Florida man invokes ‘Stand your ground’ after shooting sheriff’s deputy

By David Ferguson
Friday, March 7, 2014 13:00 EDT
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A Pensacola, FL court is set to decide on Friday whether 24-year-old Keenan Finkelstein is criminally liable for shooting a deputy sheriff in the leg in March of 2013. According to the Pensacola News-Journal, Finkelstein and his defense team are pinning their hopes on the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.

On the night of March 20, 2013, Escambia County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Shedrick Johnson and other police officers were searching on foot for a robbery suspect in the Scenic Hills area of Pensacola. A robbery victim told police that someone from a home located on the 8800 block of Burning Tree Road had stolen marijuana and a handgun from his residence.

Police converged on the home and saw Finkelstein — who was not the subject the police were searching for — emerge from the house’s garage. Sgt. Johnson said that he emerged from a hiding place behind a tree and identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy.

Finkelstein produced a gun and fired, striking Johnson in the leg.

Finkelstein’s attorney Brandon Moros is arguing along with his client that Johnson emerged from the shadows without identifying himself and that Finkelstein fired in self-defense. Moros contends that Finkelstein’s actions were justified under “Stand Your Ground.”

Witness testimony is expected to last through the day on Friday. Judge Terry Terrell will then decide whether to drop charges against Finkelstein or allow his case to proceed to a criminal trial.

[image of man aiming gun at camera via Shutterstock.com]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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