The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Deep Analysis of the Tampa Bay Times Stand Your Ground Database (IV)

The Last of the Fatal Cases

This is the fourth of a series.  The first three parts are here,  here and here.

The Tampa Bay Times published a database of information about people who have supposedly invoked Stand Your Ground laws.  I have been going through it to determine if it was invoking one of three unusual features of Florida legislation: 1) the abolition (mostly) of the duty to retreat, which I refer to as SYG-no-retreat, 2) the institution of the right to a hearing before trial to determine if you are immune because you acted in self-defense, which I refer to SYG-immunity, and 3) a special rule that if a person is breaking into an occupied vehicle or trying to drag a person out of one, that a person can assume that this person is facing imminent deadly force, justifying the use of deadly force in return, which I refer to as SYG-vehicle rule.  I have been going through each case and seeing if any of the relevant SYG doctrines apply, in order to determine if the case is arguably about Stand Your Ground in any form, or is it a more classic case of self-defense.

So I have already completed one hundred and eight of these in the last three posts, and now I will finish all of the cases involving fatalities.  I suggest you read my prior posts first, because I am going to refer freely to my findings there as though you had.

And one more thing before I start.  One thing that became obvious when studying the Tampa Bay Times’ database is that they were being very arbitrary in deciding whom they called Hispanic or not.  On one hand, they called George Zimmerman Hispanic.  On the other hand there are many people that society would almost certainly construct as Hispanic that the Tampa Bay Times are labeling white.  And there are some where you suspect that they are doing this, but you are not sure.  So expect me to note that now and then.

As I have said repeatedly, race doesn’t actually matter, but racism does.  So the most useful definition of race is focused on the differing treatment it is likely to inspire.

So let’s dive in again, again naming cases by the first victim listed.

Unarmed white guy, Piovesan, shot by white guy, Robert Peaden.  The Tampa Bay Times seems to be getting a lot wrong with this one, or at least differing from other sources.  When we compare what they say, to articles reproduced here, we get some critical differences.

The shooting took place in a trailer.  The Tampa Bay Times calls it his home, but the Pensacola News Journal portrays it as a work trailer.

The Tampa Bay Times said Piovesan “came into” the trailer and made threats.  The Pensacola News Journal said he “forced open” the door.

So we are not getting a very clear picture of events.  But the gist is they had been arguing and somehow Piovesan entered into the trailer, which may or may not have been his home, and started threatening him.  Peaden pulled his chair away from the door and shot Piovesan to death.

Anyway, Peaden was not charged, so no SYG-immunity was sought.  As for SYG-no-retreat, the database claims that he couldn’t retreat, and further the sheriff’s office felt that Stand Your Ground had nothing to do with the case.  So “home” or not, SYG-no-retreat didn’t seem to apply.

As an interesting coda, this incident took place exactly eleven days after Stand Your Ground went into effect.

I have always maintained, steadfastly, that even though I believe the jury was correct to acquit George Zimmerman, we didn’t necessarily have to believe that anyone did anything wrong.  Martin may have been acting in lawful self-defense.  If the police had arrived a few minutes sooner and had found Martin on top of Zimmerman and charged him with assault, he might have been able to plead that Zimmerman’s actions frightened him, justifying him in throwing the first punch.

(And that is assuming that he threw the first punch.  When we were dealing with a criminal case we had to assume he did because you have to make all reasonable assumptions in favor of the defendant.  But we were always dealing with an evidence problem.  One of the witnesses to the event was dead.  Who can say what the evidence might have looked like if Trayvon Martin was alive?)

The point is that self-defense isn’t generally about fault.  Yes, sometimes the behavior of the people involved has some impact on the case, but the core of the issue is the danger presented.  Even a prostitute can be raped, as one otherwise dumb jurist once said, and logically even a prostitute can use deadly force to protect herself from being raped.

And this case is a pretty good illustration of this point.  There is some evidence that this is nothing more than a misunderstanding.

