Victim: James Scott Baisden (killed)
The accused: Sean Christopher Stewart

James Scott_Baisden

James Scott Baisden

White male

Age at time: 34

Weapon: unarmed

 
Stewart

Sean Christopher Stewart

White male

Age at time: 37

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Pasco County Sheriff's Office, 2007

Case type:
Argument turned violent

Location:
Private Property

Initiator:
Defendant

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2007

Location details: The victim's home in Land O'Lakes, Pasco County, on Dec. 01, 2007

What happened: Sean Christopher Stewart, 37, claimed self-defense for fatally shooting James Scott Baisden, 34, at Baisden's Land O' Lakes house on Dec. 2, 2007. Witnesses said Stewart, who was drunk, was yelling about someone stealing his guns and Baisden was trying to calm him. Stewart reportedly pushed Baisden into a bookcase, hit him over the head with a piece of wood, then left the house, returning minutes later with a gun. Stewart then shot Baisden twice in the chest. Stewart told police he shot in self-defense. "I'm going to stand my ground, dude," he told a detective. "Jeb Bush said I could." A jury rejected the defense.

The outcome: Stewart was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 30 years in 2010. An appeals court granted Stewart a new trial on January 31, 2013 because of improper jury instructions. The trial is pending.

Investigating agency: Pasco County Sheriff

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/
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: Pasco Sheriff's Office, March 30, 2012.

Source: Tampa Tribune, Nov. 4, 2010.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013