A Key Largo man was arrested on Monday after police said he shot a teen who was trying to break in to his house.
The incident happened around 1 a.m. when the homeowner heard and 18-year-old intruder trying to open his front door, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
The homeowner yelled at the intruder, watched him run around the corner of the home, and went to get his .38 revolver.
When the homeowner told the intruder he was going to shoot him, the intruder ran toward a fence and started to climb it until the homeowner told him to stop.
The intruder got on the ground, but police say the homeowner shot him anyway, hitting him in the ankle.
The homeowner was arrested for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Police said they considered applying the Stand Your Ground Law, which allows a homeowner in immediate fear for their life during the burglary of a dwelling to defend themselves.
The police decided that Stand Your Ground did not apply and arrested him anyway.
This is a case where the homeowner may or may not have been justified in using this type of force against the intruder. However, since the burden falls upon the defense when asserting the Stand Your Ground protections, this homeowner and his criminal defense attorney will have to show that the intruder was in the process of committing a forcible felony (burglary) and that the homeowner was afraid for his life.
The Law Offices of Eric M. Matheny, P.A. is a criminal defense law firm that serves Miami-Dade and Broward. Call today to discuss your case.