William H. Fletcher, Petitioner,
State of Florida, Respondent.
final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
Petition for Writ of Prohibition-Original Jurisdiction.
Michael Ufferman of Michael Ufferman Law Firm, P.A.,
Tallahassee, for Petitioner.
Moody, Attorney General, and Steve Edward Woods, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Respondent.
H. Fletcher seeks a writ of prohibition, claiming that the
trial court erred in denying him immunity from prosecution
under section 776.032, Florida Statutes. We grant the
was charged with one count of aggravated battery with a
firearm, alleging that he shot the victim, Randy Parker, in
the leg. Fletcher moved to dismiss the charge, asserting
immunity from prosecution pursuant to section 776.032,
Florida Statutes, the "Stand Your Ground" law.
the immunity hearing, Fletcher, a bail bondsman with a
concealed weapons permit, testified that the shooting
constituted justifiable use of force. Fletcher testified that
he and his brother had driven to Parker's home out of
concern for their sister who was in a troubled relationship
with Parker. Fletcher believed that Parker was violent and
that Parker almost always carried a firearm on his person.
arriving at Parker's home, Fletcher called 911 and walked
to a nearby stop sign to inform police of the location.
Fletcher then approached Parker's home and encountered
his brother having a physical confrontation with Parker.
Fletcher observed Parker reaching for his waistband. Fletcher
brandished his firearm and warned Parker to stop. Parker made
an aggressive move towards Fletcher's brother, causing
Fletcher to fire a shot that struck Parker in his leg. After
injuring Parker, Fletcher helped him back into his home.
Fletcher then drove to the police station, waived his rights,
and agreed to be interviewed.
sister testified that she was in an abusive relationship with
Parker and that she wanted to leave Parker's home when
her brothers arrived. Parker would not let her leave and
confronted Fletcher's brother on the front lawn.
Fletcher's sister also testified that she believed Parker
and his mother, who both resided at the home where the
shooting occurred, testified that Parker and Fletcher's
sister were at home when someone knocked on the door, and
when Parker answer it, Fletcher and his brother were standing
outside. Parker testified that Fletcher's brother was
confrontational with him and that when he saw Fletcher with a
firearm, attempted to knock it out of his hand. Parker denied
threatening to kill Fletcher's brother. Parker's
mother also testified that Fletcher was behind Parker holding
a gun to his head.
trial court denied immunity. The court noted that the
testimony of Parker and his mother conflicted with the
testimony of Fletcher, his sister, and the 911 recordings.
The court concluded that the 911 recording provided "the
most credible recounting of the events" and, as a
result, Fletcher was not present during the "initial
scrum" between Parker and Fletcher's brother. The
court also stated that it was "clear that [Fletcher]
issued a warning before firing his weapon." The court
credited Fletcher and his sister's testimony regarding
Parker's "violent and threatening behavior."
Moreover, the court found that Parker "had a loose
fitting shirt that could have hidden a gun." Thus, the
court concluded that "[t]he fact that [Parker] did not
actually have a firearm is irrelevant to the issues here, as
all that is required was a reasonable fear that such a weapon
was present and was about to be used."
though the trial court found that Fletcher "appear[ed]
to have a viable claim for immunity for his actions," it
denied immunity because it determined that Fletcher was
trespassing on Parker's property when the shooting
occurred. As a result, Fletcher was not where he was legally