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Old May 1, 2009, 05:09 PM   #1
Doggieman
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FL law protects homeowner who shot woman in SUV

Here's an article from CNN. The interesting part, IMHO, is the last Brady campaign quote:

from http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/04/30/...law/index.html

--------------------------------------
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Authorities do not plan to file charges against a Florida orange grove owner who fatally shot a 21-year-old woman, saying he is protected under the state's controversial "no retreat" law.

Bullet holes pocked the windshield of the crashed SUV, and blood stained he passenger seat.

But the woman's boyfriend faces second-degree murder charges in her death, because the woman was shot to death during an alleged felony -- the theft of an SUV.

Tony Curtis Phillips, 29, didn't fire a single shot. He didn't even know his girlfriend, Nikki McCormick, was dead until police showed him an online news story.

Police said McCormick accompanied Phillips as he attempted to steal the SUV from a barn in an orange grove near Wahneta, Florida, before daylight Tuesday.

Grove owner Ladon "Jamie" Jones opened fire as the SUV approached him, according to an affidavit released by the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Phillips fled; McCormick was shot in the head and later died.

Authorities said Jones is protected by Florida's "no retreat" law, which gives him the right to use lethal force if he reasonably believes his life is in danger. Phillips, however, faces charges because police allege he was committing felony grand theft auto at the time of McCormick's death.

"Because his conduct caused her death, he gets charged with a felony," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Phillips was arrested late Tuesday in Polk County, near Lakeland, after a day on the run. Police said he didn't believe McCormick was dead at first, telling officers, "Of all the times you've questioned me, this is a nasty trick you're playing on me this time." He agreed to cooperate if detectives could prove she was dead.

Judd said detectives called up the shooting story on the local newspaper's Web site and "let him read it online, and that's when he broke down and cried, and gave us a confession," Judd said.

According to the affidavit, Jones heard his Toyota Land Cruiser, parked in the barn at his orange grove, start up before daylight Tuesday. Jones told police he grabbed his gun, a 9mm that he keeps with him while working at the grove. He said he could see two people in the SUV as it backed out of the barn, according to the affidavit. He said he saw the passenger's arm reach outside the vehicle, and believed that person might be holding a gun.

The Land Cruiser stopped directly in front of him, Jones said in the affidavit. He said he raised his gun and pointed it at the occupants, shouting "Stop," but the vehicle appeared to be moving directly toward him.

"Fearing for his life, he then fired what he thought to be six to eight rounds into the front windshield of the vehicle," the affidavit stated.

The vehicle backed up at high speed, crashed through a fence and ended up in a ditch. Jones told police a man jumped out of the SUV and ran away.

Sheriff's deputies found McCormick inside the vehicle with a bullet wound to her head. She was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where she died.

Jones did not return a call from CNN seeking comment.

Authorities will forward their information to prosecutors, Judd said, but are "not going to file any charges [against Jones] at this point, because we don't see any reason to arrest Mr. Jones," Judd said. "... It appears, at this point in the investigation, Mr. Jones was completely, legally justified in his actions."

A Polk County judge on Thursday ordered Phillips held without bond. A public defender was appointed to his case.

Polk County Public Defender J. Marion Moorman declined to comment on the charges to CNN. "We will, of course, be interviewing the client very soon, and will be undertaking his defense from there," he said.

Phillips told police he assumed McCormick had also gotten out of the vehicle and run away, according to the affidavit. He said he was sorry for what happened "and said he knew he was partially responsible for her death," the affidavit said.

Polk County State Attorney's Office spokesman Chip Thulberry said his office will review the case when the sheriff's investigation is completed.

The Brady Campaign to prevent Gun Violence says Florida is one of 16 states that have enacted "no retreat" laws, which some call "shoot-first" laws. The laws extend the right to use deadly force beyond a person's home and into public places.

"The shoot-first law is not needed," said Brian Malte of the Brady Campaign. "This person, regardless of the situation, may have done the right thing, but he cannot be prosecuted for doing something wrong if he hit an innocent bystander," he said.

Other groups stand by the "no retreat" laws.

"At the moment a crime occurs, victims don't have the luxury of time," said Andrew Arulanandam of the National Rifle Association. "They have seconds to decide on a course of action to protect their lives and their families. This law provides law-abiding people with options."
--------------------------------------

What's interesting to me is that even the Brady Campaign admitted that the guy "did the right thing" in shooting at the SUV and only complained that he ran the risk of hitting a bystander. I think a couple of years ago the Brady Campaign would have been very vociferous about what a terrible tragedy that an accomplice to grand theft was killed while committing the crime.

Kind of shocking really.
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Old May 1, 2009, 05:18 PM   #2
Hkmp5sd
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Notice that Sheriff Judd didn't even try to arrest the homeowner as many agencies would have done. That's why I voted for him.

Don't forget, he is also nationally famous as documented in his SNOPES article.

