“Stand Your Ground” Clears16-Year-Old in Shooting Death of Florida Man

Oh look: A 40-year-old innocent black man is shot and killed in Florida and “stand your ground” cleared the 16-year-old shooter! How could that be? Surely it has nothing to do with the fact that he attempted to run the kids over while they were walking down the street. Oh no, him having an ongoing beef with some teenagers means nothing.Nope, he jumped out of his SUV with a heavy stick and took a swing at them after conveniently making a drug deal. Oh, and this upstanding member of the community gets of course didn’t deserve to die because he was active in his church.

This from Ocala Star Banner:

No homicide charges will be filed against the teenager who shot and killed 40-year-old Julius Jerome Jacobs in Ocala on the night of July 5.

In a memo released Tuesday, the State Attorney’s Office found that the killing was legal under the provisions of Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

Tyrone Pierson, 17, shot Jacobs once in the head, according to the memo. Citing witness accounts, prosecutors said Jacobs had gotten out of his sport utility vehicle on Southwest Third Street and come after Pierson and two other teens with a large stick.

Prosecutors quoted statutes saying that killing someone is justifiable if the killer “reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself … or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

In this case, Jacobs’ threats and his attempt to hit the teen “would cause a reasonable person to fear imminent death or great bodily harm,” the memo stated.

[…] “In that under the current law, Mr. Pierson had no duty to retreat, Mr. Jacobs’ actions make Mr. Pierson immune from criminal prosecution for any murder charges stemming from the death of Mr. Jacobs,” the memo stated.

The shooter will face charges in the case — specifically, carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm by a minor.

Ocala police detectives on Tuesday were in the process of obtaining a pickup order for Pierson, who is being charged as an adult.

Officials with OPD and the State Attorney’s Office met on Monday with members of Jacobs’ family to brief them on the status of the case.

Family members said they are not pleased with the decision.

“He’s getting away with murder,” said Lateria Myhand, a cousin of Jacobs.

Myhand and another cousin, Rashundra Grimsley-Robinson, said Jacobs, a father of five and an assistant choir director for men at Welcome Stranger Missionary Baptist Church, was a non-violent person.

“It isn’t fair to just shoot him in the face like that,” Robinson said. “How does a 17-year-old get a gun? I could understand if he had a stick. It wasn’t a fair fight. If there was any time to pray, it’s now.”

Oh, I guess the kid was supposed to tell Jacobs to hold up on bashing him with his stick, so that he could go search for a stick to make it a “fair” fight. I don’t know how things are in the streets of Ocala, Florida, but I’m willing to bet that it’s just like the streets of Anytown, USA. That would be that no matter who you are, you can still catch a bullet scar. Hell, in this day and age where kids eat .45 caliber slugs for breakfast, what do you expect.

Julius-Jerome-JacobsSo, what exactly happened?

OPD responded to a report of someone being shot in the 1900 block of Southwest Third Street. Officers found Jacobs on the ground in front of a residence with a gunshot wound to the head.

Jacobs had a heavy stick in his right hand.

Officers found two independent eyewitnesses, who were not named in the memo. They also interviewed Pierson and the two 16-year-old boys who were with him. The witnesses gave generally consistent accounts of what happened.

One witness saw Jacobs get out of his Ford Expedition with the stick in his hand and yell an expletive as he walked around the front of the SUV toward the trio. The witness said Jacobs raised the stick to strike one of the youths, and one of them shot him.

Another eyewitness said Jacobs had been arguing with the three down the street. She said the teens had been “talking junk” to him.

Shortly afterward, the trio was walking west on Third Street when Jacobs drove up to them. The witness said he got out with a large stick and said, “I’ll beat your ass,” as he approached with the stick raised. One of the teens then shot Jacobs.

One of the 16-year-olds said the three were walking on the street when the SUV zipped past, almost hitting them. Pierson yelled at the driver to slow down. Jacobs slowed down and had a “hostile exchange of words” with him, according to the memo.

Jacobs, the 16-year-old said, then drove away and pulled into a driveway, where he got out and did what the teen said appeared to be a drug deal with an unknown female.

As the teens walked by that driveway, Jacobs began yelling and swearing at them. The 16-year-old said they kept walking while Jacobs yelled at them, telling them to stay as he had something for them.

The SUV then pulled back on the road and headed straight for them.

Jacobs got out with the stick and was yelling at Pierson, the teen said. He said Jacobs swung the stick at Pierson, who pulled out a handgun and fired a shot at him.

Which really sucked for Jacobs because I’m sure he had a lot of work to do at the church that day.

[…] Officials found a plastic bag with crack cocaine in the center console of Jacobs’ SUV and a cookie of crack cocaine lying in plain view on a seat, according to the memo.

They also recovered three small plastic bags containing marijuana in Jacobs’ right front pants pocket.

Myhand, Jacobs’ cousin, said none of the witnesses told the family about any drug activity, and they don’t believe he was selling drugs.

Even if he was, she said, his life should not have been taken like that.

Pastor James Pullings Sr., who grew up with Jacobs in Ocala, said that, while the situation is tragic for both families, he feels justice has not been served because there’s a mother without a son and children without a father.

“We’re hiding behind a law that’s so vague,” Pullings said about “stand your ground.” He said it emboldens people to shoot someone so long as they feel threatened.

As for Pierson, the pastor said he hopes the teen won’t be just locked up but rather will be rehabilitated so he can see the error of his ways.

I hear you pastor, the law is clearly too vague as I pointed out recently (read here). I could be wrong, but maybe the kid should have waited to be beaten within an inch of his life before deciding to defend himself. I wonder if the relatives and the good reverend would have done the same?

Of course they would not. Why? because, unlike the kid in this case they would have made a recognizable sign of the cross when attacked to appeal to the victims Godly side. Which of course would have made the victim remember that whole “vengeance is mine sayeth the lord,” thingy. At which time his big stick would have been turned into a shepherd’s staff; and naturally, he would have won the souls of the teens for Jesus. Why? ‘Cuz that’s what any crack-dealing father of 5 would do.