Monday, September 12, 2016

Followup: Stand Your Ground Defense in Doyle/Gonzalez Shooting from July of 2015

The shooting scene: Driveway with car and truck is Doyle's. Truck and trailer are Gonzalez'.

On July 23 of 2015, in Citrus County Florida, Robert Doyle and Candelario Gonzalez had a very bad day.  Both made intemperate statements.  Gonzalez had his wife and two child relatives in the car with him.  He followed Doyle and Doyle's wife to their home.  Gonzalez' wife reported to 911 that "My husband wants to go whoop his (expletive),".  Gonzalez can be heard in the background:
“He just flipped me off, I’m going to kick him right in his (expletive). … I’m going to follow him right to his house,” Gonzalez can be heard saying on the call as his wife talks to a 911 dispatcher.
Doyle's statements were more defensive:
“My gun’s already out, it’s cocked and locked. I’m going home, the gun’s coming out and I’m going to put it to his (expletive) head. … It’s going down right now,” Doyle told a dispatcher.
Gonzalez got out of his vehicle and approached Doyle, who shot him.  Gonzalez died at the scene.

The story was reported and commented on at Gun Watch.  It was used as an example of how all you say to 911 is recorded, and that you have to be careful with your language.  It illustrated that returning to your home with someone following you is a bad idea. 

Doyle was charged with second-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, and shooting at a building.

Of the five shots that Doyle fired in rapid succession, four hit Gonzalez, and one hit a building across the street.

A little over a year after the shooting, all charges against Doyle have been dropped after a stand-your-ground hearing by Citrus County Judge Richard Howard.  From
Howard found Robert Eric Doyle, 52, was acting in self-defense July 23, 2015, when he shot and killed Candelario Reyneldo Gonzalez in the middle of a Beverly Hills street before ordering Gonzales’ wife and two child relatives out of the victim’s car at gunpoint.
Howard’s ruling came after a stand-your-ground hearing to drop all counts against Doyle, who was charged with second-degree murder with a firearm, three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting at a dwelling.

The law states that “a person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity ... has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and meet force with force ... if he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or others.”

Howard’s found that 44-year-old Gonzalez, who was unarmed, had no reason to keep following Doyle and his wife during the altercation, which occurred on the roads between Citrus Hills and Doyle’s home off South Desoto Street.
We do not know how much a year of lawyer's fees cost Doyle to get to this point.  I am certain that both the Doyle and Gonzalez families wish the event had never taken place. It is a real example of how the stand-your-ground law works in Florida, unlike the Zimmerman/Martin case, where stand-your-ground was never invoked.

The charges against Doyle were dropped after a year; the initial cautions remain valid.  Everything you say to 911 will be recorded, and will be used against you if the words can be construed to do so.

If someone is aggressively following you, do not lead them to your home.  A fire station is a better choice.  Unlike police stations, they are usually open all hours. The people there are used to dealing with emergencies.  Firemen have some of the highest percentages of carry permits of any profession.

Do not aggressively follow those who you believe did not respect you in traffic.  Those who carry have been taught to be careful and restrained in their interactions with others, so as to avoid situations such as this.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

I would think that driving to your home would be absolute proof you were in a self defense situation. Stand your ground would seem to have more impact if you are on your own ground. Much easier to report where you are if you know exactly where you are. The attacker has no defense if on your ground.

Cinema Geek Corey said...

Yeah, i know this case is a few years old and I know Gonzalez did some incredibly stupid things but this piece of shit shota man in the back in front of his wife and kids, I hope this haunts him till the day he dies, I hope he is berated about this publicly ever day, I hope he has nightmares about what he did.

Kate! said...

I can't believe this guy didn't see any prison. Yes, he went home but he didn't wait to hear from Gonzalez. He didn't warn him. He had his gun out already. His wife was scared of his actions not Gonzalez's. What a disgusting human. And then holding the wife and children at gun point. I can't believe he is free.

Anonymous said...

This is disgusting! While I understand the victim absolutely did an idiotic thing by following the guy home (though the victim's wife did mention that that was the way they had to take home, too), it is clearly not self-defense. The killer had his gun cocked and ready, and said he was going to point it to his head. The killer left his vehicle, LEFT his property, and confronted the victim on his neighbor's property. The killer shot the man 4 times, with 3 being in the back. And then holds the wife, child and grandchild at gunpoint, while watching the victim die. I hope the family is able to/have filed a wrongful death suit.

Anonymous said...

Only in Florida can you shoot an unarmed man and walk away Scott free . Only Florida

Dean Weingarten said...

Many states have more liberal self defense laws than Florida.

It matters little whether someone is armed, or not.

What matters is what a reasonable person would have thought was a deadly threat.