So basically, it was an unarmed white guy, Clark, shot by a white woman, Marilyn Caraway.  They were ex-boyfriend and girlfriend.  If you believe Clark’s statements to family before the shooting, all he wanted to do was go to his ex’s house and retrieve a gun scope.  He chose to do this, allegedly, at about six in the morning, coming around to her sliding door.  She heard a noise, saw a man’s silhouette and shot him.

Now you might suspect that intentions were worse on both ends.  You might suspect that she knew full well this was her ex and just felt like shooting him.  You might also suspect that he had not just come there to get his property as this blog speculated.  In the case of the former, the state would have to prove she had such evil intent and apparently, it couldn’t.  As for the latter, it isn’t necessary to believe he was up to anything worse than attempting to retrieve his property in a downright dumb way.

In any case, she was not charged, so no SYG-immunity was sought.  And since she was defending her home, SYG-no-retreat didn’t apply either.  Bluntly, this is not a Stand Your Ground case.

Unarmed white guy, Kasbach, shot by white guy, William Siskos.  Siskos had been dating Kasbach’s wife, but apparently the Kasbachs had chosen to attempt to reconcile.  There was an argument between Siskos and Joe Kasbach, and Siskos claimed that Kasbach had been striking him when he shot.  So he claimed self-defense.

The problem is the evidence didn’t seem to back him up as indicated in this report.

He was convicted of second degree murder and (unlicensed) carrying of a concealed firearm.  He was sentenced, contrary to what the database says.

He did seek SYG-immunity.  But you already know that the SYG-no-retreat rule doesn’t apply, because he was engaged in illegal activity—unlawfully concealing a firearm—when it happened.

Another white on white incident, both armed with a gun, a woman, Myers, being shot to death by a man, Donovan Blain Adams.  Supposedly these people were just roomates.  Anyway, they had an argument and she shot him.  Then he fled and hid under a car.  When she walked by, he ambushed her, hit her in the head with a concrete block, took her gun and shot her to death.

He was charged but a grand jury refused to indict.

Since he was not indicted, he had no need to obtain SYG-immunity.  And further the database says that he couldn’t have retreated as one would suspect when a person is shot, so SYG-immunity was irrelevant.  So bluntly, I don’t see how Stand Your Ground is involved at all.

Unarmed white guy, Standard, shot by white man, James Conner III.  The neighbors had been feuding for months and one evening Standard threw a rock at Conner’s car while he and his wife were in it.  It is uncertain why that was seen as sufficiently threatening, but Conner ended up shooting him to death.

Anyway, Conner was not charged, so no SYG-immunity hearing.  It was not in Conner’s house, so SYG-no-retreat would be in play.  And the SYG-vehicle rule doesn’t apply to someone merely damaging a vehicle from afar.

Unarmed white man, Lamar, stabbed to death by a white woman, Laurie Lynn Bartlett.  They were live-in boyfriend and girlfriend.  She initially claimed he fell on the knife by accident, but then admitted she stabbed him, but claimed self-defense.

She was ultimately convicted.

There is no indication that she sought SYG-immunity.  But since they both lawfully lived there, SYG-no-retreat would have been in play.

Unarmed black guy, stabbed by white guy, Nadim Yaqubie.  The case is pending, after bouncing up and down the appellate ladder several times.  I admit the facts, if true, are amusingly dumb, but since the case is pending, I don’t feel confident in the facts.

What we can say is that SYG-immunity was denied and since it was in public, SYG-no-retreat applied.  Beyond that I will say no more about this one.

Unarmed white guy, Delmonico, beaten to death with a wooden board, by a white guy named Donald Stanley Verne.  Delmonico was Verne’s landlord and the database gives absolutely no explanation as to what theory of self-defense Verne offered, and I couldn’t find any more information anywhere else.  It simply says he beat the guy severely and then left him to bleed, only to be found later, barely alive.  Obviously he died soon after.

