Category Archives: Conceal Carry & SYG
A recently hung Texas state flag flies near the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
By Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Maria Garza
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (Reuters) – The man who carried out one of the deadliest U.S. mass shootings was able to buy guns legally from a sporting goods store because a prior domestic violence conviction was never put into an FBI database used in background checks, officials said.
Devin Kelley, the gunman in Sunday’s massacre at a church in rural southeastern Texas, was convicted by court-martial of assaulting his first wife and stepson while serving in the U.S. Air Force in 2012, according to the Pentagon.
Authorities put the death toll at 26, including the unborn child of a pregnant woman who was killed. The attack ranks as the fifth-deadliest by a single gunman in U.S. history.
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The latest news is 58 dead, more than 500 injured. At least 10 rifles were found in the room and the killer took his own life. I’ll follow this story as more details are reported.
For about a year now the old enemy of humanity has been pushed from the headlines by a number of situation….investigation, storms, etc….during that lull the blog posts on the subject have been almost non-existent….but as of 2008 hrs on 01 Dec that all changed….
Las Vegas police say one suspect is “down” after a mass shooting at a country music festival that has left at least two people dead and dozens wounded. University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen says 26 people were admitted to the hospital, the AP reports. Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip after receiving reports of an active shooter near the Mandalay Bay Casino late Sunday. The shooter or shooters apparently fired on the Route 91 Harvest music festival from upper levels of the Mandalay Bay across the street, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
On a live feed of a police scanner…
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Reported by Reuters
“A Florida state court judge ruled on Monday that recent changes to the state’s “stand your ground” law are unconstitutional, finding that legislators overstepped when making it easier for defendants to argue self-defense to obtain immunity for violent acts.
Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Milton Hirsch said courts, not lawmakers, should set the process by which defendants can claim they were protecting themselves with an act of violence, according to the ruling posted online by the Miami Herald.
The revision shifted the burden of proof during pretrial hearings to prosecutors, rather than defendants, to show whether force was used lawfully. Supporters saw the changes backed by the National Rifle Association, the powerful U.S. gun lobby, as bolstering civilians’ rights to protect themselves.
Monday’s ruling in Miami circuit court is not binding on other state trial courts, the Miami Herald reported.
Advocates predicted the ruling would be reversed on appeal.
“It is the role of the legislature to write the laws that govern how Floridians may exercise their statutory and constitutional rights,” Richard Corcoran, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, said in a statement. “The Florida House will continue to stand with ordinary citizens who exercise their right to self-defense.”
Florida’s “stand your ground” law, passed in 2005, received wide scrutiny and inspired similar laws in other states. It removed the legal responsibility to retreat from a dangerous situation and allowed the use of deadly force when a person felt greatly threatened.
This spring’s changes were adopted over outcry that gun owners could be emboldened to shoot first.
Critics cited the 2012 death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in the Orlando area, which spurred national protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. The neighborhood watchman who killed him, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of murder after the law was included in jury instructions. ”
There were debates on whether George Zimmerman claimed stand your ground during his trial. As Reuters correctly reports, Judge Nelson included stand your ground jury instructions in those given to the jury to decide Zimmerman’s fate.
We followed the hearing, and now the judge has entered her decision. Today, March 10, 2017, Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Susan Barthle denied Curtis Reeves’ motion to apply Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law to the case. Reeves now faces trial on second degree murder charges for killing Chad Oulson to death in a movie theater over text messaging. A trial date has not yet been set.
Here’s the ruling: Read the rest of this entry
In May of 2015, Apperson shot at Zimmerman while the two were in separate vehicles on the road. It was the third confrontation between Apperson and Zimmerman.
Prosecutors charged Apperson with attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle. If convicted he would face a minimum-mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison under Florida’s 10-20-life statute.
Apperson is claiming self-defense, saying that Zimmerman threatened to kill him and pointed a gun at him. Zimmerman denies that although he had two guns in his truck. Apperson is represented by defense attorney Michael LaFay.
Trial is scheduled to run through Friday.
Courtchatter has the videos on their Youtube channel, but the sound is not the best. I started the first below video with the unremorseful, unemployed, bumpy head, homeless man who killed Trayvon Martin coming into the courtroom. It is interesting that Don West was in the courtroom.
The second video continues with Zimmerman’s testimony, where he testified of calling a detective a “bitch” and “blonde bimbo,” saying he did not know she is a detective because she was dressed in plain clothes.
Apperson’s attorney began cross examining Zimmerman, which you can watch in the following video. Cross-examination continued Wednesday morning. Subsequent videos of the trial will be posted in the comment section of this blog.
Last night, I opened a bottle of ice tea. After I removed the outside seal, and twisted the two section cap, there was then a seal with a tab on top that had to be removed. I thought, “this is because of evil.”
Those who were children in 1982, or not yet born, might not know why we live in a world where seals are on packaged consumable items, including over the counter medications.
In 1982, someone decided to conceal carry in order to murder people; only it wasn’t a gun. It was poison.
On September 29, 1982, the parents of 12-year old Mary Kellerman gave her an extra-strength Tylenol capsule because she complained of a sore throat and runny nose. They lived in Elk Grove Village, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Mary died.
On that same day, 27-year old Adam Janus of Arlington Heights, Illinois, also a suburb of Chicago, had what was initially thought to be a massive heart attack. His brother and sister-in-law went to his home to console their loved ones. They both had a headache and took a Tylenol extra-strength capsule from the bottle in Adam’s house. Stanley died that same day and his wife died two days later.
Over the next few days, 35-year-old Mary McFarland of Elmhurst, Illinois, 35-year-old Paula Prince of Chicago, and 27-year-old Mary Weiner of Winfield, Illinois all died.
All of them died from cyanide poisoning.
In October 1982, investigators finally made the connection between the poisoning deaths and Tylenol. Read the rest of this entry
Stand Your Ground should be titled “Shoot first and claim self-defense later.”
SB656, a bill designed to change Missouri’s laws on self-defense laws, and make Missouri the first state since the Trayvon Martin incident to pass a stand your ground law, was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon today (June 27). After sailing through the state’s Senate and the House, the bill had been awaiting approval or veto by Nixon since May 13.
Nixon, a Democrat, faced enormous pressure from the Republican-led Missouri legislature to enact the law. The bill has been widely considered “veto-proof”; however, a bill which faces opposition by the Governor after passing through the legislature can be challenged with a veto override in the next legislative session, and still become law in the future.
Missouri’s current self-defense laws state that only the property owner or someone leasing it are allowed to use deadly force against an intruder.
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When I heard that Trayvon Martin was killed, and that his killer was claiming Florida’s stand your ground defense, that law peeked my interest. I had not heard of stand your ground and wanted to know of other cases in Florida where the defendant claimed that defense.
Among the cases I found was that of Trevor Dooley. On January 23, 2013, I wrote an article on the significance of the Dooley decision. It is a Florida case where the defendant claimed self-defense.
I expected that Dooley would prevail on his claim of stand your ground because of testimony that Dooley retreated when David James came up behind him, knocking him to the ground. Dooley shot and killed David James.
At trial, prosecutors argued that Dooley could not claim that he stood his ground because he broke the law by showing his gun to the victim, thereby committing the crime of unlawful exhibition of a weapon.
In November 2012, Dooley was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 8 years in prison. He remained free on bond until his first appeal was denied and on November 2014, Dooley began serving his prison time.
After the verdict in Dooley’s case, and when I wrote the first article about the case, it was my position that the jury applied the facts to Florida law from the beginning, finding that if not but for the fact that Trevor Dooley left his garage with a loaded gun and approached David James for mouthing off at him, the two would not have come into physical contact. If Dooley was truly the initial aggressor, then the jury should find the same in George Zimmerman’s case.
In George Zimmerman’s case however, Judge Debra Nelson omitted the part of initial aggressor from the jury’s instructions because the defense asked her to.
Tampa Bay Times reports that now, Trevor Dooley gets a new trial because the 2nd District Court of Appeal found that the wording in the jury instructions on the justifiable use of deadly force was “erroneous.”
The 2nd District Court of Appeal also found that the state was wrong — that “stand your ground” doesn’t depend on whether or not a person is “engaged in unlawful activity.”
Dooley, who is now 73-years old, is being returned to Hillsborough County and his lawyer said he will be eligible to be freed on bond pending the new trial.
This is Dooley’s second appeal. On his first appeal in 2014, the court said that the attorney handling that appeal should have raised the error in the jury instructions about self-defense. The jury’s instructions included; Read the rest of this entry
It’s been said by some on this blog that we anticipated hearing from George Zimmerman soon. He’s been quiet since his suspension off Twitter for tweeting revenge porn. In these past months, I’ve refrained from writing about that, in addition to writing about other things that Zimmerman does or that involves him. Today, I’m writing about him to send a message to America — THANK YOU for not allowing Zimmerman to taint the memory of Trayvon Martin. Thank you for not allowing Zimmerman to capitalize on the anger, rage, and pain that he caused on the rainy night of February 26, 2012.
