NEW PORT RICHEY — Authorities have dropped criminal charges against a woman who stabbed her husband in the chest during a drunken fight in October.
Lillian Dolores Fahrer, 59, faced a charge of manslaughter in the death of her 42-year-old husband, Robert. She told authorities that he pushed her against a kitchen wall in their apartment on Trouble Creek Road and she reached for a steak knife in the sink. He took a step forward and dared her to stab him, so she did.
He died at the scene.
Assistant State Attorney Mike Halkitis, chief of the office's New Port Richey Division, said Lillian Fahrer could claim the stabbing was committed in self-defense.
Florida's "stand your ground law" allows people to use deadly force when they feel threatened.
The law "kind of limits what we can do," Halkitis said. "It's our burden to show she was the aggressor (in order to prove manslaughter), and there's no other witnesses."
In addition, Halkitis said, there were previous cases in which Robert Fahrer was the culprit and Lillian Fahrer was the victim. He stood 6 feet tall and weighed 217 pounds. His wife, is 5 feet 4, 150 pounds.
"Her story from Day 1 is, 'He came at me,' " Halkitis said.
The stand your ground law has played a role in several recent Pasco cases. In October, a Hudson man was acquitted of aggravated battery and spared a possible life sentence after his lawyer invoked a stand your ground defense. Jurors determined that Anthony Boglino was defending himself when he shot an angry neighbor who was charging at him.
Prosecutors also dropped aggravated battery charges against Gregory Allan Stewart of Wesley Chapel, who shot a man who rattled his front door, apparently lost, in the wee hours in August. William Vincent Kuch refused to leave, and Stewart shot him in the abdomen.
But a Pasco judge and an appeals court refused to declare Max Wesley Horn immune from prosecution under the stand your ground law. So Horn, 48, will stand trial on a second-degree murder charge in the March 29, 2008, shooting of Joseph Martell after the Chasco Fiesta in downtown New Port Richey.
Circuit Judge Michael Andrews said it should be left to a jury to decide whether Horn was acting in self-defense.
Molly Moorhead can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6245.