Stand Your Ground
Self-defense or wrongful death?
He liked computer games, hip-hop, and Miami Dolphin bed sheets. His Twitter handle was Slimm. He was a teenager who took care of his seven-year old cousin, and looked after a quadriplegic family member when needed. He liked girls, did not earn exceptional grades in school, but wanted to go to college. He went out for Skittles that night for a friend.
And he never made it back.
The story of Trayvon Martin is now well-known. On February 26, he walked out for candy and was allegedly shot dead by Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, George Zimmerman. Mr. Martin was a guest in the gated community where he was shot, unarmed, and had broken no law.
Describing Mr. Martin, in a grey hooded sweatshirt, as a real suspicious guy, Mr. Zimmerman followed Mr. Martin first in his car, then on foot, initiating the altercation that ended when a bullet from Mr. Zimmerman’s 9-millimeter handgun ended Mr. Martin’s life.
This hotly debated and widely grieved incident has yet to play out politically and legally. Florida self-defense laws, providing liberal protection for premises and personal safety, seemed to protect Mr. Zimmerman until he was finally charged with second-degree murder.
While similar to Florida law, use of deadly force in self-defense is not justifiable under Indiana law for one who aggresses, or initiates a hostile encounter.
Wrongful death is a civil action to compensate surviving loved ones for losses suffered through the negligence—or intent—of another. If your loved one is killed—stand your ground—our attorneys can help.