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Read & React: Iowa Hostage Kills Fugitive After Prison Escape

by G&A Online Editors   |  August 28th, 2013 15

A manhunt for an escaped convict in Iowa ended last week with a gunshot from a homeowner protecting himself and his wife.

According to the Des Moines Register, 38-year-old Rodney Long hadn’t apparently counted on 71-year-old Jerome Mauderly protecting himself and his wife, Carolyn, 66, from the armed fugitive. The decision to break into the Mauderlys’ home and hold them hostage proved to be fatal.

Check out the video from KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

For nearly four days, the residents of Bedford, Iowa, were living in fear after Long escaped from the nearby Clarinda Correctional Facility by scaling a 12-foot fence between 4 and 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16.

At some point after the escape, authorities believe Long broke into a house just north of Clarinda, stealing a semi-automatic pistol, money and clothes.

Later, Long was spotted walking along Iowa Highway 2. Taylor County Deputy Dan Wyckoff responded, but was shot twice by Long, who stole Wyckoff’s unmarked truck and fled. After a 40-minute chase, Long crashed, rolling the truck several times before escaping on foot—less than a mile away from the Mauderlys’ home.

Authorities say they combed the area near the home three times Monday—the last search taking place around 11 a.m.—but at about 10:15 p.m. that night, Long broke into the Mauderlys’ home, disabled their landline phones and began making calls with their cell phone.

Meanwhile, the elderly couple remained in their bedroom for four hours while Long wandered through the home, apparently gathering supplies for yet another escape.

Finally, Jerome Mauderly decided enough was enough, grabbed his shotgun and shot Long once. Carolyn Mauderly called 911 at about 2:11 a.m. Tuesday. A responding trooper found Long face down in the Mauderlys’ kitchen; neither Jerome nor Carolyn were injured.

Though he has declined to speak with media regarding Tuesday’s events, Jerome Mauderly’s actions have been praised by many across the country for successfully and legally neutralizing a potentially deadly threat.

“This situation is a poster child for the Second Amendment,” State Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, told the Des Moines Register. “The bad guy is dead. The good guys are alive and healthy.”

Indeed, Jerome Mauderly’s actions fit the Iowa definition of self-defense, which allows a person to use reasonable force believed to be necessary against an imminent threat; furthermore, reasonable force is justified when protecting one’s property.

“This is one of the more clean-cut cases of self-defense I’ve dealt with in a 26-year career,” Taylor County Attorney Clinton Spurrier told reporters. “The Mauderlys were in their home and had every reason to believe their lives were threatened. They were aware (Long) had already shot a deputy. He had threatened their lives.”

Jerome Mauderly’s actions are also fueling the nationwide discussion on stand-your-ground laws, which have come under intense scrutiny after the Trayvon Martin shooting. State Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, told the Des Moines Register while Iowa’s self-defense laws allow victims to use force in a home or business, such actions are much more complicated in public settings. Windschitl—who introduced a stand-your-ground bill earlier this year that did not make it to the state Senate—said if a driver were confronted with a deadly threat, the law would require the driver to take another course of action besides lethal force.

However, according to former defense attorney and a Drake University Law School professor Bob Rigg, the state legislature has been hesitant to expand its self-defense laws, saying lawmakers don’t want to have shootouts in their communities.

What do you think? Are Iowa’s self-defense laws satisfactory, or should they be expanded to include stand-your-ground laws?

  • Leigh Rich

    good job Jerome

  • Darin Bell

    I have guns and I hope I never have to use them on someone. But if someone comes into my home and my family and I are threatened, I will shoot them. I know I will have a heavy heart if I kill someone but I have a responsibility for protecting my family and I will take the neccessary steps to make sure the threat is no more.

  • Jon

    They should be expanded.

  • Paul Arnote

    Iowa’s laws should be expanded to include Stand Your Ground. If I’m the one being attacked, I shouldn’t have to be forced to find a non-lethal way out of the situation. The criminal made a choice to threaten my property and/or the safety of myself or my family. Let the criminal make the choice … to not commit the crime in the first place. Armed with the knowledge that victims must try to flee if they can, criminals will become even more brazen in their actions and attacks. Getting rid of “Stand Your Ground” laws only weakens our right to protect ourselves even more.


    Ranking California at 47 seems right, but doesn’t California at least get credit for its stand your ground law? Actually, it has a chase down and neutralize your attacker law.

  • Embraces the “2nd”

    I question why the use of deadly force is questionable dependent on location? REGARDLESS of where a deadly threat to myself, my family or others is occuring, the answer is to use the same defense strategy. Do you (foolishly) think “Mr. Trashie” is concerned about any form of law or consequence regarding ‘where’ his crime is taking place? I think not… thus we have such issues.

  • BJC

    Iowa should expand their law’s to include a stand your ground law. I believe you have the right to defend your life and your property no matter where you are. Not having stand your ground law’s is basically supporting criminals. I do not support criminal’s or their action’s inside my home or any where else.

  • needful

    too bad he wait the 4 hours,he should have shot the scumbag the first chance he got,at least he would have gotten a full night sleep!!!!!

  • JDN

    I was issued a WEAPON in 1966. If I hadn’t used it I would not be writing this right now, my name would be inscribed on a rock wall in DC. Self defense is self defense no matter where it is needed. Sometimes even in a beer joint but that requires a Q stick here in Texas but be careful in Montana. Why in the world do ya need a Self Defense Law??? The Law of Nature should always prevail. Our Dictator, obummer, wants Sharia Law and his quibbling welfare supporters will see to it, as no one is contesting him.

  • ChiefBoring

    I’m 75 years old and have a bad heart and knees. I have no choice but to stand my ground. The laws of every state should recognize that self defense is a God given right, not dependant upon the legislature’s largesse.

  • JD

    I would rather be judged by twelve rather than be carried by six.

  • Nunyadambizness

    I am a firm believer that we not only have a right, but a DUTY to protect ourselves and our loved ones, companions, and friends. If someone approaches me or someone I’m with and has a weapon of some sort, I believe it is my duty to do what I am able to defend them and myself. I very much like the saying: “Lord, make me fast and accurate, let my aim be true and my hand faster than those who would seek to destroy me. Grant me victory over my foes and those who wish to do harm to me and mine, let not my last thought be ‘If I’d only had my gun’. And Lord, if today is truly the day that you call me home, let me die in a pile of empty brass.” Amen.

  • NicePiece

    In the UK, someone
    acting in the same way as Mr Mauderly to a similar situation would be facing a
    lengthy prison sentence just for protecting their own life and that of their
    loved ones against such a deadly threat in their own home. Sadly, with Obama’s
    agenda to disarm the law-abiding, I can see the US moving to mirror UK gun laws
    and self-defence rights, which are pretty much non-existent over there, should any Democratic gun control legislation be passed.

    • Conrad Gabbard

      Sounds like too much inbreeding in the UK. The growing Muslim population, however, is already bringing changes toward Koran 9:29. Enjoy!

  • ShanLiCaz

    Don’t need more laws, Stand-Your-Ground or otherwise. Self-defense if a natural right and not one that can be given or taken away.

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