'Stand Your Ground' Defense Claimed in Miami-Dade Burglar Shooting

Man, 19, charged with second-degree murder in shooting of intruder

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    Jordan Beswick, 19, appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Monica Gordo for the probable cause hearing. Defense attorney Gawane Grant argued for his client. Out of court, Nova Southeastern University Robert Jarvis analyzed the Beswick case and "Stand Your Ground." (Published Friday, Jan 18, 2013)

    The attorney for a man charged with second-degree murder after he shot and killed a burglar at his Miami-Dade home says his client had a right to defend himself and cited the state's "Stand Your Ground" law at a hearing Thursday.

    Jordan Beswick, 19, appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Monica Gordo for the probable cause hearing, where defense attorney Gawane Grant argued he had no obligation to run away.

    "He had no obligation to leave, to go away and leave this person inside the residence," Grant said. "He had an absolute right to defend himself."

    According to a police report, Beswick was inside his home in the 800 block of Northeast 209th Terrace late Monday night when the 22-year-old burglar broke in.

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    Beswick grabbed a semi-automatic pistol and called a friend to come to the apartment as he heard some one trying to open a door at the rear of the apartment, the report said.
     
    When the burglar emerged from the bedroom, Beswick, who had been waiting for approximately five minutes, shot at the intruder seven times, the report said.

    The intruder went into a back bedroom and Beswick ran through the front door to the back of the building and waited for about three minutes for the burglar to try to flee out a bedroom window, the report said.

    When Beswick saw the burglar's hands part the window blinds, he shot into the window six times, killing the man, the report said.

    During Thursday's hearing, prosecutors said "Stand Your Ground" didn't apply because Beswick retreated and exited his home.

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    Though the intruder wasn't armed, Grant said there was no way for Beswick to know that.

    "How was he supposed to know this burglar had no gun?" Grant said.

    Gordo ordered Beswick held without bond.

    "The defendant did choose to retreat, although he had no duty to retreat. And he chose to go around the house and lie in wait for three minutes," she said.

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    Just last month, a Miami-Dade judge rejected a "Stand Your Ground" defense claim in the case of a woman charged with shooting a man in her North Miami home.

    Robert Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, said the Beswick case is complicated.

    "Unfortunately, the law doesn’t tell us what you do when you have somebody who actually has retreated," he said. "On the other hand, the perpetrator was still in the house and was still committing a felony.”

     

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