A former police officer is now facing an attempted murder charge in St. Johns County for allegedly shooting at a local firefighter after the two had a disagreement on the road. Nathaniel Juratovac, a former Flagler Beach police officer, was charged in the shooting last week, which hospitalized Jared Parkey, a Flagler County firefighter, according to a report in the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Parkey was hit twice in the upper body, but has since been released from the hospital, the newspaper reported.
Police have not yet said what caused the argument between the two men, who were both driving south on U.S. 1 in St. Johns County, though the newspaper reported Parkey, his wife and toddler son were on their way back from South Florida and were five miles from home when the incident occurred. Juratovac also had his wife and a young child in the car at the time, the newspaper reported. What does appear to be clear is an argument started and there was some sort of back-and-forth between the two drivers and both men eventually pulled over to the side of the road, the newspaper reported. Juratovac fired several times into the car and Parkey was hit in the upper body twice, the newspaper reported.
From a criminal defense perspective in this St. Johns County Attempted Murder Case, some of the keys will be the interplay between the two men and the actions of both during the argument. Yes, it appears that Juratovac ended the argument by shooting into the car. But, is it possible his actions could be seen as self-defense, depending on the facts of the altercation? Right now it seems like a longshot, but the picture will become much clearer once the St. Johns County Violent Crimes attorneys have a chance to dig further into the details. There are varying degrees of attempted murder in the state of Florida, and the decision prosecutors make will have a significant impact on the potential prison time exposure for Juratovac, should he be convicted or enter a plea in the case. Attempted first-degree murder would expose Juratovac to up to life in prison in this St. Johns County Attempted Murder Case. The state would have to prove Juratovac had a premeditated attempt to kill Parkey, but was just not successful. That’s unlikely to be proven, given the facts of this St. Johns County Violent Crimes case, but it may be where the case begins. Juratovac could also be charged with attempted second-degree murder, which basically means he was engaged in an inherently dangerous act with a disregard for the fact his actions could kill someone. Attempted second-degree murder is a second-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. Either way, a seemingly routine drive appears to have led to an incident where Juratovac is now facing a significant amount of time behind bars.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in St. Augustine or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Violent Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.