A Florida teenager who said he was defending himself when he used an illegally possessed fire arm to fatally shoot a choir director (pictured above) who was attacking him with a stick will avoid facing homicide charges on the basis of Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” Law.
via Think Progress
Florida prosecutors said Tuesday they would not file homicide charges against a 17-year-old who fatally shot a community choir director in the face, citing the state’s Stand Your Ground law.
In a memo released Tuesday, prosecutors explained that Tyrone Pierson was justified in using deadly force when he encountered Julius Jerome Jacobs on the street, and Jacobs was wielding a large stick.
They concluded that even though Pierson possessed the gun illegally, and even though his friends successfully escaped the confrontation by simply walking away, he was immunized by Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which eliminates any duty to attempt retreat first.
Two friends who were with Pierson at the time of the incident said they were walking down the street when Jacobs “almost hit” them with his SUV, driving at high speed. Pierson yelled at the driver to slow down. Jacobs slowed down and had a “hostile exchange” with Pierson as he passed them by. Jacobs then pulled into a driveway and interacted with another individual in what the teens suspected was a drug exchange. As the teens walked by, he told them he had something for them. The teens continued walking and shortly after that, Jacobs drove toward them, got out of the car, and swung a heavy stick in their direction while yelling at Pierson. One of the teens said he ran away from Jacobs as he was driving toward them, fearing that he was going to try to run them over. Pierson fired his gun.
Prosecutors will charge Pierson on two counts for unlawful possession, and with evidence tampering for initially lying about the location of the gun.
As hard as people will try to draw an unwarranted parallel between this situation and that of acquitted child murderer George Zimmerman, there is not one.
This teenager was being attacked by a man with a stick; George Zimmerman was not “attacked” by Trayvon Martin, but rather found himself in the middle of an altercation in which he was the original aggressor.
On another note, it sounds like this situation may have been able to be resolved had the teen taken the lead of his other friends and walked away, but we’ll never know for sure now.
What are your thoughts on this case, Bossip fam? Was this teenager justified in killing this man? Or should he be facing homicide charges in addition to the firearm possession charges?
Photo Credit: WESH Orlando