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Stickney v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

February 14, 2018

EVANDER STICKNEY, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Geoffrey D. Cohen, Judge; L.T. Case No. 15-008040 CF10A.

          Carey Haughwout, Public Defender, and Patrick B. Burke, Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Rachael Kaiman, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.

          Taylor, J.

         Evander Stickney appeals his conviction and sentence for felony battery. He argues that the trial court improperly instructed the jury on the victim's right to use force. We agree and reverse for a new trial. On the remaining issues raised by appellant, we find no error.

         The Information

         Appellant was charged by information with aggravated battery and culpable negligence, arising out of a fight he had with his former girlfriend, Marika Ellis.

         The Prosecution's Case

         At trial, Ellis testified that she and appellant had a two-year old daughter together. Ellis and appellant broke up in April 2015, but they continued to see each other often.

          A few days before the incident that led to the criminal charges against appellant, Ellis learned that a woman whom appellant was seeing was pregnant.

         On the day of the incident, appellant wanted Ellis to come over so he could explain to her what was going on with the other woman. Ellis arrived at appellant's house shortly before noon and went to appellant's bedroom. Ellis brought their daughter with her. Appellant's aunt, cousin, and grandmother were also in the house.

         While appellant and Ellis were talking, appellant received a text message from the other woman. Appellant got upset and threw his phone.

         Ellis left to go to the store but eventually returned. Appellant was lying down in his bedroom and appeared to have been crying. Ellis sat on the bed and put their daughter near appellant, hoping to brighten his spirits. Appellant instead got upset and "kind of pushed back" towards their daughter. Ellis was able to grab her and intercept any contact.

         Ellis then got up and said she was "getting the hell out of there." Appellant responded, "[T]hen get the fuck out." Appellant got up and was angry. He and Ellis started yelling at each other. ...


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