John Orr Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder
In August 2012, we reported on the John Orr case in Florida.
On October 2, 2011, John Orr killed 67-year old Jon Wayne Joseph of Naples, FL, and claimed self-defense under Florida’s stand your ground law. Joseph was unarmed.
On March 6, 2012, during an hour and a half on the stand at his immunity hearing, Orr testified that after a brief verbal exchange, Joseph;
- got on a bicycle and rammed him from behind; and
- straddled him, pinning him down; and
- bashed his head into the ground three times; and
- tried gouging his eyes; and
- threatened to kill him.
John Orr’s self-defense claims in October 2011 appeared to be patterned by George Zimmerman as his reason for killing unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. Zimmerman claimed that Trayvon came out of the darkness, hit him in the nose and thereafter, he stumbled about 40 feet before falling. Zimmerman also claimed that Trayvon straddled him, pinning him down, bashed his head on the sidewalk, smothered him, and threatened to kill him. A jury of six women acquitted Zimmerman.
John Orr however, wasn’t as fortunate.
Collier Circuit Judge Frank Baker denied Orr’s petition for immunity under Florida’s stand your ground law. Judge Ramiro Manalich presided over John Orr’s trial which took place in May of this year. Jurors deliberated for about three hours and returned a guilty verdict for second degree murder.
During closing arguments, prosecutors stated that Orr’s account differs from the evidence. Assistant State Attorney Andreas Gardiner spoke to the jury about Joseph’s 75 stab wounds, which he said demonstrated Orr “killed for the sake of killing, not self-defense.” Gardiner also noted that blood spatter and other physical evidence didn’t match Orr’s description of the stabbing.
Orr, who is currently 39 years old, faces life in prison. His sentencing has been deferred.