P.S. My brother works for him as a deputy.
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Old May 1, 2009, 05:21 PM   #3
Doggieman
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classic, I remember that quote
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Old May 1, 2009, 05:23 PM   #4
hogdogs
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Did I miss something? He also shot an innocent bystander as well as the accomplice to felony GTA?
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Old May 1, 2009, 05:24 PM   #5
Doggieman
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no, the Bradies were only bitching that he "ran the risk" of doing so
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Old May 1, 2009, 06:44 PM   #6
hogdogs
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Quote:
"The shoot-first law is not needed," said Brian Malte of the Brady Campaign. "This person, regardless of the situation, may have done the right thing, but he cannot be prosecuted for doing something wrong if he hit an innocent bystander," he said.
I was being sarcastic... In BOLD he is implying that the shooter was protected from charges for shooting the passenger who was obviously far more than an innocent bystander.
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Old May 1, 2009, 06:53 PM   #7
Dave P
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the state's controversial "no retreat" law


Uhh, no it's not controversial.

Go away. Leave us alone.
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Old May 1, 2009, 10:03 PM   #8
stilettosixshooter
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Did anyone see the picture of the SUV? The shots were both well on the passenger side of the winshield.

More target practice! Of course, not bets on how accurate I will be if someone is trying to mow me down with my own stolen vehicle, but it struck me as odd how far-off the shots were.
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Old May 1, 2009, 10:40 PM   #9
Don H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilettosixshooter
Did anyone see the picture of the SUV? The shots were both well on the passenger side of the winshield.

More target practice!
Since Jones stated that he thought the passenger was armed (see quote below) it seems reasonable that he would toss a couple of defensive shots at that passenger. The photo doesn't clearly indicate whether he shot through the windshield on the driver's side also.

Quote:
He said he saw the passenger's arm reach outside the vehicle, and believed that person might be holding a gun.
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Old May 1, 2009, 10:56 PM   #10
stilettosixshooter
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Aha, missed that part. NM!
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Old May 3, 2009, 08:21 AM   #11
Let's get the facts
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The passenger was my family member

I guess the media forgot to mention that this began as a drug deal gone bad.
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Old May 3, 2009, 08:32 AM   #12
hogdogs
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Are you saying that the shooter was involved in a drug deal with the car thief? If you don't mind answering... was it meth?
I do realize there is often 2 sides to every story. I also realize that in the honest, legal world a business deal gone bad goes to court. When folks choose the nefarious life they are at risk of many things going wrong.
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Old May 3, 2009, 08:44 AM   #13
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I guess the media forgot to mention that this began as a drug deal gone bad.
Then the facts will come out when the State's Attorney reviews the case and decides on any charges.

Seems unlikely though. The first thing Phillips would have been yelling to save himself was drug deal and CNN just loves drugs vs. guns stories. And not one of the dozen reporters on the scene mentions drugs? None found on any persons involved or in the vehicle? No large sums of money laying around?
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Old May 3, 2009, 09:24 AM   #14
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Arizona is one of those states where there is no duty to retreat if force is otherwise justified, but I am not aware of anything in our law that would grant you immunity from responsibility for hitting a bystander.

Is there something different in the way the Florida law reads
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Old May 3, 2009, 09:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
I guess the media forgot to mention that this began as a drug deal gone bad.
Setting aside how you make this statement with no foundation or corroboration of any kind, how does this make her death any more regrettable?

Car theft AND narcotics trafficking? Good riddance, and a damn shame the driver didn't get it, too.
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Old May 3, 2009, 09:46 AM   #16
Hkmp5sd
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1. She was not a bystander. She was participating in the crime.

2. In Florida, in most instances I can remember, if an innocent is hit during the commision of a crime, the death is blamed on the criminals that started the crime. Technically, their crime is what resulting in the death of the bystander.

Of course, you are still responsible for the bullets you fire. If you do something stupid that causes the bystanders death other than simply missing the BG, you can be charged. As LEOs tend to be in more shootouts than CCW holders, they tend to hit more bystanders. But you rarely see one charged.
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Old May 3, 2009, 10:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
The passenger was my family member
I guess the media forgot to mention that this began as a drug deal gone bad.
So your family member was involved in a bad drug deal resulting in her stealing an SUV that was used to try to run down the SUV's owner? Man, it must be tough to have family members who are that hard core into crime.

And you know this was a drug deal gone bad because you were part of it?
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Old May 3, 2009, 10:14 AM   #18
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That's why I voted for him.
As did I.

FWIW this is a non-issue here.
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Old May 3, 2009, 10:44 AM   #19
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Only in civilized countries like China, the US and the Afghan Frontier is there a death penalty for theft, except that in the US and the Afghan frontier it's meted out by individuals acting in accord with ideology.

If the Brady folks wanted to be constructive, they would push for laws outlawing the use of deadly force to prevent simple theft. They would get the support of most folks.

On the facts here, self defense shoot. On the morality here, Buddha will judge the homeowner. I dont speak for him, but I suspect cockroach in the next life.

