A Saint Lucie County man, A.R., was stabbed with a screwdriver in the head and stomach and ended up being charged with Battery on an Elderly Person and Battery.
A.R. had gone to meet his ex-girlfriend at her father’s house to pick-up the keys to his apartment that she had taken. When he showed up, he was greeted at the door by her father who had a screwdriver in his hand. A verbal argument ensued and A.R. insulted her father. Her father, enraged, attacked A.R. and caused a laceration to A.R.’s head and stomach. A.R. had to act in self-defense to try and keep her father off him and minimize the damage. During the struggle his ex-girlfriend came outside and began putting her phone in A.R.’s face. A.R. grabbed the phone to get it out of his face and during the struggle he let go and she fell. His ex-girlfriend claimed he had been pushed to the ground.
Both parties had called law enforcement, but likely because A.R. had a some criminal history and the altercation occurred at the father’s home, law enforcement decided that A.R. was the aggressor despite A.R. being the only party to sustain injuries.
With the assistance of investigator Neil Spector, Attorney Stephanie McEnery quickly obtained the 911 calls of both parties. During the father’s 911 call he was irate and yelling profanities at the 911 operator. A.R. was significantly calmer during his call.
Attorney Stephanie McEnery pursued Stand Your Ground immunity on behalf of her client. As the hearing was about to begin, the State of Florida threatened to file Burglary of a Dwelling with a Battery charges, per Ch. 810.02 Fla. Stat., if A.R. pursued immunity. These new charges would be punishable by life in prison. A.R. had to make a quick decision whether to pursue immunity or accept a plea offer to avoid facing life. A.R. maintained his innocence and decided to pursue immunity.
At the hearing during cross-examination Attorney Stephanie McEnery was able to demonstrate that the father had an inconsistent version of events and a conveniently faulty memory of what had occurred.
The State of Florida declined to call the ex-girlfriend as a witness, however, Attorney Stephanie McEnery subpoenaed the ex-girlfriend and through her testimony was able to establish that the father and the ex-girlfriend had significantly different versions of events.
A.R., the true victim in the case, explained how he was attacked and how the ex-girlfriend had ended up falling to the ground.
At the end of the hearing, the judge found that the State had failed to meet their burden of establishing by competent and substantial evidence that A.R. had not acted in self-defense and granted A.R. immunity as to the charges. The case was DISMISSED.