Victims: Cedrick Antoine Howard (killed), Andre Lamar Jackson
The accused: Xavious McCray, Lavelton Williams

Howard

Cedrick Antoine Howard

Black male

Age at time: 25

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Jackson

Andre Lamar Jackson

Black male

Age at time: 34

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

 
McCray

Xavious McCray

Black male

Age at time: 20

Weapon: gun

gun

unharmed

Defendant photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Williams

Lavelton Williams

Black male

Age at time: 34

Weapon: gun

gun

unharmed

Defendant photo: Florida Department of Corrections

Case type:
Argument turned violent

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Unclear

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2009

Location details: Car chase and gunfight along a public street in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, on March 31, 2009

What happened: Xavious McCray was arguing with two brothers when McCray allegedly fired his gun and fled with his co-defendant, Lavelton Williams, in his car. The brothers chased the men, with McCray firing on them, until they crashed. When police arrived, they found one of the brothers, Cedrick Howard, dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Although first arrested on homicide charges, prosecutors reduced charges against McCray to aggravated assault and illegal gun possession by a felon. Details are limited because the case against Williams is pending.

The outcome: A judge rejected both defendants' motion for "stand your ground" immunity because they were breaking the law by possessing firearms as felons. "The legislature intended for the statutes to apply to regular, law abiding citizens and not those bent on criminal activity," the judge wrote in his order. Prosecutors reduced charges against McCray, who pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and was sentenced to five years in prison. Williams was scheduled for trial on firearm possession charges at the end of April 2012.

Investigating agency: West Palm Beach Police

Case decision made by: Judge

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/
disputed

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

Check

Was the victim armed?

Check

Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?

Check

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

Check

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

Check

Was the defendant on his or her property?

Check

Did someone witness the attack?

Check

Was there physical evidence?

Check

Source: Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Palm Beach County, July 11, 2011.

Source: West Palm Beach Police Department, March 31, 2009.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013