Brief Fact Summary.
Gabriel Mobley appealed his second degree murder conviction under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law after being attacked outside of a restaurant by two strangers.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A defendant is permitted to use deadly force if he believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent great bodily harm or imminent death to himself or others, or to prevent the commission of a felony under the stand your ground law.
Likewise, we hold that a defendant may raise the question of statutory immunity pretrial and, when such a claim is raised, the trial court must determine whether the defendant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the immunity attaches.View Full Point of Law
Gabriel Mobley (Mobley) was eating at a restaurant with his friends when he got into a heated argument with two other guests at the restaurant. Mobley waited until the strangers left the restaurant before he decided to head home. The two men were outside of the restaurant and attacked Mobley’s friend, then targeted Mobley. Mobley testified that his friend was bleeding and he saw one of the attackers reach for something under his shirt. Mobley shot and killed the two men and was subsequently convicted of second-degree murder. Mobley filed a motion to dismiss under the stand your ground law, and the trial court denied the motion. Mobley appealed.
Whether a defendant is permitted to use deadly force if he believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent great bodily harm or imminent death to himself or others, or to prevent the commission of a felony?
Yes. Courts in stand your ground jurisdictions apply an objective standard to determine whether a reasonable person would have reacted similarly under the same circumstances of the defendant. Therefore, the court must analyze whether a reasonable person would have acted in accordance with Mobley whether or not they saw a weapon. Mobley should have been granted the motion to dismiss.
(Salter, J). Only the trial court should be left to determine the credibility of the defendant’s testimony. Similarly, since the court did not know what Mobley explicitly saw when the decedent reached under his shirt, any disputed facts should be left for the jury to determine.
The evidence introduced at trial was that Mobley was under attack and one of the attackers reached for something underneath his shirt. A reasonable person would have fired at the two attackers.