LUMBERTON — A Lumberton man who shot and killed a suspected intruder Sunday had been the victim of a burglary earlier this month during which a handgun had been reported stolen, according to Lumberton police Capt. Johnny Barnes.
Police have turned the findings of their investigation into the shooting death of 34-year-old David Allen Hinson over to the county District Attorney’s Office, which will make the decision on whether 52-year-old Donald Forbus will be charged with a crime.
Barnes said that on May 4, Forbus received a call from a neighbor who told him that the front door of his home at 106 Hayes St. was open. Forbus returned home to find a door kicked in and holes knocked in the walls. Forbus reported that a $200 ladder, a $300 chain saw, and a .32-caliber revolver valued at $50 had been stolen; none of the items have been recovered.
On Sunday, Forbus told investigators that he shot Hinson on the front porch of his home. Forbus said, according to Barnes, that he had heard a noise outside of his home shortly after 5 a.m. that day and when he opened the door, there was a confrontation with Hinson. After shooting Hinson once, Forbus called 911. Barnes has not released information on where Hinson was struck.
Forbus has no prior criminal history, according to Barnes. Barnes said “at the time of the shooting” Forbus told investigators he did not know Hinson. Several people have left comments on The Robesonian’s website saying that Hinson knew Forbus’ children.
According to Barnes, the porch on Forbus’ home is enclosed, which makes it essentially another room on the home; however, any porch attached to a house is considered to be property that the owner has the right to defend under the Defense of Habitation law.
“There’s been laws on the books since probably the mid-90s that gives the person a right to defend themselves in their home,” Barnes said.
The law, nicknamed the “castle doctrine,” gives a legal occupant the right to use deadly force to protect themselves against unlawful entry into property that person inhabits. In December, the state loosened the doctrine to include a person’s vehicle, workplace, and property surrounding their home.
“The porch had a doorway and no door, but that doesn’t matter,” Barnes said. “Even if it was not enclosed and someone walked in, they would still be breaking or entering.”
Barnes said a detective noted that a window on the front of the home, within the enclosed porch, was broken when he arrived Sunday. A baseball cap, which did not belong to Forbus, was found in the yard.
Hinson has previously faced charges for driving while impaired, simple assault and injury to real property. Hinson’s funeral is scheduled for today. He is survived by two children, and was engaged to be married, according to his obituary.