Florida man cites ‘Bush doctrine’ after pre-emptive killing of neighbors at Labor Day cookout
Lawyers for a Florida man this week cited President George W. Bush’s pre-emptive war in Iraq and the “Bush Doctrine” as a defense after their client killed two neighbors and attempted to kill a third on Labor Day.
Florida Today reported on Wednesday that attorney’s for William T. Woodward had filed a motion asking for charges against him to be dismissed under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which says that gun owners do not have a duty to retreat in the face of an “imminent” threat.
According to officials in Titusville, Woodward had snuck up on his neighbors while they were having a Labor Day barbecue. Police responding to the scene found that Gary Lee Hembree, Roger Picior and Bruce Timothy had all been shot.
Hembree and Picior were later pronounced dead. Blake survived, even though he had been hit 11 times.
In their motion, Woodward’s attorneys claimed that the victims had called him names and threatened to “get him.”
The motion referenced Enoch V. State, which suggests that an “imminent” threat can include something that is likely to occur at sometime in the future.
“I think legally that term has sort of been evolving especially given changes of our government’s definition of ‘imminent,’” attorney Robert Berry, who is representing Woodward, told Florida Today. “It’s become more expansive than someone putting a gun right to your head. It’s things that could become, you know, an immediate threat.”
The court document filed by the defense also cited “The Bush Doctrine,” a foreign policy principle used by President George W. Bush to justify the invasion of Iraq. “The Bush Doctrine” embraces “preventive” or pre-emptive war.
Watch the video below from Florida Today, broadcast Sept. 4, 2013.
[Photo credit: Broward County Jail]