Stand your Ground Initial Provocation Exception

Feb 26, 2020

The trial court erred in denying defendant’s motion for immunity from prosecution for attempted second-degree murder, aggravated battery, and shooting at a vehicle because defendant initially provoked confrontation. “Initial provocation” exception to immunity created by section 776.041(2) does not apply to a defendant who uses force to defend a third person, even where the defendant has initiated a confrontation. Reasonable belief that use of force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. The trial court erred in finding that state proved by clear and convincing evidence that defendant did not, at any point during incident, reasonably believe that use of deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to defendant’s brother. Under these circumstances, the trial court improperly concluded that any initial belief that deadly force was necessary ceased to be reasonable when the defendant continued to fire shots while victim appeared to be retreating. Petition for writ of prohibition granted ruling reversed.

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