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Woman, 74, won't face charges for killing man who was allegedly burglarizing her home

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Posted at 12:03 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 13:03:19-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 74-year-old woman who shot and killed a 41-year-old man last weekend in Leavenworth, Kansas won’t face charges in the case.

Leavenworth County District Attorney Todd Thompson said Thursday he had reviewed the case and determined the woman had a right to defend herself from “imminent harm.”

Police were called to the 600 block of Chestnut Street around 1 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 on a burglary in progress call.

When police arrived, they found the man, later identified as Ralph Byrd Jr., of Leavenworth dead from a gunshot wound.

In a press conference Thursday, Thompson said the woman confronted the man as he attempted to walk up a stairway.

The woman, who had purchased a handgun one week prior after being victimized in a separate burglary, fired one shot at the man, striking him in the head.

Thompson said the woman was alone in the home at the time of the incident and had been sleeping with the gun.

After the incident, Thompson said the woman suffered a heart attack due to the stress of the incident. She is recovering in the hospital.