The “most hated man in America” received his gun back from the DOJ, who had possession of it since his state trial ended on July 13, 2013. Zimmerman’s best friend, Mark Osterman, called Zimmerman “the most hated man in America” in the title of his book. Osterman wrote that book before Zimmerman stood trial and as we have seen, everything that Zimmerman has ventured upon since the end of his trial has proven that people do not like him.
Yesterday, the media announced that Zimmerman was auctioning off the Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm gun that he used to kill Trayvon Martin. The auction was to open this morning on GunBroker.com, starting at $5,000. When I read that, I wondered if having the weapon caused Zimmerman such pain, then why not have it destroyed rather than selling it for popularity purposes. I mean, he purchased it for less than $300 so why would he think its minimum value is $5,000? Is he putting a value on it that he thinks is the equivalent of Trayvon’s life? Is he putting a value on it because he thinks his own name is worth that much? Or, is that his price to kill?
Now, it doesn’t matter what his reasons or intentions were, because the auction site cancelled the auction. Read the rest of this entry
Wait a minute! I thought that stand your ground hearings are decided by judges; not juries. If Reeves’ defense attorneys sincerely believe they can prevail in a SYG immunity hearing, why are they concerned with tainting the jury pool? Another thought is that case documents are not free to the public. It is generally the media who obtains documents filed in the case and they only pay for documents that have significance and not depositions.
Attorneys for the former cop charged with killing a man & shooting the man’s wife in what is called the “popcorn shooting” have filed a motion to stop public access to court records as a stand your ground hearing approaches. They claim that media coverage leading up to the trial may prejudice prospective jurors.
Retired Tampa Police Department Captain Curtis Judson Reeves, 73 years-old, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree battery in the shooting death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson and wounding of Oulson’s wife, Nicole. The incident happened inside a movie theater in Pasco County on January 13, 2014 during an argument.
Reeves is claiming self-defense under Florida’s stand your ground law, saying he fired on Oulson after the younger man threw an “unknown object” at him, which turned out to be a box of popcorn, and presumably a cell phone. Circuit Court Judge Susan L…
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Mindyme62 posted about in open discussion in December 2014 about a stand your ground case. That’s more than a year ago, so I wanted to follow-up. In November 2015, we got a verdict, for the second time.
In 2010, Raul Rodriguez went to his neighbor’s house, taking his video recorder, cellphone, and gun with him. The neighbor was having a birthday party. Rodriguez thought that the music was too loud. Kelly Danaher, then 36-years old and a teacher, Kelly’s dad and other men argued with Rodriguez over the volume of the music. Rodriguez was filming when he said “I am in fear for my life” and shot, fatally wounding Kelly.
In 2012, Raul Rodriguez, 49, of Harris County, Texas, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Rodriguez appealed and Houston’s First Court of Appeals said the jury’s instructions on the law on self-defense was so confusing that Rodriguez did not get a fair trial.
In 2015, Rodriguez went back to trial. On November 20, 2015, jurors deliberated about 3 hours before siding with prosecutors that Rodriguez provoked the situation.
“This case is about provocation, pure and simple. The law doesn’t allow you to create a situation and then claim self-defense.” Prosecutor Kelli Johnson stated in closing arguments.
On February 26, 2012, a 17-year old-young boy was visiting his father in Sanford, Florida. It was a rainy evening. He went to a convenience store for candy and juice. On his way back, a neighborhood watchman alleged that he was on his way to Target to get groceries when he saw a suspicious teen. He followed the teen in his truck, then on foot. Trayvon Martin was shot in the heart with a hollow point bullet by George Zimmerman.
What happened in this nation as a consequence of George Zimmerman’s actions exposed the good, the bad, and the ugly. Trayvon’s life, death, and legacy, has motivated many people of all races and from all walks of life to come together for the good, including advocating for changes to stand your ground law and gun control.
We shall not forget.
In support for justice for Trayvon, LLMPapa produced videos during Zimmerman’s pending trial. In the following, he addresses where a journalist wanted to interview him and he gives his response.
After the fire, the fire still burns. The heart goes on.
Today, let’s celebrate Trayvon’s legacy.
This has shades of Ted Wafer, who said he thought that someone was trying to break into his house.
A 14-year-old Oklahoma honor roll student is recovering after he was shot by a homeowner while playing a dangerous teenage game of ringing door bells as a prank in the early morning hours of New Year’s day. The homeowner was not arrested, but could face charges later.
According to KWTV, the teenager, identified as Cole Peyton of Pryor, Oklahoma, was with friends as the boys were playing the doorbell prank game, which the local police chief, Steve Lemmings, called “ding-dong ditching”. The doorbell prank is a very dangerous game in which teenagers ring a doorbell or knock, then run or hide before someone answers.
