t be testifying about anything, ever again. Remember, shooting a gun at people is a horrible choice to have to make, and will cause you to have an expensive legal problem! Your life may never again be the same! Violence is almost never justifiable, but protecting yourself and your family certainly should be legal.

      In the end, drugs are almost never a good choice…

      • I’m the owner of the house this took place in. 71 years old & great grandmother to the child. Brian is a hero in my book. He asked Babbs to leave numerous times. Thought he was leaving until Babbs turned around and advanced on him.
        As a side note I have a hard time sleeping at night as Babbs threatened to burn my house down with everyone in it. I hear a noise & it wakes me up thinking he’s come back to make good on his threats. If I had been here alone that night no telling how this would have ended.
        Before you pass judgment on Brian ask yourself how you would feel if this was your mother, grandmother, sister or child.

    • Grouping Donald Trump with our founding fathers is just wrong.

  • My simple brain thinks there should have been no case anyway. Babb admitted “it was my fault; I told him to shoot me”. Case closed. On to the next tweeker incident.

  • the real reason this bullshit of a case wasnt dropped earlier is because mr swan is an African american. What a waste of resources, and fuck this “we can refile the charges later” bullshit. County DA is racist as hell.

  • Lumberjackreadytocut

    Good one truthy. Try comprehending what you read.
    Good deal overall.
    Glad to hear it was dismissed no matter what.
    And to broksi we love the DA.
    #Merica wootwoot

  • As I skim all your comments, yea, some of you do make a point, but MY mind is consumed with how freakin’ LOUD that shotgun must have been in such close proximity to an innocent, sleeping little 4 year-old child. Face it, shooting a gun in the house to maim or to murder is messy, no gettin’ around it. Think of the PTSD to come, not to mention those precious ears. Now that’s waking up to a real living nightmare.

  • While I agree this was a tragedy (for the child), that she was there and may have long term affects from the incident, I believe this was Babbs faul, you can’t blame her father for doing what he had to to protect his family. As a parent, I hope to never be put in the situation where I have to make that decision, but if I am, I will pull the trigger every time. I can help my child cope, protect them when they wake, get them out of the house safely around the body… but if I don’t pull that trigger and the man breaking in to the house kills me, sets the house on fire, kills grandma, or does some other heinous thing, who should protect my child then? It is a horrible thing, but as a survivor of a domestic violence relationship, I had to come to terms with the fact that if it came to it and it was me or him, I might have to shoot my sons father, in the house, possibly while my son is home no one wants to make that decision but put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Crazy tweaked man going off and won’t leave. Do you wait and just see what harm he is there to do? It’s a terrible burden to carry but I think Mr. Swan did the right thing protecting his child, from the larger danger, now he is stuck with the huge burden of defending himself (legally) and helping his child cope. Glad the charges were dismissed, he’s suffered enough for Mr. Babbs stupid choices.

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