Former Officer Who Killed Corey Jones Denied Stand Your Ground Immunity
Corey Jones was a musician and housing inspector. He also owned and carried a gun legally. Corey was 31-years old on the night of October 18, 2015 when Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman K. Raja was on duty in plain clothes and an unmarked car. Corey had performed with his band and was on his way home when his car broke-down near a highway exit ramp.
Officer Nouman K. Raja, now 40-year olds, had been on the job for 6 months. He stopped to investigate what he thought was an abandoned vehicle on the darkened ramp. Raja claimed that when he stepped out of his vehicle, “he was suddenly confronted by an armed subject.”
When Raja approached Corey, Corey was on the phone with AT&T Roadside Assistance. The call was recording as Raja and Corey had a verbal exchange. Raja fired 6-shots, hitting Corey 3 times killing him.
A month later, Raja was fired from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department. In June 2016, Raja was charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm. Raja posted a $250,000 bail and was place on house arrest.
On April 19, 2018, Raja filed a motion to dismiss the charges under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. The hearing was held in May 2018.
On June 1, 2018, Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer of Florida’s 15th Judicial Circuit Court, denied Raja Stand Your Ground. Much of the judge’s 27 page decision addresses Stand Your Ground Law, and the change that the Florida legislature made for the party carrying the burden of proof.
The Stand Your Ground hearing involved lots of forensic testimony. For example, the distance from where Corey’s body was found from his vehicle; the distance where his gun was found from his body; that Corey’s gun had not been fired; the syncing of the call to AT&T recording the shots, with Raja’s 911 call 33 seconds later where he was yelling “Drop the gun” but no shots were heard. Raja also said that he had lost sight of Corey.