Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Judge in Miami dismisses murder charge in 'stand your ground' pursuit

MIAMI — A bag of stolen car radios — swung during a confrontation — amounted to a lethal threat to a Little Havana man who chased down a thief and stabbed him to death, a Miami-Dade judge said in her written ruling Tuesday in dismissing the murder charge against the man.

Circuit Judge Beth Bloom issued her written ruling six days after deciding that based on Florida's "stand your ground" law, Greyston Garcia was immune from prosecution in the killing of Pedro Roteta, who swung the 4- to 6-pound bag at Garcia just before the stabbing.

Police painted Garcia as a vigilante who chased Roteta for more than a block before stabbing him during a confrontation Jan. 25.

But Bloom, in her order, said that under the law, Garcia "was well within his rights to pursue the victim and demand the return of his property. … The defendant had no duty to retreat and could lawfully pursue a fleeing felon who has stolen his property." Bloom acknowledged in her order that Garcia did not call police or 911, but went home.

Garcia's defense attorney, assistant public defender Eduardo Pereira, hailed the decision, saying: "Although controversial, the result in this case is due to the hard work of our office, which remains dedicated to protecting the Constitution by defending each client's rights pursuant to the laws that apply to and protects us all."

Florida's controversial 2005 stand your ground law eliminated a citizen's duty to retreat before using deadly force against an attacker. Miami-Dade Chief Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hoague, who trains her office's lawyers in self-defense cases, said her office would appeal the decision because "we feel the judge abused her discretion."

Comments
Woman fatally struck while pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

Woman fatally struck while pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

TAMPA— A mother was killed Wednesday when she was struck by a vehicle while pushing a stroller on Bayshore Boulevard, according to the Tampa Police Department.The crash occurred around 11:43 near W Knights Avenue, police said.The woman and child were...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Stock up for hurricanes, Buckhorn warns, or ‘we may be coming for you in a body bag’

Stock up for hurricanes, Buckhorn warns, or ‘we may be coming for you in a body bag’

TAMPA — Stuff that hurricane kit full of batteries, pen that emergency plan and, for goodness sake, get as many gallons stored in the garage as possible while the skies are blue and clouds are fluffy white. That was the message Tampa Mayor Bob Buckh...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

VERO BEACH — Land O'Lakes had just finished a hard-fought 5-0 victory over Clay in the Class 6A state semifinal. Callie Turner threw a no-hitter. Jolene Bodner had a two-run single.The win was big, clinching the Gators' second straight champion...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

FORT MYERS — One swing.That's all it took for Carrollwood Day's historic season to come to an end.With two outs and two runners on in the third inning of the Class 3A state semifinal against Tallahassee North Florida Christian, Patriots starter...
Updated: 1 hour ago
No. 2-seeded USF falls to Wichita State in AAC tourney opener

No. 2-seeded USF falls to Wichita State in AAC tourney opener

Second-seeded USF was greeted Wednesday morning at the American Athletic Conference tournament by a bright sky and bracket poised to burst.Yet on a day the Bulls (32-19-1) could've made real noise in this eight-team event, their bats elicited nary a ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL policy: Players can stay inside during anthem if they won’t stand

NFL policy: Players can stay inside during anthem if they won’t stand

NFL owners passed a new policy Wednesday with the hopes of moving on from boycotts and political turmoil related to some players protesting by not standing during the national anthem before games.Under the new policy, NFL players are not required to ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Gasparilla Bowl moving to Tampa; Lee Roy Selmon’s closing in Tampa; and more

Top 5 at noon: Gasparilla Bowl moving to Tampa; Lee Roy Selmon’s closing in Tampa; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:GASPARILLA BOWL MOVING FROM TROPICANA FIELD TO RAYMOND JAMES STADIUMThe Gasparilla Bowl is heading across the bay. The annual college football bowl game is moving from Tropicana Field to Raym...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bayport Pier reconstruction on hold as Hernando commissioners grapple with budget shortfall

Bayport Pier reconstruction on hold as Hernando commissioners grapple with budget shortfall

BROOKSVILLE — The concept of a multimillion dollar budget crisis and the reality of one are two very different things, as Hernando County Commissioners learned Tuesday.Faced with an $11.5 million shortfall going into the new budget year, they discuss...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Relative calm before Invest 90L threatens to deluge Tampa Bay this weekend

Forecast: Relative calm before Invest 90L threatens to deluge Tampa Bay this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — While rain chances will decrease over the next two days, it is only a relative calm before a broad low pressure system moves into the Gulf of Mexico, producing strong storms across an already drenched Tampa Bay for Memorial Day weeke...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

Rays put Jake Faria on DL, call up Vidal Nuno

The Rays, as expected, are placing RHP Jake Faria on the 10-day DL with a left oblique strain that he sustained during Tuesday's game.Somewhat unexpectedly, they are calling up LHP Vidal Nuno to take his place.Nuno, 30, has pitched parts of five seas...
Updated: 1 hour ago