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Holmes v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

August 23, 2019

Kameron Holmes, Appellant,
v.
State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Russell Healey, Judge.

          Andy Thomas, Public Defender, and Kathleen Stover, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Steven E. Woods, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          Rowe, J.

         Kameron Holmes appeals his conviction for second-degree murder. He argues that his motion for judgment of acquittal should have been granted because the State failed to prove that he acted with ill will, hatred, spite, or evil intent and that the shooting of the victim was not an accident. We affirm.

         Facts

         The victim was Holmes's on-again-off-again girlfriend and the mother of Holmes's son. One afternoon, Holmes and the victim planned to go to a bar to watch a football game. They left the child at Holmes's apartment in the care of Holmes's roommate. The victim and Holmes then drove to the bar and had a few drinks. While at the bar, Holmes received several phone calls from another woman. The victim became upset and asked Holmes to drive her home.

         Before driving the victim home, they picked up their son from Holmes's apartment. On the drive to the victim's home, the victim sat in the back seat with the child.

         While he was driving, Holmes claims that the victim accused him of being unfaithful to her and suggested that she should have ended their relationship. He asserts that the victim slapped his hat and his glasses off and pulled his chain necklace. He said that he told her to chill out, but she slapped his phone out of his hand when he tried to check a text message. When Holmes picked up the phone again, the victim began hitting him in the head even though Holmes repeatedly asked her to stop.

         Holmes claims that he was in fear of his life and the life of his son, so he pulled out his 9mm pistol and pointed it behind him into the back seat at the victim. The gun fired, and the victim was shot.

         After the shooting, Holmes did not immediately call 911 or seek any assistance to aid the victim. Instead, Holmes kept on driving, disposed of the gun, called his roommate, and returned to his apartment. Holmes told his roommate that the victim had been shot in a drive-by shooting. The roommate called 911 and began driving Holmes and the victim to the nearest hospital. The police dispatcher instructed them to pull over because police with medical training were on the way. But when police arrived, the victim was found dead.

         When Holmes was questioned by the police, he gave conflicting versions of the events leading to the victim's death. First, he claimed that the victim was shot during a drive-by shooting. Next, he said the victim grabbed the gun and intentionally shot herself. Finally, Holmes admitted that his first two explanations were false and claimed instead that the shooting was accidental. Holmes explained that he and the victim were fighting when they left the bar and got back into the car. Holmes was angry that the victim was hitting him while he was driving. He claimed that when he pointed the gun at the victim, he thought the safety was on, but when the victim slapped at his wrist, the gun went off.

         Holmes's story that the shooting was accidental was contradicted by the State's expert witnesses. Experts testified that the bullet was fired from fewer than three inches from the victim's head, causing the bullet to enter her brain and exit through her right ear. Experts also testified that the gun had multiple working safety features, including a trigger-lock safety. Finally, contrary to Holmes's claim that the gun fired when the victim slapped at his hand, experts ...


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