Florida's "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law is now a national topic in the wake of the attention brought by the February shooting of Trayvon Martin. Other criminal cases involving that Florida affirmative defense, which allows using deadly force instead of forcing a person to retreat, are bubbling to the surface across the state. Jacksonville is no different. Quintavis Seay, now 20, is charged with second-degree murder after he shot and killed one of three brothers who jumped Seay and his friend, nearly beating his friend unconscious in December 2009. A judge said in a Florida Times-Union report that he made a "razor close" decision last year to deny Seay immunity under the Stand Your Ground law.
The decision is now with the 1st District Court of Appeals as Seay waits in the Duval County Jail.
The issue in many Stand Your Ground cases, including this one, is whether the threat is still there when the deadly force is used. The Duval County state attorney's office is arguing that the fight was finished, the three brothers were retreating before Seay started shooting, according to the newspaper report. Seay's Jacksonville criminal defense attorney says the bullet wound shows the man who was shot could not have been walking away at the time, the newspaper reported. Seay and his friend were clearly beaten in the incident. Seay's friend was nearly unconscious in the middle of the street and cars could not pass because of the fighting, witnesses said in the newspaper report.
The 4th Judicial Circuit, which includes Clay, Duval and Nassau counties, gets one or two of these cases a month, according to the newspaper report. Very few have made headlines - at least up to now. But the Trayvon Martin case is bringing a spotlight to Stand Your Ground cases and everyone - media, criminal defense attorneys and the pubic - will be paying closer attention going forward. Our Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer has represented hundreds of clients charged with gun crimes and other violent crimes in Jacksonville, Clay County and Nassau County, and is well-versed in the intricacies of the Stand Your Ground law.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County violent crimes lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.