Verne was found guilty of murder.

Still, he did seek SYG-immunity and was denied.  Further, since Demonico was the landlord, he had a right to be on the property, too, placing the SYG-no-retreat rule in play.

White male v. white male violence, an unarmed man, Ryder, stabbed by Robert Sykes.  The case is pending and there is no sign he sought immunity, so I won’t discuss this case further.

White male on white male violence.  An unarmed Pettit shot by James Patrick Wonder.  Although the case is pending, he did seek immunity.  Actually after reading this blog I think he had a decent case, but the judge did not grant SYG-immunity.  Since it was in a public place and no allegation he was trapped, SYG-no-retreat was plainly in play.  But since this is a pending case, I won’t be saying more about it.

Unarmed white male, Price, shot by white male, Riley Finway Bryan.  Bryan was a landlord to an apartment over his garage.  Price was the tenant.  Bryan had an argument with a visitor of Price’s and it ended with Bryan shooting price.  Bryan claimed he was being charged by Price.

Bryan was denied SYG-immunity.  Since they were both legally present, SYG-no-retreat was in play.

Bryan was found guilty after two trials.

Unarmed black man, Chester, shot by white man, Dan Daley.  Basically they had an argument, Daley had been walking away when Chester ran up to them and they fought.  Daley claimed Chester struck the first blow.  This account also adds this detail:

Daley's face provided at least a small glimpse into what occurred. The 60-year-old man had a large circular patch of black and blue skin around his left eye.

He said the bone that connects his skull and jaw bone was broken. His left jaw was swollen.

He had been hospitalized for those injuries.

So Daley was not even charged, and thus no SYG-immunity applied.  And the database indicates retreat was not possible, so SYG-no-retreat wasn’t in play either.  Really this isn’t a Stand Your Ground case at all.

This is an instance where I am not sure why this guy was even charged with murder.  I mean even pretending he was not acting in self-defense, this didn’t seem to be murder.  This seemed more like a freak occurance.

Anyway, white on white violence, this time both men unarmed.  From this account, it sounds like the killer, James Elrod was at a bar being kind of a jerk toward some women.  McCullen stepped up to him, said this was not how to talk to women.  Elrod told him mind his business but McCullen didn’t.  McCullen put his hand on Elrod’s shoulder, and Elrod turned and punched him once, in the neck or the chest.  And then Elrod left.

Little did he know that he had dislodged a blood clot and it resulted in a stroke killing McCullen ten days later, or so the prosecution’s theory went.  Now, let’s pretend that is true.  Still, barring some amazing showing that Elrod was some kind of master killer with his bare hands, I don’t see how you charge him with murder.  But it gets even more bogus than that.  The medical examiner admitted that he wasn’t sure that his strike dislodged the blood clot, that literally anything could have dislodged it.  So they weren’t even sure he caused it.

And that is before we talk about self-defense.  That act by McCullen, putting his hand on Elrod’s shoulder, sounds like something straight out of an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.  But the moment he put his hand on his shoulder, it was technically a battery.  Read the linked statute.  Under Florida law, an unauthorized touching is technically a battery.  So let’s review the language of the self-defense statute:

A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.

Now the statutes go on to talk about when deadly force is justified, but we can stop right there, because this wasn’t deadly force.  Here’s how the statutes define deadly force:

The term “deadly force” means force that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm

Now it might be possible for one blow to cause great bodily harm.  Arguably Trayvon Martin did exactly that by breaking Zimmerman’s nose and he might have done that in one blow.  But my default is that one empty-handed strike is unlikely to be deadly force all by itself unless they can show his fists are almost like deadly weapons or something.

So I am not getting why he was charged.  In any case, he had sought SYG-immunity and it was denied.  Since it was at a bar, so SYG-retreat is in play except, according to Wayne R. LaFave and Austin W. Scott, Jr. Criminal Law (2d Ed, 1986), the duty to retreat is never imposed for non-lethal force.  So this doesn’t implicate the SYG-no-retreat rule.

