A Zephyrhills, Florida man is being sought on a charge of attempted second-degree murder by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for his supposed involvement in an alleged playground shooting in Wesley Chapel. This marks the third shooting to occur in the Wesley Chapel, FL area within about a week.
According to investigators, the 30-year-old man allegedly shot a 20-year-old in the stomach after the pair met at a community playground on June 28 for a prescription drug deal. The victim suffered wounds to his abdomen.
The man sought was arrested earlier last month for a marijuana charge and was released the following day after posting bond. Records show the man served prison time for cocaine and grand theft charges.
A day before the playground shooting occurred, a Wesley Chapel man was shot in the face while allegedly selling prescription medications from his house. A masked man supposedly entered the man’s home and shot him; the man’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. No arrests have been made regarding this incident, reports show.
In another shooting that occurred on June 21, a 29-year-old man has been arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault. The man allegedly shot three rounds at a moving vehicle after an argument took place at a neighborhood basketball court. His bail was set at $350,000.
Attempted second-degree murder is a serious offense; along with hefty time behind bars you could have an attempted murder conviction on your record. In the state of Florida, attempted second-degree murder is considered a second-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. However, if a firearm is used in the charge of an attempted second-degree murder, the penalties increase drastically. A gun escalates the charge to a first-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 30 years in state prison if the gun is discharged. This includes a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison under Florida’s 10-20-Life.
Attempted second-degree murder can be difficult for the State to prove all the elements associated with the crime, which makes some cases very defensible. To prove the crime, the prosecution must show the actions of the accused were dangerous enough to cause the death of another, not that the accused had the intent to kill. In many scenarios attempted second-degree murder is overcharged; the experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton will work to lower your charge. Some cases can be reduced to aggravated assault or misdemeanor battery. The facts of every case are different.
Remember self-defense laws can apply and protect you from an attempted second-degree murder charge. Florida’s law of Stand Your Ground says that you have the right to protect your life or the life of another if you have the reasonably belief either is in danger. This can include using lethal force if you feel you have no other way of protecting yourself or another.
If you are facing an attempted second-degree murder charge in Pasco County or any other county in Florida, contact the Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or call 813-221-3200, 727-847-2299 or toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).