“This law has turned into an absolute nightmare,” says ex-prosecutor John Fitzgibbons. “A sheriff and prosecutors in one county may interpret this law completely different that the sheriff and prosecutors in the adjoining county.”
Some cases in point: in Wesley Chapel last August, deputies arrested a man for shooting his unarmed, intoxicated neighbor after he kept coming at him. Yet just last week, prosecutors cleared Gregory Stewart of aggravated battery charges, because Stewart, under “stand your ground”, swore he was in fear of his life when he pulled the trigger.
But in Tampa, where tow truck driver Donald Montanez shot and killed a man he said was trying to run him over with a car, the Judge denied him a “stand your ground” defense to second degree murder charges. This after Montanez testified, “it scared the hell out of me, I thought he was going to run me over, he was coming right at me, I was scared to death”.
The judge said Montanez, wearing a bullet proof vest and a semi-automatic pistol, was looking for confrontations as he towed cars from a lot near a bottle club. Read more
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