Florida Man Released From Jail After 2 Years When Judge Rules Shooting Justified Under Stand Your Ground Law

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“A reasonable and prudent person in the same position as Mr. Dames would have believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to Mr. Dames,” [St. Lucie County Circuit Judge William] Roby stated. “The state has failed to prove … that Mr. Dames had no objectively reasonable basis to use deadly force against Mr. McMiller at any time during their fateful encounter.”

And with that, as reported  by TCPalm.com, Judge Roby dismissed all charges against Jason Dames who had been sitting in a jail cell for two years after a 2018 shooting.

Dames was attacked by Jessie McMiller, a man he didn’t know, in a restaurant. Dames is blind in one eye and has a shunt in his head which makes him particularly vulnerable to injury. Dames was punched repeatedly and had been knocked to the ground before he shot McMiller who later died at a hospital.

“(Dames) was not in any way the person who initially provoked the use of force against him,” Roby ruled, adding “McMiller was agitated and the provoker in this deadly scenario.”

Dames was released from jail where he’d remained all this time pending $750,000 bail. The judge ruled the state failed to make the case that Roby’s use of deadly force wasn’t justified given the circumstances.

“A reasonable and prudent person in the same position as Mr. Dames would have believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to Mr. Dames,” Roby stated. “The state has failed to prove … that Mr. Dames had no objectively reasonable basis to use deadly force against Mr. McMiller at any time during their fateful encounter.”

The state failed to show that. And security video showed Dames trying to get away from McMiller before resorting to a ballistic defense. In Florida, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to show that a defender didn’t have a reasonable fear of injury or death.

Citing video of the incident, Roby stated Dames is seen retreating from the “multiple barrages of punches to the head and face” until he falls to the ground several feet away. …

After shooting McMiller, Dames said he sat on the ground, took his Glock handgun apart and set it on the ground with his concealed carry permit and waited for police to arrive.

Dames’ attorney blamed Fort Pierce police for ignoring mounds of evidence showing that the shooting was clearly justified, and resulting in Dames rotting behind bars for two years.

This is exactly the type of situation that prompted stand your ground laws. Stand your ground, which is the law in 25 states, permits the use of deadly force by an individual who has a reasonable fear of death or grievous bodily harm, wherever he or she may be…not only in the home.

Stand your ground laws have become a favorite target of the gun control industry.

Particularly after the Trayvon Martin shooting — which DID NOT involve Florida’s stand your ground law — the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex has claimed that stand your ground laws are a license to shoot anyone at any time. They’d rather see someone like Jason Dames be injured or killed rather than have him successfully defend himself against an unknown attacker.

comments

  1. avatar Scott C. says:

    I smell a lawsuit coming

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      And rightly so.

      Bleeding green often helps staunch bullshit misapplication of statute.

      He should have never spent a night in a cell.

      The police should do their job and the DA should not abuse his power and ignore the law.

  2. avatar A-Argh15 says:

    Not surprised this initial travesty of justice happened in St Loser County. Instead of going after Ft Pierce’s D Street drug dealers (as seen on COPS TV), the over-zealous virtue-signaling DA’s Office (all Democrats & RINO’s; trust me) chose to go after a citizen who legally defended himself. Despicable.

    I’m happy for Mr Damon that he has been vindicated.

    1. avatar Alexander says:

      Vindicated? After 2 years in jail? That’s more than criminals get.

      1. avatar Omer says:

        I was thinking the same thing. In Chicago he could have pled guilty & been out 6 months ago.

      2. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        Especially this year, we have multiple homicide suspects out on no cash bail for far less justifiable homicides.

    2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      As this case worked it way through a legal process involving multiple layers of legal “authority” it is hard to believe that nobody saw the truth in what happened and simply said, “this is wrong we have to stop this.” And you nobody said anything. If you are in this line of business—cop, prosecutor, DA, defense attorney, judge, how can you live with yourself knowing stuff like this is going on. And it happens all the time.

      1. avatar Alexander says:

        They had an agenda, justice be dammed. This is where the real investigation should focus.

      2. avatar Anymouse says:

        Passing the buck is common, so textbook stand-your-ground/make-my-day/self-defense/castle doctrine wind up as murder trials. The police don’t have to make the arrest, but they arrest and leave it to the DA. If the DA is worried about bad press for letting a killer go, he decides to charge and let the judge/jury decide. The judge could make a summary judgment but will let the jury decide if it was justified.

      3. avatar Umm . . . says:

        The main problem is that even many “stand your ground” jurisdictions make self defense an “affirmative defense” rather than writing murder laws properly, to exclude it.

    3. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Not surprised this initial travesty of justice happened in St Loser County.”

