Are "Stand Your Ground" laws going to far
Kern 2012/04/14 01:29:23
Judge Cites "Stand Your Ground" to Clear Greyston Garcia in Little Havana Stabbing
By Kyle Munzenrieder
Wed., Mar. 28 2012 at 10:50 AM
the midst of the Trayvon Martin controversy, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge
Beth Bloom has cited Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law to
drop charges against Greyston Garcia after he fatally stabbed a car
radio thief in Little Havana on January 25th. Though, Garcia apparently
initiated the violence, never called police, hid the knife, and then
later sold two of the car radios the man had stolen.
In the early hours of January 25, Garcia spotted Pedro Roteta and
another man rummaging through his truck and taking off with his car
radio according to the Miami Herald.
Roteta and his accomplice had apparently been on a radio stealing
spree, and Roteta was carrying a bag filled with three car radios.
decided to chase after Roteta with a knife, and caught up to him.
Roteta swung the bag of radios at Garcia's head. Garcia blocked the bag,
and then countered by lunging a knife in Roteta's chest. The stabbing
killed Roteta. Garcia then took off with the radio, even those not
belonging to him, and never called police. Garcia hid the knife used and
sold the two car radios that did not belong to him.
eventually contacted by police Garcia denied involvement, but
eventually admitted that he was involved. He said he feared for his life
because Roteta had a screwdriver in his hand, but eventually recanted
that account and merely said he feared for his life because of the bag
Prosecutors charged Garcia with second-degree murder,
but his defense was able to successfully argue for the charges to be
dropped under the Stand Your Ground law.
Judge Bloom apparently
agreed with a medical examiner who testified that a bag of radio swung
at a head could cause serious harm or death, and that the defendant
Garcia "was well within his rights to pursue the victim and demand the
return of his property."
"The law does not allow for you to use
deadly force to retrieve your property. She, in effect, is saying that
it's appropriate to chase someone down with a knife to get property
back," Miami-Dade Chief Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hoague tells the Herald.
Prosecutors plan to appeal Bloom's ruling.
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