A Cape Girardeau woman shot and fatally wounded Ronnie W. Preyer, 47, a registered sex offender who had broken into her home early this morning with the intention of raping her a second time, Cape Girardeau Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle said today.
Swingle said he will not be charging the victim, an older woman who positively identified Preyer this morning as the man who raped her on Saturday.
You really should go read the whole thing. The story reads like a commercial advocating self-defense.
Cape Girardeau police had been keeping a close eye on the woman’s home, in the southwest part of Cape Girardeau, since she reported the rape nearly a week ago.
In that instance, she’d heard the glass break in a basement window around midnight on Saturday, and decided to make a run for it through her front door, according to police reports of the incident. When she opened the door, Preyer attacked her.
He punched her in the face and forced her into the bedroom, where he raped her…
Police were actively working the unsolved rape case, Swingle said, and had been frequently driving past the woman’s home in case her attacker returned.
Yet there he was, in her house again.
Earlier that night, the woman had actually called 911 after hearing a suspicious noise. Police had responded but found no evidence of a problem. About two hours later, the rapist returned for real.
He found a main fuse panel in the basement and shut off the electricity. The victim immediately tried to call 911, but the phone would not work because there was no electric.
Having recently purchased a shotgun, she grabbed the weapon and when Preyer began banging on the basement door, she was ready for him. When he crashed through the basement door into her kitchen, she shot him once in the chest and ran, heading for a neighbor’s house, where she called the police.
It only took officers 45 seconds to respond to the 911 call, Swingle said.
So that’s supposed to impress someone? It only took 45 seconds? That’s 45 seconds after she called, which was after she went to a neighbor’s house. Which was after she fled her own home. Which was after she shot the intruder. Which was after the intruder charged her. Which was after the intruder cut the power. Which was after the intruder broke into the house.
Which, of course, was all after he had ALREADY RAPED her last week.
No, 45 seconds response time isn’t terribly impressive. In fact, 45 seconds response time is apparently at least SIX DAYS LATE.
Preyer’s criminal history is speckled with home invasions and assaults, and he has been convicted of failing to inform the county of his change of address in compliance with registered sex offender laws. Swingle was getting ready to charge him with rape, attempted rape, burglary and attempted burglary this morning, armed with the positive eyewitness identification, when he learned around 9:30 a.m. that Preyer was dead.
Preyer was convicted in 1989 of raping and robbing a woman in New Madrid County and he served 15 years in prison on both charges.
He was also arrested last December and charged with attempted rape and second degree felony assault, but Swingle’s office dismissed the charges because he did not think he could get a conviction, he said.
Ah. Not six days late. Nineteen years late.