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Tallahassee Criminal Attorney > Blog > Criminal > Prosecutors Rule Out Stand Your Ground in Case of Teenager Charged with Murder

Prosecutors Rule Out Stand Your Ground in Case of Teenager Charged with Murder


A Tallahassee teenager has been charged with second-degree murder after a shooting outside of McDonald’s on West Pensacola St. Initially, police made statements indicating it may have been a case of Stand Your Ground. On June 23, just before 5:00 p.m., gunshots rang out in the parking lot of the McDonald’s sparking panic in the restaurant. When police arrived, they found two people dead. One was a 21-year-old man found slumped over in the front seat of his car with a gun in his lap and the other was an 18-year-old man who was found lying in the parking lot with a gun tucked under his arm. The 16-year-old shooter is being held without bond at Leon County Detention Facility.

The suspect drove off during the shooting, tossing the handgun into a nearby pond. He was quickly apprehended by police. During questioning, he told police that one of the victims had shot and killed the other victim and then turned his gun on the suspect. The suspect shot the man at close range, telling police that he did so in self-defense.

In the first press release, TPD said that the suspect was “in fear for his life” and called that part of the shooting a case of Stand Your Ground. The State Attorney, however, said that the shooting was still under investigation and that no determination had been made. Prosecutors later charged the suspect with second-degree murder and are pursuing charges against him as an adult.

Stand Your Ground in Florida 

Stand Your Ground is a controversial law that allows members of the public to use deadly force to defend themselves, others, or their property. In many states, such laws only apply within your home. In public, you have a duty to attempt to retreat before using deadly force. In other words, if you are threatened, you must try to retreat before using deadly force to quell the threat. If you don’t, you can be charged with homicide. The prosecutor can argue that you did not attempt to retreat prior to using deadly force. Your attorney would have to argue that you attempted to retreat before using deadly force. In Florida, there is no such duty to retreat. You can use deadly force as a first option if you believe your life is under threat, someone else’s life is under threat, or that a felony is being committed.

There are some situations in which Stand Your Ground does not apply. Those include:

  • When an individual is on-premises unlawfully or engaged in criminal activity
  • When an individual is attempting to commit a forcible felony
  • When an individual is escaping the premises after committing a forcible felony
  • When an individual intentionally provoked the other party leading to a confrontation
  • The other party attempted to withdraw from the situation

Talk to a Tallahassee Criminal Defense Attorney Today 

Luke Newman, P.A. represents the interests of those charged with serious crimes in Tallahassee. Call our Tallahassee criminal defense lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.



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