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68-year-old homeowner catches intruder, ties him to a tree – but when police arrive things get much worse

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An Alabama burglar died after a homeowner caught him breaking into his home and tied him to a tree.

Nathanial Johnson, 68, who told authorities his home had been robbed before, said he caught 31-year-old Cleveland Jones Gully breaking into the back door of his home on Friday, as he laid in wait, AL.com reported.

FOX10 News | WALA

Johnson said he parked his car at a neighbor’s house, turned off the lights in his home and waited inside by the back door to see if anyone would take the bait.

Washington County Sheriff Richard Stringer said Johnson eventually heard someone knocking on the front door, and when there was no answer the man came to the back and broke in, according to WALA.

Stringer said Johnson gave chase and tackled Gully, who had a history of home burglaries, tied his hands behind his back and duct taped his mouth.

“He began to tie him to the tree still in the standing up position,” Stringer said, before he went to a neighbor’s house and called police.

But when police arrived Gully was dead, with no visible signs of injuries aside from some cuts and bruises.

“I don’t think he was intending to kill the intruder,” Stringer said. “I think he wanted to capture him and have him arrested.”

Johnson’s niece, Simone Johnson told WALA her uncle “doesn’t bother anybody,” unless you consider someone breaking into your home and stealing your things a bother.

“He’ll help you if you need helping, so the family just hates what happened,” she said.

“I know the other guy. His family is hurting too, but we are also and we hate that, and I hope that we can just get this resolved soon.”

Carmine Sabia

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