‘Lenient’ Sentence For Man In Suspected Burglar’s Death

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A former security guard will serve two years in prison for gunning down man who he said was breaking into his Detroit home.

A judge on Friday also sentenced Tigh Croff to three years’ probation for manslaughter in the December 2009 death of 53-year-old Herbert Silas.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said her office will appeal the sentence “because it is extremely inappropriate under the facts of the case.”

Police said Croff returned home to find Silas and another man in his backyard. Authorities said Croff chased Silas down the block, where Silas reportedly taunted Croff before Croff shot him.

In court, Friday, Croff apologized to the victim’s family, calling himself a hypocrite and a sinner.

“(The Bible) says, when you catch a thief, you’re supposed to help him…and, as me being a child of God, I just want everyone to understand that I am not murderer and I’m not a vigilante, ” Croff said.

“All I would like for people to do is just keep praying for me. Please forgive me, because I was supposed to help him, and I chose not to help him — and now I have the audacity to stand up here and ask for somebody to help me,” he said.

WWJ’s Florence Walton reports that Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway could have sentenced Croff to much more prison time, but said he could not ignore that victim has been trespassing.

Prosecutor Molly Kettler was not happy with what she called a lenient sentence.

“Mr. Silas was unarmed when Mr. Croff made a conscious decision to kill him. He was no longer fleeing, and he was begging for his life,” she said.

A mistrial was declared last August after jurors said they couldn’t agree on a verdict on the manslaughter charge. 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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