PUNTA GORDA Fla.- A 36 year old homeless man, Ernestro Castro was arrested and charged with aggravated battery after he attacked another man with a machete in February of this year. The man he attacked was armed with an ax. Castro admitted in a Charlotte County courtroom that he had armed himself that day. He was also asking the judge to rule that he was exercising his rights under the Florida stand your ground law when he used that machete to attack Zon McCoy.
However, as a stand your ground case, this one has a twist, the victim is still alive. The stand your ground law has been exclusively applied in cases where someone died. Thursday, a very much alive McCoy testified that he chased down and confronted Castro with an axe after a confrontation at a homeless camp. Public defender Casey Clough used to opportunity to pick McCoys testimony apart and question his credibility. Even going so far as to accuse McCoy of lying under oath.
The judge did not make a decision right away instead choosing to continue the case so that he can review some of the evidence and testimony. He is expected to hand down a decision in the next week. If the judge rules in favor of Castros claim that he was standing his ground. It would be the first time in Florida that the law has been applied in a case where the victim survived. That would set a precedent for other people to use the law for self defence claims.