"Stand Your Ground" Law & Immunity Defense in Homicide

STATE OF FLORIDA vs. CHRISTOPHER & JAMES HOIT
January 2015

Case Synopsis

In 2014, brothers James and Christopher Hoit were charged with manslaughter after a bar fight resulted in the unfortunate death of Ali Malik. Evidence shows that Malik had one of the defendants in a chokehold while the other defendant punched and kicked Malik in order to free his brother. This altercation lasted until Malik fell through a pane window; it was only after the fall that Malik finally released the individual whom he was choking. As the parties fell through the window, a shard of glass pierced Malik's right side and fatally penetrated his liver.

State of Florida vs. Christopher and James Hoit
Complete MOTION

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Point of Law

We argued that the defendants had immunity based on the "Stand Your Ground" law. Florida statutes provide citizens with a fundamental right to self-defense. Commonly known as Stand Your Ground, these statutes assert that a person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another (776.012).

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Conclusion

Attorney Delgado and his legal staff incorporated copious amounts of visual aids in order prove many elements of the case. Mr. Delgado utilized exhibits incorporating testimony of the medical examiner and of law enforcement officers to show the expert opinion that a chokehold is a deadly force. This was supplemented by newspaper headlines and social media posts to provide actual examples where a chokehold had fatal results. A steep challenge Attorney Delgado faced was inconsistent testimony by witnesses which threw the claim of self-defense into question. Mr. Delgado hired an artist specializing in a legal drawing to depict the facts of the case from each witness's viewpoint. He focused on each individual witness testimony to show them unreliable for disproving the Stand Your Ground Motion which he brought forward. These drawings were used to draw attention to inconsistencies among the testimonies and to ultimately prove that a plea of self-defense is valid.

At Damore, Delgado & Romanik we work tirelessly to ensure that no stone is left unturned. Hiring an aggressive, trail-ready attorney can make the all the difference in the outcome of your case. If you have been charged with a crime please call us and allow us the opportunity to tell you what we can do to obtain the best possible outcome.

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