Nearly 100 yards from where a Brooksville, Florida woman was bludgeoned to death about a month ago, investigators shot a man in the abdomen.
Five investigators approached the 60-year-old man’s home on Sept. 27 with a search warrant in tow when the man allegedly opened the door and tossed a flaming Molotov cocktail at the deputies and began firing a nail gun at them.
The man was taken to the hospital where he is expected to recover. No deputies were injured by the flames or nails.
The man shot is the father-in-law of a woman who was killed less than a block from his home on Sept. 16. The man is a person of interest in the homicide investigation.
After the alleged firebomb attack, the man was charged with five counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and three counts of throwing a destructive device with intent to harm a person.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting. The deputy who fired the shots was placed on administrative leave with pay, which is customary in all shootings that involve a deputy. The four other deputies on the scene supposedly did not fire.
While this man is expected to recover quickly from gunshot wounds, he does face some serious criminal charges that will require the assistance of an experienced criminal trial lawyer from start to finish. In the state of Florida, crimes of violence often carry the stiffest penalties. Since the charges involve law enforcement officers, the man could face a lengthy prison term and a mandatory minimum sentence could be imposed. Moreover, when attempted murder cases involve police officers the State can be more difficult to negotiate with because they tend to be very protective of police, especially if they are wounded.
A person can be charged with attempted murder if that person took steps towards an unlawful killing and had the intent to kill another person. Basically, a prosecutor must prove that the accused had the intent to kill. An Attempted murder conviction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole. In situations like these, many times charges are filed for attempted first degree murder when a lesser charge, like assault, is more appropriate. If a prosecutor cannot establish intent, you cannot be convicted of attempted murder.
Additionally, Florida law is very strict about cases that involve weapons. Significant penalties can be enforced for merely possessing a weapon. Oftentimes in criminal cases, a strong defense can evoke reduced penalties, lesser charges or a possible dismissal of all charges. Even if evidence seems to point to overwhelming guilt, a proper demonstration of mitigating circumstances prepared by the Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can lead to significant decreases in penalties.