Dear Cathy, There was something in the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia article about Burial that mentioned not having public sinners in a Catholic cemetery.I'm out of my depth on that one, except I'm pretty sure there is a specific definition for public sinners.I don't think it means persons whose misdeeds are known to the public.
People who are involved in violence can end up estranged from their families, due to the pressures caused by the opinions and reactions of their friends and neighbors, pressure on their children, and pressures from the family of the person who was killed.I think that can happen even if the killing was in self defense.(Killing in self defense is not a sin, if that amount of force was truly necessary for adequate self defense.)
I'm sorry that your family may have had problems. Sincerely, Kate