Collier judge upholds 'Stand Your Ground' stabbing death defense in teen's bus stop bullying
By VICTORIA MACCHI
NAPLES — A 15-year-old who fatally stabbed his school mate will no longer face criminal prosecution.
A judge’s ruling, made public Tuesday, granted a motion to dismiss the second-degree murder charge against Jorge Saavedra in the death of 16-year-old Dylan Nuno on the grounds that he acted in self-defense under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. The State Attorney’s Office has indicated that it will not appeal the ruling.
Nuno’s family and friends criticized Collier County Circuit Judge Lauren Brodie’s decision, calling it “unbelievable” and “heartbreaking.”
“We know this wasn’t the right decision,” said Dylan’s aunt, Adriana Nuno.“(The judge) is showing those kids it’s OK to get away with murder.”
Saavedra, who was 14 at the time of the stabbing, was charged as a juvenile. If found guilty, the former Palmetto Ridge High student would have been released by the age of 21.
Brodie’s ruling concluded that Saavadra, who said he was bullied and tried avoid a fight with Nuno, did not act unlawfully. She added that Saavadra had more than enough reason to believe he was in danger of death or great bodily harm.
Brodie based her decision this week on the findings from a two-day December hearing, during which students who witnessed the events Jan. 24, 2011, testified that several teens announced the fight on the bus, and Saavedra got off several stops early in Golden Gate Estates. Saavedra showed a pocket knife to two teens on the bus that afternoon.
In a nine-page document released Tuesday by the State Attorney’s Office, Brodie stated that by getting off the bus several stops before the location where the fight was to happen, Saavedra “demonstrated that, with or without a knife, (he) had no desire to fight with Dylan Nuno.”
Accompanied by several students, Dylan Nuno, a junior, followed Saavedra, a freshman, off the bus. He then punched him in the back of the head, according to court documents and testimony.
Saavedra attempted to get away once, witnesses said. He then stabbed Dylan Nuno 12 times in the chest and abdomen. Two of the blows caused fatal wounds, including one that nicked his heart.MORE HERE
'Stand your ground' law protects those who go far beyond that point
http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/article1222930.eceThe men responsible for Florida's controversial "stand your ground'' law are certain about one thing: Because of his actions before he pulled the trigger and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman is not protected from criminal prosecution.
Because Zimmerman exited his vehicle, because he followed Martin, because his actions put him in a situation where he felt it necessary to shoot a boy dead, he should be booked, jailed and forced to face a jury of his peers.
Said Durell Peaden, the former Republican senator from Crestview who sponsored the bill: "The guy lost his defense right then. When he said, 'I'm following him,' he lost his defense."
Said Jeb Bush, the governor who signed the bill into law: "Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back."
But they are wrong.
Since its passage in 2005, the "stand your ground'' law has protected people who have pursued another, initiated a confrontation and then used deadly force to defend themselves. Citing the law, judges have granted immunity to killers who put themselves in danger, so long as their pursuit was not criminal, so long as the person using force had a right to be there, and so long as he could convince the judge he was in fear of great danger or death.
The Tampa Bay Times has identified 140 cases across the state in which "stand your ground'' has been invoked, and many involve defendants whose lives were clearly in jeopardy. But at least a dozen share similarities with what we know about the Trayvon Martin case, and they show the law has not always worked as its sponsors say they intended.
Early morning, Jan. 25, 2011. Greyston Garcia was in his apartment in Miami when a roommate told him someone was stealing the radio from his truck.
Garcia grabbed a kitchen knife and ran outside. The burglar saw him coming, grabbed his bag of stolen radios and fled.
Rather than calling the police, Garcia chased the thief down the street and caught up to him a block away. The confrontation lasted less than a minute and was captured on surveillance video. The thief swung the bag of radios at Garcia, who blocked the bag with his left hand and stabbed the thief in the chest with his right.
Pedro Roteta, 26, died in the street.
Those are the facts. You be the judge. MORE HERE