Another case involving the new Castle/Stand Your Ground in P.B. Co. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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rich52us
08-07-2007, 15:09
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/west/epaper/2007/08/07/c1b_tapanes_0807.html

Murder charge stands in Acreage shooting
Click-2-Listen
By LARRY KELLER

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

WEST PALM BEACH — Despite his attorney's contention that he feared for his life, a judge declined Monday to dismiss a first-degree murder charge against Jose Tapanes, who said his new neighbor threatened him and attempted to enter his house in the pre-dawn hours.

Tapanes, 63, fired two blasts from a shotgun in September, killing Christopher Cote, 19.

Public Defender Carey Haughwout argued that Florida law made Tapanes immune from prosecution because it states that one has no duty to retreat and is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm or to prevent an illegal entry into his home.

Haughwout said she needed to show only that a preponderance of the evidence indicated that Cote was trying to enter Tapanes' home. She argued that Tapanes' testimony about events leading up to the shooting were not rebutted.

Assistant State Attorney Andy Slater countered that there was "not a shred of evidence" that Cote tried to force his way into Tapanes' home in The Acreage. He added that nobody corroborated Tapanes' story that Cote was trying to break in.

Circuit Judge Edward Garrison asked Haughwout whether, if a defendant met the preponderance of evidence threshold, that would mean he had "a license to execute the intruder." What if the intruder were shot in the back while retreating, he asked.

"There certainly could be lines drawn at an execution, but that's not what happened here," Haughwout replied.

After a hearing over parts of two days that included testimony from a dozen witnesses and the submission of 18 exhibits, Garrison ruled that Haughwout had not proved there was a preponderance of evidence for Tapanes' position. No trial date has been set.

Tapanes and Cote had quarreled as the latter walked his dog after 3 a.m. Cote went home and told his family that Tapanes had brandished a gun.

Cote then got in his Jeep Cherokee, pulled into Tapanes' driveway and honked his horn. Getting no response, he got out, and knocked or pounded on Tapanes' door. Tapanes opened the door, shot once, paused, and fired again, according to testimony.

Tapanes testified last week that he saw a gun in Cote's hand when he fired. No weapon was found on or near Cote.

County Medical Examiner Michael Bell said one shot grazed Cote's chest, but the other ripped into his stomach and mangled his aorta. He probably died in "a minute or so," Bell said.

Sheriff's Capt. Bruce Barkdoll responded to the shooting and saw Cote lying on the ground. "It was a horrific wound," he said. "I've seen a lot of people shot, but never like this."

Cote's mother, Janet Cote, also testified Monday. She and her fiancé ran after her son and tried in vain to stop him from confronting Tapanes when they saw him pull into Tapanes' driveway, she said.

She estimated that 15 to 20 seconds elapsed between gunshots. Janet Cote called 911, then tried to help her son. As she knelt over him, she heard Tapanes "chanting something," she said. "I turned around and told him to shut up, because this probably was the last few seconds I would have with my son."

packinaglock
08-07-2007, 19:01
Damn i'll have to try to follow this one in the news

Gmountain
08-07-2007, 19:32
It's been going on. Now a jury may get to decide.

rvrctyrngr
08-07-2007, 20:30
Castle Doctrine ins't new for the home, just outside the home. We've never had a duty to retreat inside the home, that I know of.

Interesting.

rich52us
08-08-2007, 06:02
Originally posted by rvrctyrngr
Castle Doctrine ins't new for the home, just outside the home. We've never had a duty to retreat inside the home, that I know of.

Interesting.

I agree. It's just that some people and the media refer to the new "Stand Your Ground" outside the home as an extension of the "Castle Doctrine" and use the terms interchangeably.

noway
08-08-2007, 07:10
Man I don't want to be in this defendant shoes.

Pounding on the door,honking and then you ( defendant ) open the door and blast guy :shocked:

That's a looooongshot from being in fear of my life and or throwing the stand your grounds law or saying the guy was breaking into your home. Unless their was foot/kickin marks, and or crowbar, then I think the judge made the right decision to let this stand trail and wait for the jury to hear the arguements.

Now I know some are going to say ; It's his property ; The other guy was 19years of age and age disparison ; He got what was coming, etc........

But man I bet you if Tapanes could wind the clock back, he would have left his door close, call the police and waited. I surely would have.

rvrctyrngr
08-08-2007, 08:01
He shoulda just dragged him inside and put a knife nearby:animlol:

JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Castle Doctrine, while important, is not a license to blast away on a whim. It'll be interesting to follow this one.

Rich, I know you know the difference...not everyone does.;)

sidewinder6
08-08-2007, 11:45
From reading this story, Im not sure Castle applies here.
The guy shot from his doorway and the guy was near his car?
There was no weapon?
His comment the guy way breaking in was unsupported by evidence.

Interesting. Thanks for the post.

rmc85
08-09-2007, 23:40
if they say he's guilty it'll be because he opened the door and shot him...

even if the guy was being a dick I do see the need toopen the door

if he's pounding on it call the cops

if he's pounding on it and breaks the door shoot him

but dont open the freakin door!!!!!!

