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Miami-Dade Judge Denies "Stand Your Ground" Motion To Dismiss

A Florida International University student will have to stand trial for fatally stabbing a school football player after a judge on Thursday refused to dismiss the case under Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law.

A lawyer for the accused, who is charged with second-degree murder in the March 2010 stabbing, sought to have the charges dropped on the grounds that the accused was defending himself in an altercation with fellow student during a brawl on FIU's main campus.

But Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that the accused failed to show that he reasonably believed his life was in danger when he stabbed the alleged victim, so the Stand Your Ground law does not apply. Instead, a jury will decide whether the accused acted in self-defense.

In order to have a case dismissed prior to trial under Stand Your Ground, the Court must find that the accused acted under a reasonable belief that his life was in danger.

There were conflicting accounts from witnesses who stated that the accused left the scene of the fight, obtained a weapon, and then re-engaged the alleged victim. Under Stand Your Ground, you must act under the immediate threat of violence. You cannot leave, arm yourself, and return, unless the threat is a continuing threat.