final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Leon County. James C.
Thomas, Public Defender, and M. J. Lord, Assistant Public
Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Benjamin L. Hoffman, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Amos Moorer, challenges his convictions for attempted
second-degree murder and raises two issues pertaining to the
jury instructions given at his trial. Appellant argues that
the justifiable use of deadly force instruction was
fundamentally erroneous because it included the
"otherwise engaged in criminal activity" language,
but no instruction on the alleged criminal activity. He
further asserts that the trial court erred by giving the
aggressor instruction over his objection. For the reasons
that follow, we affirm.
was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder
after he shot Sara Renee Wilson, his ex-girlfriend, and
Jahmai Makonnan Bassett, her boyfriend at the time. At trial,
Wilson testified that she and Appellant broke up in the
spring of 2016. They stayed in touch over the summer and he
visited her at her new Tallahassee apartment. Prior to the
incident, they last saw each other on July 4th, when Wilson
ended their relationship for good and Appellant said "he
was going to put himself out of his misery." Between the
July 4th break-up and the August 11th incident, Appellant
tried to contact Wilson from random phone numbers because she
had blocked his number and would plead for her to get back
together with him, but she did not call him, invite him over,
or share with him anything about her life.
August 11th, before it got dark, Wilson took her dog for a
walk, and the dog alerted to the bushes next to her apartment
building. In the bushes, Wilson saw Appellant laying on his
stomach on the ground. Upon emerging from the bushes,
Appellant asked Wilson to take the dog home and talk to him.
She said she would, but only "to get away from
him." Wilson was scared and observed that Appellant
"was like he wasn't there," "it was like a
person [she has] never seen. Like the look in his eyes was
different. Like [she has] never seen him like that
before." Wilson did not know that Appellant was coming
over, and she did not say anything to him about her
"weed man" being there.
inside her apartment, Wilson told Bassett that her
ex-boyfriend was in the bushes and then called her sister.
Wilson assumed Appellant left because she did not see him or
his car when she looked out the window. Bassett stepped
outside to wait for the Uber he had already requested because
the drivers tended to go to the wrong location. Bassett had
never met Appellant, did not know his name or what he looked
like, and was not upset about his presence. While Bassett was
outside waiting for his ride, Wilson was standing in her
doorway. At that point, Appellant pulled up in his car right
in front of them. Wilson asked Appellant to leave, but he
exited his car and started shooting. Appellant first shot at
Bassett and then came after Wilson. Once Bassett ran off to
Wilson's right, Appellant "started running towards .
. . [Wilson] and [she] heard [more] gunshots." Appellant
was facing and looking at Wilson as the gunshots continued
and he made it all the way to her doorway. When Appellant saw
Wilson was shot, he "just took off running."
knows Appellant owns a .45 gun, whereas Bassett does not own
a gun and did not have one with him on the day of the
incident. Wilson did not see Bassett do anything with his
pants or waistband, but she could not see everything clearly
because of the stairwell. When asked if she heard Bassett
yell, curse, or make threats, Wilson explained, "I heard
him say the same thing I said, just leave, she asked you to
leave"; "he said something along the lines of the
same thing I said. He asked, please - - she asked you to
please leave." Wilson hung up with her sister to call
911, the recording of which was admitted into evidence and
reflected that she told the dispatcher, "[Appellant]
just came up here and I opened the door and he just started
shooting at me." Bassett was upset with Wilson after the
incident and did not want anything to do with her.
witnesses corroborated Wilson's account of the incident.
Shannon Walsh, Wilson's sister, testified that shortly
before 8:00 p.m. on August 11th, she received a phone call
from Wilson, who sounded "worried, scared." While
they were on the phone, Walsh heard Wilson repeatedly say,
"please leave, [Appellant]; we've asked you to
leave." Walsh also heard Bassett talking and observed
that he was not yelling. "Literally right after"
Wilson asked Appellant to leave, Walsh heard gunshots and
screaming. The recording of Walsh's 911 call was admitted
into evidence and reflected that she reported that Appellant
"showed up at [Wilson's] house in the bushes,"
he had been stalking Wilson for a while, Wilson politely
asked him to leave and told him she did not want to talk to
him and he was "freaking [her] out," "and
that's when he just shot."
