Florida Man Who Shot 2 People to Death Gets Off Thanks to 'Stand Your Ground' Law
Stand Your Ground strikes again in Florida. The notorious law that allows people accused of killing someone to argue that they “stood their ground” in the face of life-threatening circumstances has given a man accused of murder a chance at getting off scot-free.
As Think Progress’ Nicole Flatow notes, an appeals court in Florida made a ruling last week that could shield Gabriel Mobley from all the criminal and civil charges he faced for killing two people.
In 2008, Mobley was working at a Chili’s restaurant when two men approached Mobley’s co-workers. Mobley’s friend asked the men to go, but Mobley tried to calm the situation down. After the initial confrontation, Mobley became worried when the men banged on the window outside the Chili’s. Mobley also said they were staring at him.
So Mobley left the restaurant to go to his car, where he picked up his gun. He went to go smoke a cigarette, but one of the men who approached Mobley’s co-workers, Jason Jesus Gonzalez, punched a friend of Mobley’s. Then Gonzales’ friend, Rolando Carrazana, approached, and Mobley saw him reach under his shirt. Mobley thought a gun was about to come out. Mobley fired his gun first, injuring the two men, both of whom died. No guns were found, though there were knives on the ground.
Mobley was convicted of second-degree murder after a judge rejected his Stand Your Ground defense. The judge said that he could not claim immunity under the law because he went to get his gun from his car and did not attempt to calm the situation down before firing.
But last week, two judges overturned the conviction. They argued that Mobley and his friend “had every right to be where they were, doing what they were doing and they did nothing to precipitate this violent attack.”
The case is likely headed to the Florida Supreme Court.