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Grand jury finds shooting of robber justified

Originally ran here as:
"Grand jury finds shooting justified"
by Scott Stewart
November 27, 2001

A Giles County grand jury did not indict a local man in connection with an alleged robbery attempt that turned fatal.

Giles County, Tennessee -- The grand jury determined last week that Clarence Walls, 52, was justified in his actions when he shot and killed 22-year-old Alberto Ravel in the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 2.

Walls told officials that he was accosted by two men who tried to rob him near the Coastal Lumber Company. Walls said one of the men, who were wearing ski masks, reached through the window of his pickup truck and tried to take his money. Walls fired a single shot and then drove to a neighbor's house to report what had occurred.

One of the two men ran from the scene; Ravel was pronounced dead at the scene.

Giles County Sheriff Eddie Bass said his department conducted an investigation of the incident and presented those findings to the grand jury.

"We were of the opinion that it was justified," Bass said. "We presented the evidence, and the grand jury felt the same.

"I feel this individual was definitely in fear for his own safety and acted strictly in self-defense," Bass added.

Bass said another man was located and suspected of being the second man on the scene of the robbery attempt. However, because the assailants wore ski masks, Bass said it was hard to be sure that he was the other man involved.

The man was, however, turned over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service because he was in this country illegally, according to Bass.

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