Broward Deputy Claiming Self-Defense in 2014 Shooting

A judge is weighing whether a Broward deputy can claim self-defense using Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law."

Kevin McClernon is on suspension from the Broward Sheriff's Office and on trial, claiming self-defense when he shot Michael Hinsch in January 2014.

Hinsch remembers the incident vividly, "He turned around and when he was pointing at my groin and I said, 'That's a Glock. Is that the 9mm or the 40?' He said, 'The 9,' and then he pulled the trigger and shot me."

Investigators said McClernon was in uniform, but off-duty, and at a female friend's apartment in Hollywood when Hinsch walked in on them.

Hollywood Police Det. Steven Sparkman encountered Deputy McClernon outside the apartment with alcohol on his breath.

"I was in disbelief that the deputy had not mentioned anything about being involved in the shooting before we walked into the suspect's house," Det. Sparkman said.

When McClernon contacted his BSO supervisor well after the shooting, he said he didn't say that Hinsch had pulled a knife on him or that he was acting in self-defense.

But self-defense is what he's claiming now: Hinsch had a knife in his hand, the deputy feared for his life and shot in self-defense.

Prosecutor David Schulson doesn't believe it, telling the judge booze and bad decisions led to the shooting.

"This is poor judgment. Some alcohol, these personalities and this is tragically what happened but it is not Stand Your Ground. That defense does not apply in this case," Schulson said.

Tuesday's hearing was held to determine whether McClernon can use self-defense as a defense in this case and if the judge rules yes, the case will be over. If not, the trial is expected to move forward.

The deputy faces several criminal charges including battery with a deadly weapon.

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