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Questionable DGU: Is the Castle Doctrine Absolute? (Florida)

Resource: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/17/3187995/north-dade-man-claims-self-defense.html
Jordan Beswick lives with his mother in a ground floor condo in Miami, Florida. Jordan was watching TV Monday night around 11 when he heard the routine knock on the door - he did not answer.

As is so common, the simple knock on the door was a precursor to criminal activity. Moments after the knock, Jordan heard someone trying to break in through a sliding glass door.

Jordan armed himself and then lay on the floor with his handgun, not wanting to give away his position.



A human silhouette on the wall of the hallway to the bedroom was all it took and Jordan opened fire with seven rounds. The intruder, identified by police as Brian DeJesus, retreated back into the bedroom.

Jordan left through the front door and around to the side of the house - where the bedroom was. As he looked at the bedroom window, Jordan saw hands part the blinds and opened fire again. This time, DeJesus was struck with multiple rounds and fatally wounded.

Prosecutors are moving forward with a charge of second degree murder against Jordan. Defense lawyer Gawane Grant sees this as a clear cut case of self defense under both Stand Your Ground and the Castle Doctrine for his client. "He had the absolute right to defend himself inside his own home," Grant told reporters.

"He no longer needed to use force to defend himself," said Miami-Dade prosecutor Dawn Kulick as she explained to the judge that Beswick was no longer threatened after he fired his weapon the first time and left the apartment.

Attorney Grant's response? "He still didn’t know how many guys were inside and whether or not they were armed; He was still in fear."

The 22-year-old DeJesus had been arrested 8 times since the age of 15 for crimes ranging from drugs to vehicle theft. Jordan Beswick has no criminal record.

My thought is that I believe in an absolute Castle Doctrine. If someone enters the home in a criminal manner, residents have a right to defend themselves until their is no possibility of a continued threat.

What are your thoughts?

Posts: News / Questionable DGU: Is the Castle Doctrine Absolute? (Florida)

Posted By: barstoolguru
01/19/13 12:12 AM

Once he left there is no threat of harm BUT under the right to protect your property he might have the right to shoot. This is why you never talk with the cops before you talk with a lawyer.
Posted By: Michael
01/19/13 02:09 PM

I don't believe he should have shot him. If he was outside of the house, and able to move away from it and get to safety...why shoot? However, as we have discussed many times, Dejesus is responsible for his actions and they ultimately got him killed. Tie goes to the runner and I don't think Jordan should be prosecuted.
Posted By: barstoolguru
01/19/13 07:38 PM

The FLA law is in question here; does a man have the RIGHT to protect his property with deadly force? If that is so then he is off; but that is the question. What we have is an overzealous DA that is brown nosing and looking for a pat on the back