FlaChef
08-10-2007, 10:48
Originally posted by sidewinder6
From reading this story, Im not sure Castle applies here.
The guy shot from his doorway and the guy was near his car?



no the "intruder" was on the other side of the door pounding on it.
No doubt the old man felt fear, i do not believe this was ny kind of killing out of spite or malice. The lack of evidence of an attempt at forced entry will be the most damaging thing to the shooter.

The real crux here is was it "reasonable" fear or just panic. That will be for the jury to decide.

rvrctyrngr
08-11-2007, 07:33
I agree, FlaChef. Never should have opened the door.

sidewinder6
08-14-2007, 20:03
Originally posted by FlaChef
no the "intruder" was on the other side of the door pounding on it.
No doubt the old man felt fear, i do not believe this was ny kind of killing out of spite or malice. The lack of evidence of an attempt at forced entry will be the most damaging thing to the shooter.

The real crux here is was it "reasonable" fear or just panic. That will be for the jury to decide.

Been traveling but just got back to the site here. OK to your point, we agree that the guy was on the outside of the door. If pounding on it, and apparently not leaving any evidence of forced entry, it 'could' be said the 'panic' was premature. He was secure inside of his house. Should have called 9/11 even if it takes 45 minutes to respond! Now, if the guy entered the home and was splattered on the wall, too bad for the bad guy. That is the Castle Doctrine. Not having to retreat before firing. Even the new FLorida law which seems favorable to CCW, wouldnt sanction a yelling guy to be a threat. That was not the intent of the law.

Now, MY beliefs are the the right of Atilla and I do believe in taking care of yourself ( the Police cant do that for you). But here, you have to paint by the numbers.

CTW
08-14-2007, 23:10
I AGREE HE SHOULD HAVE CALLED 911 AND BEEN AT READY FOR INTRUDER TO ENTER FATAL FUNNEL (DOOR). SEEMS LIKE HE PANICKED AND JUMPED THE GUN.

Gmountain
08-15-2007, 05:08
Originally posted by CTW
I AGREE HE SHOULD HAVE CALLED 911 AND BEEN AT READY FOR INTRUDER TO ENTER FATAL FUNNEL (DOOR). SEEMS LIKE HE PANICKED AND JUMPED THE GUN.

CTW-turn off your caps.

RIPPED
08-15-2007, 07:22
15-20 seconds between shots.. if things are found to be as they were written above the jury will likely rule the first shot may fly as self defense, however the second shot was indeed cold blooded murder.. case closed.

sidewinder6
08-15-2007, 09:25
Originally posted by RIPPED
15-20 seconds between shots.. if things are found to be as they were written above the jury will likely rule the first shot may fly as self defense, however the second shot was indeed cold blooded murder.. case closed.

Reminds me of the old cliche about the wife that shot her husband by accident 7 times with a six shot revolver.

xm15
08-17-2007, 07:35
Sure sounds like a bad shoot. The shooter certainly will have a hard time basing his defense on 776.013 Home protection since the terminology used in that section is: "in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered."

"Tapanes opened the door, shot once, paused, and fired again, according to testimony."

If true, that will make any type of justifiable self defense claim pretty hard to swallow...

jv56
08-31-2007, 21:30
Did the guy show up for a cup of coffee or a beer? He was trespassing and obviouly going to start trouble. Was he going to Sunday school and the guy is 63 and the punk was how old? Castle doctrine?? Will he show up on your door step NOT LIKELY. Sounds like cleaning the gene pool. I might not open the door but shoot right thru it. With the liberal American people who knows, he may be found guilty! We need to go back to the old days people. Wake up!! The best defense is a GLOCK offense!!!

xm15
08-31-2007, 21:55
Originally posted by jv56
Did the guy show up for a cup of coffee or a beer? He was trespassing and obviouly going to start trouble.

Well, that certainly justifies a couple shotgun blasts! :upeyes:

MeanMike
09-01-2007, 06:01
one of the only things the homeowner has going for him (and what always conveniently gets left out of the articles regarding this case) was that the deceased has a blood alcohol level way above the legal limit...

Although, I dont think its enough to keep him out of prison for murder

In another article, I thought I read that the second shot the homeowner fired was when the deceased was already laying on the ground from the first shot.... I could be wrong though

MeanMike
09-01-2007, 06:03
Originally posted by jv56
Did the guy show up for a cup of coffee or a beer? He was trespassing and obviouly going to start trouble. Was he going to Sunday school and the guy is 63 and the punk was how old? Castle doctrine?? Will he show up on your door step NOT LIKELY. Sounds like cleaning the gene pool. I might not open the door but shoot right thru it. With the liberal American people who knows, he may be found guilty! We need to go back to the old days people. Wake up!! The best defense is a GLOCK offense!!!

