Broward Student Uses "Stand Your Ground" To Get Conviction for School Bus Fight Tossed Out

He convinced the 4th District Court of Appeals that he should have the right to claim he was standing his ground

By Willard Shepard
|  Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013  |  Updated 10:30 AM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
A Broward middle school student just used the

A Broward middle school student just used the "Stand Your Ground” law to get his conviction tossed out. Broward defense attorney Richard Della Fera discussed the case.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Miami Shores Teen Won't Face Charges in Shooting of WaveRunner Thief

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office says a teen who shot a 20-year-old man in May 2011 as the man was trying to steal a WaveRunner won't face charges. Reynaldo Munoz was killed in the shooting. Jeffrey Weiner, attorney for the David family, comments.

Chili's Shooting Case Revolves Around "Stand Your Ground"

Gabriel Mobley, 36, claims he acted in self-defense when he shot two men outside a Chili's restaurant in February 2008. He testified in a hearing Friday. Joyce Carrazana, the sister of one of the men killed, said both families are trying to get closure.
More Photos and Videos

With school about to start, thousands of kids in South Florida will soon be on school buses headed back to class.

Now, it turns out Florida's controversial “Stand Your Ground” law can be used by kids on those buses.

A Broward middle school student just used the ‘Stand Your Ground” law to get his conviction tossed out.

Florida House Speaker Calls for Hearing on "Stand Your Ground" Law

The student who got into a fight on his bus with a girl initially was adjudicated or found guilty – but he appealed that and won. The youngster, who was charged with battery, has convinced an appellate court that he should have the right to claim he was standing his ground.

The 4th District Court of Appeals ruling said, "The defense argued the Stand Your Ground law, applied and that T.P. (the middle school student) was lawfully entitled to defend himself, because, according to the bus driver, A.F. (the female student) had used force against T.P. when she grabbed him by his jacket, punched him, and pulled him down into his seat."

The female student testified the boy was the aggressor.

Broward defense attorney Richard Della Fera says, "Even on a school bus where a child has a lawful right to be, this law might apply."

"Stand Your Ground" Opponents Rally for Changes to Law

With so much controversy over the Florida law and some protesters calling for the law to be repealed, Della Fera says what happened on the school bus and the court's response to it indicates that “Stand Your Ground” is pretty much everywhere even when no weapons are involved.

"I think it shows us that Stand Your Ground does have broad application throughout many, many instances of everyday life,” he said.

In siding with the male student the appellate court stated, "In this case, T.P. had the right to assert a defense under Stand Your Ground. He was not engaged in an unlawful activity, and he had the right to be on the bus going home from school. He had no duty to retreat and, despite the trial court’s misgivings, had the right to ‘meet force with force.’"

Sharpton Speaks Against "Stand Your Ground"

Said Della Fera, "Regardless of the age of the participants, regardless of the environment, that the persons are in, if it indeed is a situation where that person has a lawful right to be such as a child on a school bus, that child has the right to defend him or herself.”

Broward prosecutors said at this point they do not plan on dropping the case.

When it goes back to court, there's no guarantee the student would win using “Stand Your Ground.” The judge would have to take a look at the facts and see if the immunity applies, but the student now gets to put that on the table – which wasn't the case before. That’s something for every parent to think about right before school starts.

More Local Stories:

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get NBCDFW on Mobile!
Get NBCDFW's free news and weather... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out