GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Byron Township homeowner will not face charges for shooting and killing a man who tried to break into his home in March.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker announced Tuesday that his office will not be filing any charges against Alan Lenhart because it was a reasonable use of force.
“Completely justifiable,” said Becker. “They had a reasonable fear of somebody breaking into your home.”
Shortly after midnight on March 30, Lenhart said he and his wife saw the intruder knocking the windows out of his pickup truck. He went to get the gun out of his safe.
The stranger then made his way around to the back of the house, according to Lenhart.
“When he was in the backyard, he was going, ‘Give me the keys, give me the keys,’ and kept approaching,” Lenhart told News 8 at the time.
The intruder then went up the back steps and pushing at the barricaded door, trying to get in. He was able to get the door partially open, according to Lenhart.
Lenhart said he warned the man. “I told him, ‘Go away, I’ve got a shotgun on you,’ and he kept coming,” he said.
The words can be heard in a 911 call Becker played on Tuesday.
“Then he started shooting at me. Bullets going past your head, like that,” Lenhart told News 8, pointing with his finger. “Took cover. And he was going back down, run away.”
The investigation found that the intruder “essentially unloaded his gun,” Becker said, firing several bullets into the Lenhart’s home.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Office identified the intruder as 39-year-old Christopher Worth. They found him near the home and he died at the scene, deputies said.
Becker said his investigation found there were multiple bullet holes and blood inside the residence, and officers found Worth’s gun in the grass when the police arrived on-scene.
“This was a fairly simple case,” Becker said. “It was defense of the home, self-defense. So once he breaks into the house and is going after the homeowner … they can use the amount of force necessary, in this case deadly force, to repel somebody coming into the house.”
Records showed Worth had a criminal history dating back to 2000 with convictions for drug offenses, vandalism and unarmed and armed robbery. The Michigan Department of Corrections listed him as a parole absconder at the time of his death.
During Tuesday’s press conference, Becker also announced he would not press charges against a Kent County deputy involved shooting on March 18.