Victim: Derek Smith
The accused: Edward M. Mederos


Derek Smith

Unknown male

Age at time: unknown

Weapon: unarmed

Edward M._Mederos

Edward M. Mederos

White male

Age at time: 27

Weapon: knife



Case type:
Party/Bar Fight

Fsu Stadium Parking Lot



Case year:

Location details: outside Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Leon County, on Sept. 08, 2009

What happened: Three friends, who were big Miami fans, went to pre-game festivities outside FSU’s Doak Campbell stadium in September of 2009. They engaged some FSU fans and in what started out as friendly banter about their teams, progressed to trading insults, and escalated into a physical altercation. Witnesses' accounts differ wildly and the parties involved admitted to drinking before the incident. Some thought ATF agent, Javier Ribas, was being strangled by FSU fan, Derek Smith, while others said they were just involved in a shoving match. Ribas' friend, federal immigration agent Edward Mederos, intervened brandishing his government issued knife and pulled him from danger. Mederos then went back and continued to fight with an unarmed Smith. It ended when Mederos stabbed Smith in the palm of his hand. Campus police arrived and arrested Mederos and charged him with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

The outcome: A judge denied Mederos immunity from prosecution at a Stand Your Ground hearing. The First District Court rejected his appeal in August of 2012. Mederos claimed he was acting in self-defense and protecting his friend. The defense said Smith was committing a forcible felony in attacking Ribas. The court wrote that once the attack on Ribas was over and they were out of imminent danger, he had no right to use deadly force. Mederos' trial is pending.

Investigating agency: Florida State University Police

Case decision made by: Jury

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/

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?


Was the victim armed?


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


Did the defendant pursue the victim?


Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?


Was the defendant on his or her property?


Did someone witness the attack?


Was there physical evidence?


Source: Associated Press, Aug. 10, 2012. Link to original source

Click here for more information about how we compiled these cases. Know of something we missed or have a photo to share? Submit a case here.


Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013