FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County; Chet A.
L. Dimmig, II, Public Defender and Kevin Briggs, Assistant
Public Defender, Bartow, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee and Jonathan A.
Hurley, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
Martin appeals his judgment and sentence for one count of
felony battery. Mr. Martin raises several issues on appeal.
Because we hold that section 776.032, Florida Statutes
(2016), applies retroactively to his case, we reverse and
remand for the circuit court to convene a new "Stand
Your Ground" hearing under the statute as amended. Mr.
Martin's remaining issues are without merit.
evening in February of 2016, Mr. Martin and his girlfriend,
Kathryn Lawson, went out for a night on the town that ended
in an altercation in a McDonald's parking lot over who
should drive to their next destination. According to Ms.
Lawson, Mr. Martin punched her twice in the face after she
refused to get into the vehicle. According to Mr. Martin, it
was he who refused to get in the car, which prompted Ms.
Lawson to threaten him with a firearm; he attempted to disarm
her, and in the ensuing scuffle, elbowed her in the face
(and, at some point, somehow got himself shot in the arm).
State charged Mr. Martin with one count of felony battery
causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent
disfigurement under section 784.041(1), Florida Statutes
(2016). Mr. Martin filed a motion to establish immunity under
section 776.032. The trial court held a hearing on the motion
and ultimately denied it, ruling that "[a]fter hearing
the testimony of the witnesses, the review of the evidence
that has been offered as exhibits, the court finds that
the defense has not met their burden and I'll
deny the motion." (Emphasis added.) Mr. Martin's
case proceeded to a jury trial, and he was convicted as
Martin filed the present appeal, but while this appeal was
pending, the Florida Legislature amended section 776.032 to
modify which party bears the burden of proof in a
self-defense immunity hearing. See ch. 2017-72,
§ 1, at 898-99, Laws of Fla. (2017). The Florida
Legislature's amendment to section 776.032 added the
(4) In a criminal prosecution, once a prima facie claim of
self-defense immunity from criminal prosecution has been
raised by the defendant at a pretrial immunity hearing, the
burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence is on the
party seeking to overcome the immunity from criminal
prosecution provided in subsection (1).
as it now stands, the State bears the burden of disproving,
by clear and convincing evidence, a facially sufficient claim
of self-defense immunity in a criminal prosecution. On
appeal, Mr. Martin argues that this amendment is retroactive
in its application, that it applies to his case, and that he
is entitled to a new immunity hearing. We agree.