Do you call the police every time someone knocks on your door and try to have them arrested for trespassing?

cmon man, get real.

noway
09-01-2007, 22:21
{one of the only things the homeowner has going for him (and what always conveniently gets left out of the articles regarding this case) was that the deceased has a blood alcohol level way above the legal limit...
}


legal limit for one , boating ,walking , driving or knocking on a door and being shot ?

Then one can ask, what if any bearing does it has on the events that happens at the door? Was he intox about the state maxlimit for driving at the shooting, 1 hour after 2 hours etc......see where/how that plays out .



what he ( tapanes have going for him might be the rest of the story if it's believeable } read the story in full and then comments

I also spoken with a deptuy that was part of the investigation of the shooting and he said "yes it was a very ugly shooting with a cloud of questiosn left unanswered hence, why it was lead to charges being file "
He couldn't speak in more detail of the case and investigation for obvious reasons.


http://www.topix.net/content/trb/2007/08/judge-decides-not-to-dismiss-charges-against-acreage-man-accused-of-killing-neighbor



After two days of testimony about whether the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old in The Acreage was a justifiable use of deadly force, a Palm Beach County judge Monday denied a motion to dismiss murder charges against the man accused of killing his neighbor.
Jose Tapanes, 63, will have to stand trial in the death of Christopher Cote, Circuit Judge Edward Garrison ruled.
Public Defender Carey Haughwout argued that Cote was on Tapanes' property illegally, trying to force his way inside his home, and that Florida law gives Tapanes the right to protect himself and be immune from prosecution.
But Garrison asked if Haughwout also thought that the Legislature intended for homeowners to be allowed to 'execute intruders.'
'There certainly could be lines drawn at execution, but that's not what happened here,' Haughwout responded.
The two-day hearing, which began Thursday, served as a preview of Tapanes' murder trial, with testimony from Cote's family members, the medical examiner and deputies who responded to the scene about 3:40 a.m. Sept. 17.
A veteran Palm Beach County sheriff's captain testified that Cote's injuries were 'horrific,' the worst he had seen in more than 25 years in law enforcement. Tapanes had shot Cote twice with his shotgun; the fatal wound to his belly left a gaping hole in Cote's abdomen.
'I've seen a lot of people shot, but never anyone like this,' Capt. Bruce Barkdoll said.
Tapanes also testified, maintaining that he was in fear for his life when Cote showed up on his doorstep minutes after the two men had had a confrontation on the street.
Cote told family members that Tapanes had pulled a gun on him while Cote was walking his dog, and he wanted to call 911 but his mother resisted because they had just moved into the neighborhood, according to court documents.
Cote yelled that he would shoot the locks off Tapanes' door if he did not open it, Tapanes said. Tapanes said he frantically ran around the house locking all the doors and then grabbed his shotgun from a case behind his bed, loaded it, put the safety on and placed it near the front door. Then Tapanes - who said he has suffered four strokes, spinal damage as well as nerve and tendon weakness in his hand - took action.
'I opened slightly the door, and I yelled, 'Get out of my property. The police is going to be here in a minute,'' he testified.
At that moment, Cote, he said, grabbed the door and tried to force it open. When he did, one of Tapanes' dogs darted outside, and it appeared that Cote pointed a gun at the animal, according to Tapanes. It was then that Tapanes opened fire.
Tapanes insisted Cote was armed, but a weapon was never found.
Shawn Murphy, who is married to Cote's mother, told prosecutor Andy Slater that he pleaded with Cote not to go to Tapanes' house and followed him over there, along with Cote's mother and brother-in-law, in an effort to get him to come back home.
Murphy said he arrived in time to see Tapanes open the front door with a shotgun aimed at Cote. In an instant, Cote had been shot, he recalled, and fell to the ground.
'He was gone,' Murphy testified. He screamed to Tapanes to stop shooting, that they just wanted to help Cote.
During cross-examination by Public Defender Carey Haughwout, Murphy acknowledged that he told a 911 operator that night that Tapanes likely thought Cote was an intruder.
Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Bell testified that Cote was shot twice. One of the injuries, a glancing shot to the right side of Cote's chest, would not have been fatal, Bell said. But there was no way to tell definitively which injuries were suffered first, Bell said.
Bell testified that Cote's blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent.
Cote's mother, Janet Cote, described hearing one gunshot blast, then another about 15 to 20 seconds later. When she got to her son, he was still breathing and Tapanes was on the porch chanting to himself, Cote said.
'I turned to him and told him to shut up because this was probably the last two seconds I had with my son,' Cote said.
Attorneys are to return to court on Sept. 17 for a pretrial hearing.
Nancy Othon can be reached at nothon@sun-sentinel.com or 561-228-5502.




http://postpix.palmbeachpost.com/images/photos/100044/2007/08/02/gallery/1766854.jpg

kat1950
09-25-2007, 19:52
Great attorney, guy walks.

MeanMike
09-25-2007, 20:17
Originally posted by kat1950
Great attorney, guy walks.

I havent seen anything about him "walking". When did he walk? is it in the newspaper?

kat1950
09-25-2007, 21:39
Sorry, I meant if he has a great attorney he will walk.