He was finally acquitted in mid-trial, but I think the judge had trouble finding he even caused the man’s death because of the medical examiner’s testimony.

An man allegedly armed with a knife, of unknown racial/ethnic identity, killed back black dude, Charles Daily Jr., with a gun.  The case is pending so I won’t say much, but SYG-immunity was sought and denied.

Unarmed white guy, Concannon, shot by Nour Badi Jarkas, which they call “white.”  As usual, my focus is on how a person is likely to be treated.  Is he likely to benefit from favorable treatment from the good old boys?  Or are they more likely to construct this man...


...him as a middle easterner.  So I won’t step into the debate as to whether he is “white” or not.  But the fact he belongs to a group that inspires a certain kind of prejudice and unfair discrimination should be noted and not ignored.

Basically Jarkas went to the home of his estranged wife.  While there, he had an argument with her current boyfriend, Concannon.  Jarkas ended up shooting him.  This is what the judge said about the shooting before she set him free:

nothing was presented … to rebut the reasonableness of the fear that [Jarkas] testified that he had in being confronted by a 5-foot-11, 280-pound, tattooed man who was angry and who lunged at him,"

Part of that evidence was testimony from the medical examiner suggesting that it was possible that the man was lunging at him when he died.

Anyway, as I suggested, the judge actually granted a bench acquittal.  This didn’t appear to be a SYG-immunity, and none was apparently sought.  On the other hand, he was not in his home, so SYG-no-retreat was in play.

Unarmed white guy, Tilley, shot by a white woman, Tamra Leasure.  If you read the opinion of the appellate court, you’ll get the picture of two people in dysfunctional relationship.  Tilley constantly proclaimed they were engaged, Leasure seemed cool on him.  But ultimately at the moment she pulled the trigger, we have no clear idea what was happening.  She claimed it was self-defense, but that was something like the fifth story she told, and her story was not consistent with the physical evidence.  So they know she shot him, on purpose, but no one seems to know exactly why.

In any case, she sought SYG-immunity and it was denied.  But this was in her house and thus SYG-no-retreat had nothing to do with this.

The victims were a white woman, Gloria, and a black man, her husband, Daniel Rodgers.  They were unarmed, and shot by Brian Broadway, a white man, who was Gloria’s son, and Daniel’s stepson.  Gloria survived, David did not.  Broadway was living in a home owned by his mother.  Gloria and Daniel were checking in on him, opening the door with their key, and he claimed he mistook them for burglars.  What seems to have happened is that the typical homestead immunity was denied.  This article suggests that it was because his mother was technically the owner, which does track with the statutory language.  There is also the fact he isn’t supposed to possess a gun, meaning he was engaged in unlawful activity.  Either way, instead of enjoying an unrebuttable presumption he was protecting his own life, Broadway instead had to prove the danger to himself.

So he did seek SYG-immunity and was denied.  And SYG-no-retreat was in play.

And yes, he was convicted, even though his own mother spoke in his defense.

(Old) White male, Watts, armed with a knife and arguably a car, shot to death by a (young) black man, Corey Lindsey Jr.  The case is pending so little comment, but I will note that SYG-immunity was sought and denied, and SYG-no-retreat might have been in play.

An unarmed man of unknown descent, Gilhousen, shot by a white man, Cifford Eugene Van Dyke.  The two men were brothers-in-law.  There had been a history of Gilhousen beating up Van Dyke, even threatening to kill him prior to the shooting.  They seemed to believe some of the shots themselves were justified as we have seen in previous cases, but the last shot involved him approaching the man and shooting him on the ground.

SYG-immunity was denied.  Since this was in his backyard, SG-no-retreat applied.

He was convicted but sentenced to a minimum term.

Unarmed white guy, Joseph, stabbed to death with a knife by John Orr, a white man.  The case is pending, but SYG-immunity was sought and rejected, and it was in a public space, so SYG-no-retreat would be at play.

