Moments ago the jury sent out a series of three jury questions, to which Judge Healey provided responses following discussion with State prosecutors and the defense.
The three questions were:
(1) Is the defense of self-defense separate for each person in each count?
To this, Healey answered simply: “Yes.”
(2) Are we determining if deadly force is justified against each person in each count?
Again, Healey answered simply: “Yes.”
(3) Or if we determine deadly force is justified against one person, is it justified against others?
Here Healey answered: “No. Self defense and justifiable use of deadly force applies separately to each count.”
Based on these questions it seems clear that the jury is inclined to discard self-defense as a legal defense against at least one of the criminal charges.
The least of the 5 charges is the “throwing missiles” charge (FL 790.19), which would most likely apply to the last volley of three shots at the SUV as it was fleeing.
Normally this would be a second degree felony, but because a gun was used Florida’s “10-20-Life” statute (FL 775.087) bumps it up to a first degree felony. It appears a first degree felony is punishable in Florida by up to 20 years. (Note that this particular application of “10-20-Life” does not MANDATE a 20 year sentence in this instance; it merely bumps the 2d degree felony up to 1st degree for sentencing purposes.)
You can view video of Healey’s replies to the jury here:
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere. In addition to the book, Andrew also conducts Law of Self Defense Seminars all around the country. Seminars for 2014 are currently being scheduled, if you’d like to see one held in your area fill out the comment box on the LOSD Seminar review page, where you can also see reviews of recently completed seminars in New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and elsewhere. Andrew is also a contributing author on self defense law topics to Combat Handguns, Ammoland.com, Legal Insurrection, and others. You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.