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Prosecutors Drop Murder Charges Against FIU Student

In March of 2010, an FIU student was arrested and charged with second-degree murder when he stabbed another FIU student during a fight on campus.

The accused was supposedly confronted by the alleged victim, an FIU football player, and several other members of the FIU football team The accused was reportedly chased by the football players when the accused obtained a pair of scissors from his backpack, broke them apart, and then reengaged the alleged victim, fatally stabbing him.

The accused claimed that he stabbed the alleged victim in self-defense. Earlier in the progression of this case, the accused filed a Stand Your Ground motion, alleging that he used lethal force because he reasonably believed that the alleged victim, as well as the other football players, would seriously injure or kill him. The motion was denied.

The case was supposed to proceed to trial but prosecutors were unable to locate and bring in crucial eyewitnesses. Since the crime occurred on a college campus, many of the witnesses are from out-of-state and have reportedly been uncooperative with prosecutors.

The state asked for a continuance, or a delay of the trial, but the judge denied the state’s request. This is likely due to the fact that the case is 3 years old and the state has apparently been having witness problems for a long time. Judges, while willing to permit each side time to prepare for trial, cannot delay proceedings forever. Sooner or later, the case has to be tried or dismissed.

However, since the accused previously waived his right to a speedy trial, the state is free to refile the second-degree murder charge. If this happens, the accused will be taken into custody and the case will be set for a new trial date.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with crimes in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida.