Another win for the good guys

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by rentalguy1, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. rentalguy1

    rentalguy1 Former Guest

    Oct 10, 2009
    The mountains of NE TN.

    Double-Murder Charges Dismissed Under FL ‘Stand Your Ground’ Self-Defense Law

    In a high-profile example of Florida’s controversial self-defense statute known as the “Stand your Ground” law, a judge has dismissed all charges against a man in what was initially considered by prosecutors to be a case worthy of the death penalty.

    Judge Richard Oftedahl of the 15th Judicial Circuit last week dismissed two first-degree murder charges against Michael Monahan, 65.

    The ruling stated Monahan was justified under Florida Statute 776.013(3), the “Stand your Ground” law, when he shot Raymond Mohlman and Matthew Vittum because he was in fear for his life during an altercation aboard a 35-foot sailboat anchored near Riviera Beach, Florida.

    At first glance the case appeared likely to see trial, as there were no weapons on the two dead men and little to go on except Monahan’s account. In fact, prosecutors had originally sought the death penalty against Monahan but altered course early in the case.

    When Riviera Beach police arrived at the scene on April 3rd, according to the Sun-Sentinel, they found Monahan:

    “Paddling his kayak away from the Green Galleon, where Ramie Mohlman and Vittum lay dead. In interviews with police, Monahan said the men had tried to remove him from the sailboat, which he had bought from Mohlman six months earlier for $1,000.”

    Mohlman, formerly a competitive wrestler who quit his local teaching job in 2010 to spend most of the year in Belize, had previously confronted Monahan for allegedly running up $500 of tickets for registration violations with the sailboat.

    Monahan’s attorney, however, told the court that Monahan explicitly stated from the outset he was afraid for his life, and felt he had no option other than to defend himself. Mohlman’s intent that day, as well as his justification for boarding the vessel, came under the court’s scrutiny:

    “Witnesses told police that by the time Mohlman boarded the Green Galleon with Vittum on the day they died, his plans were to either evict Monahan from the boat, or to kill him… Monahan said Mohlman never showed him any proof of the tickets and felt cornered when Mohlman and Vittum boarded his boat without his permission. He said he didn’t have time to call police.”

    In addition to Monahan’s narrative of events, Mohlman’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit, and Vittum had cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana in his system when he was killed.

    The Assistant State attorney in the case, Jacqui Charbonneau, tried to prevent the court’s dismissal by asserting neither of the men Monahan killed were armed, they were shot from 20 feet away, and Monahan admitted neither of them laid a hand on him during the dispute.

    The judge countered with the fact that the statute does not call for the assailants to be armed or to commit physical violence, only to have created the perception of imminent violence. The most relevant part of the statute reads:

    “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

    This case could already heighten the already tense debate over the “Stand Your Ground” law, which went into effect in Florida in 2005. As of last October, the law had been in effect for five years and was invoked in 93 cases that caused 65 deaths statewide.

    Gun control advocates may try to tie this case into the recent decision of Florida governor Rick Scott to normalize gun laws across the state and invalidate local ordinances that prohibit possession of guns.

    Meanwhile, the debate over “Stand Your Ground” will continue as the press fights it out in the court of public opinion case by case.
  2. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Here in Indiana, illegally boarding the boat is the same as an attack on the legal occupant's life. We don't have a lot of sailboats, but an attack on a person's home or vehicle counts as an attack on the person.

    I'm glad the judge recognizes the law, even if the prosecutor is still a bit fuzzy.

  3. Juker

    Juker New Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Land of Lincoln
    "Raymond Mohlman and Matthew Vittum".

    Don't reckon they'll be missed.
  4. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Colorado Rocky Mountains
  5. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hot zone
    Juker, their dealer is most upset at the loss of customer base.
  6. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
    This decision makes me happy. Thank god for judges who understand our right to defend ourselves. The liberal lawyers would have loved to see this guy fry.
  7. HunterAlpha1

    HunterAlpha1 Former Guest

    Aug 8, 2011
    Yorktown, VA
    if memory serves, according to maritime law boarding a boat without permission from the owner or against his will is considered an act of piracy.
  8. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    colorful colorado
    In fact, that's exactly what this was, as witnesses said the intent was to evict or kill. "No Quarter for Pirates", allegedly attributed to Lt. Stephen Decatur at the battle of Tripoli Harbor. Is it really any different in this day and age?
    As a sidenote, I'd like to see an examination of who the other 65 people were that have died under this law. Criminal records and past offenses and such. I suspect I know, but I like it when the truth comes out and is stated as such.
  9. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Another great post! Thanks rentalguy, we need to be kept informed.
  10. Prizefighter

    Prizefighter New Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    North Carolina
    "Duty to retreat" is one of the more bullcrap phrases to come out of our legal system, anyway.
  11. zkovach

    zkovach Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2009
  12. Inthewind1976

    Inthewind1976 Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    Central Pennsylvania
    .............but the gut wrenchingly squeamish lefty liberal a&&h0le& that make their living being "irreplaceable" senators and congressmen (like NY's Chucky) will SURELY find it "offensive" that this guy wasnt prosecuted and found guilty.
  13. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Well, in their minds, he was guilty. He was guilty of using good judgement, acting independently, and defending himself. After all, if he had let those guys kill him, there would not have been any votes lost to those politicians.

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