Wilson, a resident at Wilson's apartment complex and of
no relation to her, testified that he saw Appellant stand up
in between two vehicles, "bolt out in front of the
vehicles," and "[stick] his arm out like this and
start firing" at Bassett, who was in the doorway area
of the apartment and then ran to his right before falling to
the ground. Appellant looked around and then said to Wilson,
who had been standing in her doorway and was entering her
apartment, "where do you think you're going"
and followed her. Michael heard gunshots as Appellant bolted
from between the vehicles, after Bassett ran, and as
Appellant was going towards Wilson.
the resident who assisted Bassett at the scene nor the
forensic specialist who collected Bassett's belongings at
the hospital saw a gun on him. Wilson and Bassett were shot
multiple times in the leg and foot. Five spent casings and
three projectiles were collected at the crime scene, which an
expert in ballistics testified were fired from a Hi-Point .45
caliber semiautomatic pistol. Sergeant Christopher Corbitt,
an expert in historical communication records analysis,
testified that based on Appellant's phone records, he
determined that on the day in question, Appellant entered
Leon County about 6:14 p.m., was around the crime scene at
7:52 p.m., was moving away from the scene at 7:55 p.m., and
was back in Jacksonville at 10:59 p.m.
testified that he had broken up with Wilson and they last
spoke about ten days before the incident. On August 11th,
Appellant was going to the Pensacola area for vacation and
decided to stop at the leasing office of Wilson's
apartment complex to see if he could obtain another lease for
her because he knew her lease was about to expire and she was
having issues with it. Appellant still loved Wilson, but was
not intending on seeing her, so he parked and walked where
she could not see him. When Appellant saw Wilson walking the
dog, he squatted down in the bushes in an attempt to avoid
her, though he was not trying to hide. When the dog alerted
Wilson to the bushes, Appellant stood up and she "kind
of bust[ed] out laughing." Appellant asked to talk to
Wilson for a minute, and she said, "give me a second, .
. . my weed man is here." Appellant thought Wilson was
referring to "Seven," with whom he did not want any
contact because his understanding was that Seven was a gang
member and she had his dog. Appellant had taken Wilson to
Seven's house to buy marijuana, but never actually met
then went to his car to pull into the apartment complex
because Wilson said "he was going to leave." When
Appellant parked directly in front of Wilson's apartment,
he saw her in the doorway and a man walking away from the
apartment. While Appellant was still in his car, the
man-Bassett-turned around and headed towards him. Appellant
explained, "[Bassett] just had a pissed off look on his
face. He just looked angry. He was on his cell phone when he
was walking towards me," "[a]nd at this point
I'm only, you know, making assumptions." Appellant
told Bassett that he did not have a problem with him and was
there to talk to Wilson. Bassett had gold teeth and tattoos,
which made Appellant think he was Seven. As Bassett was
"still pacing back and forth on the sidewalk," he
was "fumbling [in his pocket and then waistband] with
what [Appellant] believe[d] to be a firearm." Believing
that Bassett was armed, Appellant started looking for his
firearm, a Hi-Point .45. Appellant asked Wilson to talk to
him, but she said she could not and looked at Bassett, which
made Appellant think that Bassett was holding her against her
will. Appellant asked Bassett if they had a problem, to which
Bassett responded, "I don't know, you tell me. . .
[F]*** . . ., if you know something, you better get somewhere
before you get your wig split." Appellant understood
that statement to be a threat to cause him death or severe
bodily harm, and he was very scared. Appellant drew his
weapon because he believed Bassett was about to shoot him.
Appellant fired the first shot at Bassett, Bassett continued
to face Appellant and started backing up, and then he
"turns and runs and he falls [on his back] left of
Wilson's front door." At that point, Appellant saw
that Bassett's hands were empty and he stopped firing
because he was not trying to kill Bassett and felt he could
leave. Appellant added, "Before I couldn't -- I felt
like, like he just forced me out of the car; like I
didn't have any other option." Once Bassett fell to
the ground, Appellant "turned around and walked back to
the car." Appellant never tried to shoot Wilson and was
unaware that she was injured. Appellant returned ...