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Another case involving the new Castle/Stand Your Ground in P.B. Co.

Discussion in 'Florida Glockers Club' started by rich52us, Aug 7, 2007.


  1. rich52us

    rich52us
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    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/west/epaper/2007/08/07/c1b_tapanes_0807.html

    Murder charge stands in Acreage shooting
    Click-2-Listen
    By LARRY KELLER

    Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    WEST PALM BEACH — Despite his attorney's contention that he feared for his life, a judge declined Monday to dismiss a first-degree murder charge against Jose Tapanes, who said his new neighbor threatened him and attempted to enter his house in the pre-dawn hours.

    Tapanes, 63, fired two blasts from a shotgun in September, killing Christopher Cote, 19.

    Public Defender Carey Haughwout argued that Florida law made Tapanes immune from prosecution because it states that one has no duty to retreat and is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm or to prevent an illegal entry into his home.

    Haughwout said she needed to show only that a preponderance of the evidence indicated that Cote was trying to enter Tapanes' home. She argued that Tapanes' testimony about events leading up to the shooting were not rebutted.

    Assistant State Attorney Andy Slater countered that there was "not a shred of evidence" that Cote tried to force his way into Tapanes' home in The Acreage. He added that nobody corroborated Tapanes' story that Cote was trying to break in.

    Circuit Judge Edward Garrison asked Haughwout whether, if a defendant met the preponderance of evidence threshold, that would mean he had "a license to execute the intruder." What if the intruder were shot in the back while retreating, he asked.

    "There certainly could be lines drawn at an execution, but that's not what happened here," Haughwout replied.

    After a hearing over parts of two days that included testimony from a dozen witnesses and the submission of 18 exhibits, Garrison ruled that Haughwout had not proved there was a preponderance of evidence for Tapanes' position. No trial date has been set.

    Tapanes and Cote had quarreled as the latter walked his dog after 3 a.m. Cote went home and told his family that Tapanes had brandished a gun.

    Cote then got in his Jeep Cherokee, pulled into Tapanes' driveway and honked his horn. Getting no response, he got out, and knocked or pounded on Tapanes' door. Tapanes opened the door, shot once, paused, and fired again, according to testimony.

    Tapanes testified last week that he saw a gun in Cote's hand when he fired. No weapon was found on or near Cote.

    County Medical Examiner Michael Bell said one shot grazed Cote's chest, but the other ripped into his stomach and mangled his aorta. He probably died in "a minute or so," Bell said.

    Sheriff's Capt. Bruce Barkdoll responded to the shooting and saw Cote lying on the ground. "It was a horrific wound," he said. "I've seen a lot of people shot, but never like this."

    Cote's mother, Janet Cote, also testified Monday. She and her fiancé ran after her son and tried in vain to stop him from confronting Tapanes when they saw him pull into Tapanes' driveway, she said.

    She estimated that 15 to 20 seconds elapsed between gunshots. Janet Cote called 911, then tried to help her son. As she knelt over him, she heard Tapanes "chanting something," she said. "I turned around and told him to shut up, because this probably was the last few seconds I would have with my son."
     

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  2. packinaglock

    packinaglock
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    John 3:16
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    Damn i'll have to try to follow this one in the news
     

  3. Gmountain

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    It's been going on. Now a jury may get to decide.
     
  4. rvrctyrngr

    rvrctyrngr
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    Castle Doctrine ins't new for the home, just outside the home. We've never had a duty to retreat inside the home, that I know of.

    Interesting.
     
  5. rich52us

    rich52us
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    I agree. It's just that some people and the media refer to the new "Stand Your Ground" outside the home as an extension of the "Castle Doctrine" and use the terms interchangeably.
     
  6. noway

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    Man I don't want to be in this defendant shoes.

    Pounding on the door,honking and then you ( defendant ) open the door and blast guy :shocked:

    That's a looooongshot from being in fear of my life and or throwing the stand your grounds law or saying the guy was breaking into your home. Unless their was foot/kickin marks, and or crowbar, then I think the judge made the right decision to let this stand trail and wait for the jury to hear the arguements.

    Now I know some are going to say ; It's his property ; The other guy was 19years of age and age disparison ; He got what was coming, etc........

