Sheriff: Law protects SUV owner who shot, killed woman
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Thread: Sheriff: Law protects SUV owner who shot, killed woman

  1. #1
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    Sheriff: Law protects SUV owner who shot, killed woman

    "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.

    Not true! Even though I do not have to retreat I am still responsible for every round that leaves the barrel. Also this law protects me from civil suits from BG's family. lastly I love how the Brany Campaign arguments always seem to be "what if's." How bout we just stick to the facts.

    Sheriff: Law protects SUV owner who shot, killed woman - CNN.com, 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.

    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."
    "When Government fears the people, it's liberty. When people fear the Government, it's tyranny."
    - Benjamin Franklin

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  3. "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,"

    Yeah, this woman wasn't an innocent bystander. She was technically accessory to a felony. Her boyfriend's actions put her in that position, and the law usually states that if someone dies while you commit a felony, that you are charged with murder. The owner probably feels like **** for shooting the girlfriend instead of the guy, but he had no way of knowing the motivations of the people in the car that was moving towards him. The law makes perfect sense in this case.

  4. I just don't understand how and why the judge held him without bail after the police didn't file any charges because he was justified. The law states he was in the right and that because of the felony the boyfriend was legally responsible for her death even though the GG shot her. Just re-emphasizes the idea of just get a lawyer even if you are 110% justified. Someone on the city payroll that is anti gun and anti freedom will do what they can to make matters worse.

  5. #4
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    Two folks were stealing the SUV, she was not lucky, but a thief just the same and driving a deadly weapon (SUV).

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Terminal Lance View Post
    I just don't understand how and why the judge held him without bail after the police didn't file any charges because he was justified.
    The judge held the car thief without bail, not the victim of the crime. I hope the victim of the crime turns out to be OK... that's got be a very traumatic experience. I am glad he was able to protect himself.

    Waiting for the "no property is worth taking a human life" comments to come in 5, 4, 3,......

    I, personally, don't have any issues at all with the crime victim's actions.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  7. #6
    Lesson, don't try to steal an SUV, don't have to worry about the man's 9mm. The cost of crime to criminals has gone up. Stop stealing and assaulting people!
    A man's life, liberty, and property are only safe when the legislature is NOT in session. Will Rogers

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by KimberPB View Post
    "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.
    Did you notice the spin the Brady bunch put on this? Shoot first? Ummmm..... no. The criminals acted first. The victim of the crime responded. The criminal act came first.
    Anyone who says, "I support the 2nd amendment, BUT"... doesn't. Element of Surprise: a mythical element that many believe has the same affect upon criminals that Kryptonite has upon Superman.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLT View Post
    The judge held the car thief without bail, not the victim of the crime. I hope the victim of the crime turns out to be OK... that's got be a very traumatic experience. I am glad he was able to protect himself.

    Waiting for the "no property is worth taking a human life" comments to come in 5, 4, 3,......

    I, personally, don't have any issues at all with the crime victim's actions.
    Where's kelcarry when you need him?

  10. #9
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    At least that is one perp out of the game they play. Good shooting. A 3,000 lb projectile v/s the 115 grain ended well.

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