A circuit court judge is likely to weigh in on whether Florida’s evolving Stand Your Ground statute can be applied retroactively as she revisits an alleged fratricide from more than three years ago. Judge Cynthia Cox, who presides over the felony court bench in Indian River County, has granted Mark Deffendall and his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Alan Hunt, a second chance to apply Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute to his defense.
Deffendall, 43, was arrested in October 2014 after police say he shot and killed his brother, Eric, at their father’s home and airplane hangar on De Havilland Court in Vero Beach. Months after his arrest, Cox denied Mark Deffendall’s initial request to have his case dismissed under Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute.
The burden of proof at the time was on the defendant to show the act was in self-defense, and after hearing testimony from several people, including the Deffendall, his family and friends, Cox said he failed to prove his case.
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