Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Exonerated 'stand your ground' defendant faces Hillsborough lawsuit

TAMPA — The mother of a man whose death was ruled justified under Florida's "stand your ground" law filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday against the man who shot her son.

A civil complaint in Hillsborough Circuit Court says that Charles Podany, 49, acted "with reckless disregard" when he shot 24-year-old Casey Landes on Feb. 29, 2008, in a neighborhood dispute.

Landes' mother, Ruby Landes, seeks damages in excess of $15,000 from Podany as well as the condo association of Bay Hills Village in Thonotosassa, where the incident took place, and its managing authority, the Vanguard Management Group Inc.

A judge tossed out a manslaughter charge against Podany in September, siding with his attorneys, who argued that Podany fired in self-defense and therefore was immune from prosecution under the law.

Podany had been bicycling through the neighborhood near his Bay Hills Circle home on the night of the incident when he asked a man in a fast-driving pickup to slow down, according to sheriff's and court records. After Podany and the driver spoke with each other, Landes, who was a passenger in the truck, approached and began beating Podany.

Podany fell to the ground. Landes jumped on top of him. That's when Podany retrieved his .40-caliber Glock and shot Landes in the head, killing him, according to records.

A toxicology report showed Landes had a blood alcohol level of 0.28 at the time of his death. Florida law presumes a driver is impaired with a level higher than 0.08.

"I was really a victim in this whole thing," Podany said in an interview with the St. Petersburg Times on Monday. He expressed dismay that the incident was being portrayed as a "wrongful death."

Podany added that he was unaware the suit had been filed, and declined to discuss the details of the fatal encounter until he had a chance to review the civil complaint.

The complaint says that Podany was known to never leave his home without a firearm, and had previously brandished the weapon in a threatening manner. It also says that Podany posed a danger to the general public and that Bay Hills failed to prevent or eliminate the danger.

Ruby Landes could not be reached for comment. A message left with her attorney Monday was not returned.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this story.

Exonerated 'stand your ground' defendant faces Hillsborough lawsuit 02/08/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 9:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)

    World

    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.