It was a vehicle, insured. Woweo

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Old May 3, 2009, 11:40 AM   #20
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Only in civilized countries like China, the US and the Afghan Frontier is there a death penalty for theft, except that in the US and the Afghan frontier it's meted out by individuals acting in accord with ideology.
Yup, Glad I live in one of those countries that recognizes my right to do so.

Quote:
the use of deadly force to prevent simple theft.
Um, no Counselor, to wit;

Quote:
He said he could see two people in the SUV as it backed out of the barn, according to the affidavit. He said he saw the passenger's arm reach outside the vehicle, and believed that person might be holding a gun.
Quote:
The Land Cruiser stopped directly in front of him, Jones said in the affidavit. He said he raised his gun and pointed it at the occupants, shouting "Stop," but the vehicle appeared to be moving directly toward him.

"Fearing for his life, he then fired what he thought to be six to eight rounds into the front windshield of the vehicle,"
This looks more like a defense against ADW to me?

Quote:
It was a vehicle, insured.
Unless said vehicle is rolling directly at you, and someone may have another weapon pointed at you
as well.



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Old May 3, 2009, 12:19 PM   #21
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" The passenger was my family member
I guess the media forgot to mention that this began as a drug deal gone bad."

You know, I'm sorry for your family's loss, but this incident calls out one thing in spades...

Sometimes bad things happen to people who are involved in bad things.

That said, your evidence to support the allegation that this was a drug deal gone wrong is what, exactly?

Have you contacted the police to tell them that the orchard owner was allegedly involved in a drug deal and provided them with your evidence?
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Old May 3, 2009, 12:25 PM   #22
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Only in civilized countries like China, the US and the Afghan Frontier is there a death penalty for theft, except that in the US and the Afghan frontier it's meted out by individuals acting in accord with ideology.
Not sure what you are trying to say, Alaska.

In Texas, one may use deadly force to protect property, but only at night and if there is no other way. And no, I don't thinks that's reasonable.

In Georgia, one may use deadly force to protect property, and only if the act involves the prevention of a forcible felony--not theft. Reasonable? To the extent that the forcible felony actually endangers the actor himself, yes.

In the other forty eight ? No. Now, one often hears that so called castle laws permit the use of deadly force to "protect property," such as one's home or auto. However, since the actor must be within the home or auto in order to use deadly force lawfully, I thinks it's clear that the intent of those laws is to help in a defense of justifiability for self-preservation.

Do not confuse a stand-your-ground law (no need to retreat from an armed attacker) with a law that states that unlawful entry, particularly if tumultuous or with force, constitutes evidence that a person inside the car or dwelling is in imminent danger of death or imminent bodily harm

Deadly force to prevent simple theft? Unlawful, except in Texas at night under limited circumstances.

Had it been clear that the grove owner fired to protect his property, one can rest assured that he would have been charged with murder. And of course depending on what the evidence shows, that might still happen

The accomplice is being charged with grand theft auto, but that didn't bring about the shooting, according to the affidavit mentioned in the report.

The shooter claimed self defense. The only way I see for Florida's stand your ground law to enter into it is that it would obviate the need for him to try to outrun the person chasing him with the SUV.

It's all based on a report. Wait until the facts come out. But do not erroneously presume that Florida permits citizens to impose "death penalty for simple theft." The use of deadly force to prevent theft is unlawful in Florida.

I have no idea what the Brady fellow is trying to say about prosecution for hitting an innocent bystander. If a shooting is justified, the shooter is not criminally liable for hitting an innocent bystander unless he acts recklessly, but he is not shielded from civil liability. However, I saw nothing in the report about any bystanders being hit.
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Old May 3, 2009, 12:26 PM   #23
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It was a vehicle, insured.
And your point is....what? That something that's insured isn't worth defending? Lots of people carry life insurance. Are their lives not worth protecting because there's an insurance company paying someone off at the end?

Ridiculous. The idea that some crimes don't matter and shouldn't be contested because an insurance company will compensate the victim afterwards is ludicrous, and a perfect example of what is wrong with our society.
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Old May 3, 2009, 01:44 PM   #24
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Ridiculous. The idea that some crimes don't matter and shouldn't be contested because an insurance company will compensate the victim afterwards is ludicrous, and a perfect example of what is wrong with our society.
The additude that one should use or initiate the use of deadly physical force over posessions is a prefect example of whats wrong with mankind

Quote:
Not sure what you are trying to say, Alaska.
I'm trying to say that some stupid girl is dead because she chose to hangout with a theiving numbnuts who happened to pick a Rambo homeowner who, feeling probably that he was justified 'cuz he was on his property, chose to escalate the situation by running down with his 19 shot manhood when ist just a freaking car and 911 is 3 numbers

I said on the facts it seemed to be a good shoot. On the morals, he will be reincarnated with a shiny carapace scuttling under the mouldings of a cold water flat in the Lower East side.

And don't tu quoque me on the thief

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Old May 3, 2009, 01:51 PM   #25
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Let's simmer down folks.

We don't have all the facts of the case to make a decision, one way or another. Shall we let the Florida DA do this?

We all have our opinions, so let's not devolve into ad hominems, because of differeces of said opinions.
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