crimesider

"Stand your ground" defense sought in Fla. triple shooting

crime scene bullet shooting generic CBS/iStockphoto

CBS/iStockphoto
(CBS/AP) TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Attorneys for a Titusville, Fla. man accused of shooting three people during a neighborhood feud say the charges against him should be dismissed under the state's "stand your ground" law.

William T. Woodward's attorneys say he had been the target of threats and was exercising his right under the state's law to defend himself on Sept. 3, 2012.

Florida Today reports authorities say the 44-year-old Woodward snuck up on a Labor Day barbeque and opened fire, killing Gary Lee Hembree and Roger Picior. Bruce Timothy Blake was struck 11 times and survived.

Woodward's attorneys say Woodward and the men had been involved in a dispute in the month leading up to the shooting. The attorney says that in the hours before the shooting, the three men had allegedly been yelling at his client, calling him names and saying they were going to "get him."

The paper reports police had responded to the ongoing dispute and that Woodward and Hembree had discussed the dispute before a judge. An injunction was not issued.

Florida's so-called "stand your ground" law permits residents to use deadly force if they reasonably believe it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm. The law has stirred a national controversy with many activists asking for its repeal.

The motion filed by Woodward's attorneys demands that a jury should determine whether the charges against him are dismissed.

  • Stephanie Slifer

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.