Homicide Captain James Clark investigated a crime in Philadelphia that has disturbed the whole community.
James Patrick Stuhlman was found unresponsive on the sidewalk, with the leash of his dog still in his hand. The poor dog was laying nearby, scared and in shock when officers arrived (via NBC Philadelphia).
Paramedics rushed Stuhlman to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The man was simply on his usual evening walk with the family dog when he was gunned down.
For now, only one the teenagers involved in the crime has been apprehended. 15-year-old Brandon Smith is connected to the shooter, Tyfine Hamilton, who is also 15.
According to police, three boys had been playing basketball and decided to rob someone. The third teen was only a witness to the resulting murder.
At first, the boys were targeting another man who was walking his dog, but switched to Stulhman, who was older and whose dog was “weaker.”
Usually, Stulhman’s daughter accompanied him on his walks, but this evening he had asked his daughter to stay behind, likely saving her life.
Officers report that Stulhman had pleaded for his life before Hamilton shot him in the chest. What on earth is going on in this country when two 15-year-olds could commit such a crime?
A family is now without their father. Stulhman was also a business owner, along with his brother Mike, of a landscaping company. By every account, James Stulhman was an upstanding citizen and a good man.
Nothing can be said or done to make up for this senseless tragedy. It may provide some comfort to know that at least the shooter involved, Hamilton, pled guilty and received 25 to 80 years in jail. The second boy, Brandon Smith, rejected a plea deal, and his case has yet to be decided (Philly).
We hope he gets the same as Hamilton. There is no excuse for being involved in a crime like this, no matter who you are, how old you are, or what’s happened in your life. You truly have to be a monster to have condoned this cold-blooded and callous murder.
Just listen to Hamilton’s statement delivered to Stulhman’s widow, Theresa, “There’s not much to say – I took a special man from you, and I’m sorry… I shouldn’t have been out there that night, and I shouldn’t have had a gun.”
Being out at night isn’t the problem; having a gun isn’t the problem. Using the gun on an innocent man and attempting to rob him is. This was not some chance event, something that occasionally happens when you’re out playing basketball with a gun. This was a calculated decision, and Hamilton and Smith deserve to rot for it.
What do you think of Hamilton’s sentence and what do you think should be the result of Smith’s upcoming trial? Share this story on Facebook and let us know because we want to hear YOUR voice!