EXPLAINED: ‘Stand Your Ground’ law debated after mother shot in Ocala
Law enforcement officers are investigating an incident in Marion County involving ‘Stand Your Ground’
OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The Marion County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the shooting death of Ajike “AJ” Owens in Ocala. No arrest has been made yet as authorities are investigating if the shooting is justified under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.
The mother of four, was killed when her neighbor shot through the front door on Friday.
Ben Hutson, Gainesville attorney, explains the controversial law is based in Castle Doctrine.
“When you’re inside your home and someone is unlawfully entering your home or trying to get into your home unlawfully, and you’re aware of that, you’re presumed to have a reasonable fear of them using great bodily harm against you. There is a presumption in that regard. So, you have the right to use deadly force under those circumstances,” said Hutson. “The law says that they did if somebody’s trying to break into their home again that’s a really tough bar for the prosecution to hurtle.”
Hutson also noted actions need to be involved, for the law to kick in.
“If they are just using words, then they are going to have a hard time showing that is a reasonable belief. On the other hand, if while they are using those words, and unlawfully trying to enter somebody’s home, the law is going to kick in again.”
The family named the shooter as Susan Lorincz, 58. They claimed prior to the shooting Lorincz harassed the children in the neighborhood calling them racial slurs.
Sheriff Billy Woods would not release the identity of the shooter. He did explain that a dispute between Lorincz and Owen’s children led to her knocking on Lorincz’s door.
Owen’s family demands justice and the NAACP is calling for the shooter to be arrested.
“We support the sheriff in doing what’s right. We just request he do it right now,” said J. David Stockton III, the president of the Marion County chapter of the NAACP.
Jerone A. Gamble, First Vice of the Marion County Chapter of the NAACP wants justice for the community.
“And no one has been arrested, everyone knows who did this and we stand demanding justice in our community,” said Gamble.
The sheriff’s deputies are working with the state attorney’s office to determine if charges will be brought.
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