    But man I bet you if Tapanes could wind the clock back, he would have left his door close, call the police and waited. I surely would have.
     
  7. rvrctyrngr

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    He shoulda just dragged him inside and put a knife nearby:animlol:

    JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Castle Doctrine, while important, is not a license to blast away on a whim. It'll be interesting to follow this one.

    Rich, I know you know the difference...not everyone does.;)
     
  8. sidewinder6

    sidewinder6
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    From reading this story, Im not sure Castle applies here.
    The guy shot from his doorway and the guy was near his car?
    There was no weapon?
    His comment the guy way breaking in was unsupported by evidence.

    Interesting. Thanks for the post.
     
  9. rmc85

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    if they say he's guilty it'll be because he opened the door and shot him...

    even if the guy was being a dick I do see the need toopen the door

    if he's pounding on it call the cops

    if he's pounding on it and breaks the door shoot him

    but dont open the freakin door!!!!!!
     
  10. FlaChef

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    no the "intruder" was on the other side of the door pounding on it.
    No doubt the old man felt fear, i do not believe this was ny kind of killing out of spite or malice. The lack of evidence of an attempt at forced entry will be the most damaging thing to the shooter.

    The real crux here is was it "reasonable" fear or just panic. That will be for the jury to decide.
     
  11. rvrctyrngr

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    I agree, FlaChef. Never should have opened the door.
     
  12. sidewinder6

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    Been traveling but just got back to the site here. OK to your point, we agree that the guy was on the outside of the door. If pounding on it, and apparently not leaving any evidence of forced entry, it 'could' be said the 'panic' was premature. He was secure inside of his house. Should have called 9/11 even if it takes 45 minutes to respond! Now, if the guy entered the home and was splattered on the wall, too bad for the bad guy. That is the Castle Doctrine. Not having to retreat before firing. Even the new FLorida law which seems favorable to CCW, wouldnt sanction a yelling guy to be a threat. That was not the intent of the law.

    Now, MY beliefs are the the right of Atilla and I do believe in taking care of yourself ( the Police cant do that for you). But here, you have to paint by the numbers.
     
  13. CTW

    CTW
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    Got Beer?

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    I AGREE HE SHOULD HAVE CALLED 911 AND BEEN AT READY FOR INTRUDER TO ENTER FATAL FUNNEL (DOOR). SEEMS LIKE HE PANICKED AND JUMPED THE GUN.
     
  14. Gmountain

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    CTW-turn off your caps.
     
  15. RIPPED

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    G One NINER

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    15-20 seconds between shots.. if things are found to be as they were written above the jury will likely rule the first shot may fly as self defense, however the second shot was indeed cold blooded murder.. case closed.
     
  16. sidewinder6

    sidewinder6
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    Reminds me of the old cliche about the wife that shot her husband by accident 7 times with a six shot revolver.
     
  17. xm15

    xm15
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    Sure sounds like a bad shoot. The shooter certainly will have a hard time basing his defense on 776.013 Home protection since the terminology used in that section is: "in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered."

    "Tapanes opened the door, shot once, paused, and fired again, according to testimony."

    If true, that will make any type of justifiable self defense claim pretty hard to swallow...
     
  18. jv56

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    Did the guy show up for a cup of coffee or a beer? He was trespassing and obviouly going to start trouble. Was he going to Sunday school and the guy is 63 and the punk was how old? Castle doctrine?? Will he show up on your door step NOT LIKELY. Sounds like cleaning the gene pool. I might not open the door but shoot right thru it. With the liberal American people who knows, he may be found guilty! We need to go back to the old days people. Wake up!! The best defense is a GLOCK offense!!!
     
  19. xm15

    xm15
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    Well, that certainly justifies a couple shotgun blasts! :upeyes:
     
  20. MeanMike

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    one of the only things the homeowner has going for him (and what always conveniently gets left out of the articles regarding this case) was that the deceased has a blood alcohol level way above the legal limit...

    Although, I dont think its enough to keep him out of prison for murder

    In another article, I thought I read that the second shot the homeowner fired was when the deceased was already laying on the ground from the first shot.... I could be wrong though
     
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