The unidentified homeowner reportedly went out to his yard and fired several shots at the boys, striking Peyton in the back and arm, with one bullet puncturing his liver. Peyton, who is on the honor roll, football, and wrestling teams at Pryor High School, is recovering in a local…
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Is loud music a tipping point for some people who may not like noise and have a gun? In a pre-Christmas shooting, a Missouri man is claiming self-defense after he reportedly put on a bullet-proof vest and murdered a neighbor who he thought was playing loud music no one else could hear.
Police in Maryland Heights, Missouri reported that 26 year-old James C. Blanton shot and killed 35 year-old Yi-Ping “Peter” Chang on the afternoon of December 13, when he knocked on Chang’s door complaining about “loud bass music”.
The 35-year-old Chang, a computer support specialist for an agrochemical company, was home watching a movie with his girlfriend at an apartment complex in the St. Louis suburb when Blanton knocked on the door complaining about loud music. There was an argument, then Blanton shot and killed Chang. He then sat outside Chang’s apartment and waited for police to arrive.
Blanton reportedly had a cooperative, justifying demeanor with police on the scene…
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As reported in Time
Comedian Amy Schumer and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer are teaming up to call for stricter gun laws, appearing together on Sunday in New York to push for expanded gun control legislation.
The Schumers, who are cousins, first announced their collaboration earlier this year after a deadly shooting in a Louisiana theater, where Amy’s movie Trainwreck was being screened.
“I don’t know why he picked my movie but … it’s something that I live with every day and I vowed to never forget the two lives that were tragically lost: Jillian Johnson, who was 33, and Mayci Breaux, who was just 21-years-old. These women are forever in my heart,” Schumer said on Sunday, the New York Daily News reports.
Sen. Chuck Schumer is pushing a proposal to prevent violent criminals, abusers and those with severe mental illnesses from purchasing firearms.
My Editorial Opinion
Hat tip to Scrodriguez.
This afternoon, a probable cause hearing was held in the case of the State of Florida vs. Matthew Apperson. George Zimmerman took the stand to testify of the incident of May 11, 2015.
Apperson is charged with three counts;
Attempted second degree murder with a firearm.
Shooting into an occupied vehicle.
Aggravated assault with a firearm.
During his testimony, Zimmerman was wishy-washy about what was contained in a bag in his truck, first saying that he could not identify the bag, to saying that it did not contain multiple boxes of ammunition, to then identifying at least two boxes of ammunition.
Zimmerman also testified that he had a gun in a holder that is screwed onto the dashboard of his truck, and that he removed the gun and placed it in the middle holder just before the Lake Mary police officer reached his vehicle.
Thinking that he had been shot, Zimmerman did not call 911 but proceeded down the road to get the attention of the Seminole County Sheriff. Zimmerman also claimed that he did not give a statement to the Lake Mary police that day because he thinks the department is corrupt. He also testified that he was not sure if he should go to the hospital because of his “high profile” and that people were already taking photos. Read the rest of this entry
Twenty-nine year old Lukace Kendle is going to prison. Friday, he was convicted of second-degree murder with a firearm and attempted murder in the June 1, 2012, shooting that killed Kijuan Byrd, 29, and paralyzed Michael Smathers, 38. Kendle faces life behind bars.
Smathers, who is paralyzed from Kendle’s bullets, testified at the trial that after barbecuing, he and Michael Smathers went to Club Rol-lexx to shoot pool. They played a few games and watched the Miami Heat game, then left the Club and went to Smather’s truck in the parking lot to smoke a joint. They had planned to go back inside the club.
Kendle showed up, parking in a tight spot next to Smathers’ truck. He got out of his car and put on an all-black uniform with a vest, baton, gloves, a knife, ammunition and his gun. The three men exchanged looks. Michael and Kijuan got out of Michael’s truck to go back into the club. Kendle opened fire. He continued firing bullets into Kijuan Byrd’s back even as he tried to crawl to safety under Michael’s truck.
The killing was captured on video surveillance. Read the rest of this entry
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Seminole Circuit Judge Melanie Chase didn’t elaborate on her ruling but said, “This court finds there is no disputed issue of material fact and that the defendant, Roseanne Barr, is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Robert Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman, parents of George Zimmerman, sued Roseanne Barr for tweeting out the address to their home. This happened while George Zimmerman was in hiding after killing unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin, and before George’s arrest.
Attorneys for Barr argued that she cannot be held culpable for republishing already publicly available information. To make the case, they showed pages from a phone book found in a library that contained the address.
Barr’s attorney, David Fink, said that Barr sharing her opinion on social media did not meet the high threshold of intentionally inflicting emotional harm. Read the rest of this entry