Stand Your Ground Brawl Erupts in FL Courthouse
A court hearing about the use of Florida's Stand Your Ground law in a double-murder case ended in a brawl outside a courtroom that was caught on camera.
Deputies arrested the defendant's stepfather, the dead victims' father, and one of the victims' friends after the fight at the Osceola County Courthouse on Monday, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Several people were hurt.
The fight began after a judge postponed the Stand Your Ground hearing in the case of Jayson Clair, 27, who's charged with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of two brothers, Joel and James Kun, in 2011.
Clair claims he shot and killed the Kun brothers, ages 21 and 23, in self-defense. Florida's Stand Your Ground law offers immunity from prosecution if a person reasonably believes deadly force was necessary to prevent death, serious bodily injury, or the commission of a forcible felony.
But prosecutors say Jayson Clair was driven by revenge. The Kun brothers had beaten him up in a bar fight; Clair allegedly left the scene and later returned with a gun to settle the score, according to the Sentinel.
In the post-Stand Your Ground hearing brawl, deputies say a 23-year-old friend of the Kun brothers confronted Clair's 53-year-old stepfather and punched him. Clair's stepfather fought back, and the Kun brothers' father, 45, also joined in.
The friend who started the fight complained of a broken jaw and was taken to a hospital. A detective involved in the case was hit in the head, while a sheriff's deputy suffered a sprained finger.
The three brawlers were each charged with affray, or fighting, a misdemeanor that's punishable by up to a year in jail. While the law does not define what "affray" means, Florida courts have defined it as "fighting in a public place to the terror of the people." That "terror" can arguably be seen in this video of the brawl, as reported by CBS News:
In addition to misdemeanor charges, the men involved in the post-Stand Your Ground hearing brawl were also barred from attending Jayson Clair's murder trial. The Stand Your Ground hearing, postponed because of new evidence, has not yet been rescheduled.
- Family members in courthouse brawl banned from attending brothers' shooting death trial (Orlando's WFTV)
- Stand Your Ground Defense Denied in FL Vet's Killing (FindLaw's Blotter)
- FL Man Cleared in 'Stand Your Ground' Stabbing (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Stand Your Ground Laws (FindLaw)