Elderly, unarmed black man, Johnson, shot to death by elderly black woman, Ernestine Broxsie.  Johnson was a tenant at renting out Broxsie’s mobile home.  Apparently she was an absentee landlord and she decided to stay at the residence when she was in town.  They had a fight when she accused him of stealing from her, and it became physical.  She claims she grabbed a gun and they fought over it and it went off by accident.  The police argued that since it was a revolver, it shouldn’t have gone off twice by accident.

You can read more details of that claim, here, but a judge granted her SYG-immunity and that was that.  Also, the database says she couldn’t have retreated, so it’s not a SYG-no-retreat case.

White on white violence, elderly on elderly violence, with an unarmed Kacknick being shot to death by Richard Fortner.  It was all over a card game at his house.  Fortner

began arguing with Marion Kachnik and eventually retrieved his gun. Fortner argued that he only intended to make Kachnik leave but when the guest put him in a headlock, he had no choice but to fire. The first two shots struck the 68-year-old Kachnik's legs; the third his head.

He sought SYG-immunity, but it was denied.  If you believed his self-defense claims, he was in a headlock, making retreat impossible.

He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.  My guess is it is the fact he shot the guy’s legs first, and then shot him in the head, that was the problem.

Old white man, Labiento, shot to death by younger white woman, Jacqueline Galas.  Both had guns, at least at one point in the encounter.

A while back in this, I wrote:

Even a prostitute can be raped, as one otherwise dumb jurist once said, and logically even a prostitute can use deadly force to protect herself from being raped.

Well, this apparent prostitute, Galas, wasn’t protecting herself from being raped, but she was worried about being straight up murdered.  Labiento was one of her clients and apparently became so attached to her he planned a murder suicide—he even wrote out a note describing his plans.  She calmed him down enough to put down the gun at which point she picked it up and pointed at him.  He approached her and she shot.  The state’s attorney’s office noted that every time she had seen him he’d had two guns.

She was not even charged, so no SYG-immunity was sought.  Since this was not her house, SYG-no-retreat would have been implicated.


And that, my friends, is the last of the fatal cases and a good stopping point for this analysis.  We’ll dive into the non-fatal cases next.  I suspect there will be a lot of overlap so hopefully it won’t take as long.



I have accused some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin, of reprehensible conduct.  In some cases, the conduct is even criminal.  In all cases, the only justice I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice system.  I do not want to see vigilante violence against any person or any threat of such violence.  This kind of conduct is not only morally wrong, but it is counter-productive.

In the particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him.  Do not call him.  Do not write him a letter.  Do not write him an email.  Do not text-message him.  Do not engage in any kind of directed communication.  I say this in part because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want that to happen to him.

And for that matter, don’t go on his property.  Don’t sneak around and try to photograph him.  Frankly try not to even be within his field of vision.  Your behavior could quickly cross the line into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).

And do not contact his organizations, either.  And most of all, leave his family alone.

The only exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any stories you might report.  And even then if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request.  That this is a key element in making out a harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you refuse.

And let me say something else.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above.  But if any of you have, stop it, and if you haven’t don’t start.

1 comment:

  1. "If the police had arrived a few minutes sooner and had found Martin on top of Zimmerman and charged him with assault, he might have been able to plead that Zimmerman’s actions frightened him, justifying him in throwing the first punch."

    Except that his continuing to beat on Zimmerman after the first punch laid him out (removing any threat) would make the self-defense claim void. You're allowed to use force to END A THREAT; if the evidence shows that you went past that, your claim will be challenged.

    "My guess is it is the fact he shot the guy’s legs first, and then shot him in the head, that was the problem."

    And here's a case where exactly that happened. It could have been argued that the third shot was fired as part of a series with the other two, but there may have been physical evidence that argued against that; the bullet showing it was fired from a different position or angle, for example.