Officers report that the 79-year old suspect came outside to scare away some children who were playing too closely to his home. Allegedly, the man came outside with a revolver and fired two shots toward the ground. One of the rounds apparently struck the 12-year old alleged victim in the abdomen.
The accused has been charged with aggravated battery with a firearm. Aggravated battery with a firearm is a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison. However, since the weapon was discharged and caused great bodily injury, the accused will be subject to mandatory sentencing under Florida's 10-20-Life law.
It is not clear whether the 79-year old accused man has a criminal record. However, what is clear is that unless the State Attorney's Office decides to waive the mandatory minimum, this 79-year old will likely spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of a non-homicide crime.
Florida enacted its 10-20-Life law years ago as an effort to limit judicial discretion when it came to sentencing defendants in gun crimes. Florida's 10-20-Life law provides for mandatory sentencing for certain crimes involving firearms. This means that unless the prosecution decides to waive the mandatory minimum, the judge has no authority to sentence below it.
The accused is presently being held on a $10,000 bond. However, he is scheduled to attend a bond hearing this afternoon where that amount could be increased.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward. If you or a loved one are seeking the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer due to criminal charges in Miami-Dade or Broward, call me.