      St. Lucie County is a solidly Democrat-run county. This is what you get when you vote for their ‘pretty lies’…

  3. avatar Ray in Alabama says:

    I hope he gets a substantial settlement for wrongful prosecution and imprisonment

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      It’s pretty rare for a wrongfully convicted person to get any compensation. For every case you hear of that got millions, there are hundreds or thousands that don’t. The state has to have a law allowing compensation for wrongful imprisonment or any suit will be dismissed.

      https://www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com/

      Fair warning, they have a heavily leftist bent and an agenda. But as I believe it is better to let all of the guilty go free than imprison one innocent, I am sympathetic to many of their positions. But I do disagree with some of the cases they have taken. Their Junk Science series is particularly interesting. That’s mainly what I listen to from them. You will never look at the (in)justice complex the same way again.

      1. He wasn’t wrongfully convicted. He was in jail pending trial for two years because he couldn’t come up with three quarters of a million dollars bail.

        Officer Clermise Smith screwed up. She had eyewitness accounts that Roby was not the aggressor and that he had tried to get away from McMiller and had been knocked to the floor before drawing his handgun and shooting his attacker. Judge William Roby criticized Smith in the courtroom.

        The news account doesn’t say it, but I suspect strongly that the too-long wait — TWO YEARS — was caused by prosecutors getting stays and not by Roby’s defense attorney. A couple of months in jail because bail was set high? Sure. Bad, but that’s not unusual. But TWO YEARS? That’s infuriating. I hope Roby gets something for his mistreatment: bad arrest followed by excessive bail followed by an anything but speedy trial. They owe him.

        1. avatar Anymouse says:

          I bet be didn’t have private representation to argue for a speedy trial or reduced bail. Another reason for pre-paid legal services for self-defense.

        2. avatar Travis Bickle says:

          I mean, “Clermise.”

      2. avatar Trv says:

        He could have a federal civil rights lawsuit that could be filed against St Lucie County. He was imprisoned for two years illegally and possibly unconstitutionally he was denied a fair and speedy trial all of which were violated his constitutional and civil rights. Not to mention excessive bail.

    2. avatar Otherwise... says:

      That’s all well and good, but there should be some retribution against the police officers involved and the District Attorney. There is at the least misfeasance involved and possibly malfeasance.

  4. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    That is a hard ride to take.

    Where does he go to get his two years back?

    1. avatar Tim says:

      I absolutely agree, but at least he is alive to tell his story.

      1. avatar Hugh Glass says:

        And Mr. McMiller is still deceased.

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          And?

          No great loss to society from someone who commits aggravated assault without provocation.

        2. avatar DB in GA says:

          As he should be.

    2. avatar James Campbell says:

      His soon to be filed lawsuit should net him a MINIMUM of .75 to 1.25 million dollars per year.
      Then the additional payout for other damages, including pain and suffering.
      Will the voters and taxpayers in St Loser County (who ACTUALLY pay the settlement), start changing their leftard voting? I would bet not. Stupid is what stupid does!

      1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        Does Florida have a law allowing one to sue for wrongful imprisonment? If a state doesn’t have a statue authorizing it then any such suit will be dismissed. See my post above.

        1. avatar James Campbell says:

          File the suit regardless of Fl law, then push the case, all the way up to the SC.
          Challenge the Constitutionality of NO recourse after false imprisonment.

  5. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    So much for the right to a speedy trial.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Defendants usually waive that to get more time to prepare for trial.
      If you’re out on bail, it can be a good strategy even if only to delay the inevitable.

      My question is, given the evidence that it was self defense, reluctant self defense at that, why was his bail set at 3/4 million?
      That’s almost as crazy as 2 million for a 17 year old part time lifeguard who all evidence shows acted in reluctant self defense.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Exactly. The ability to ‘bail out’ involves the trade-off of the right to a speedy trial for the extra time to prepare for it. But if a bail amount is set at an absurdly high bar that a defendant most likely won’t be able to meet, then the focus should remain on the “speedy” part. I dunno about everyone else, but two years doesn’t quite meet my reasonable expectation of speedy.

    2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      You get a speedy trial, no matter how long it takes !

  6. avatar Nonips48 says:

    This Law Stand Your Ground needs to be federal law and done immediately with what’s going on in America till we get this Terrorist exterminated blm antifa and a few others that hid behind the bigger terrorist organizations because we have democratics communist in some states and can’t get a decent law for us to use deadly force and the criminals know this, so make it federal legal in All 50 states home invasions are up attacks on elderly and the young this has to be done Along with Constitutional Carry in all states these politicians have no right to know what guns we have how many and to have to pay for license registration is an Infringement on our Constitutional rights as Written

  7. He does not get those two years back. You can’t sue the prosecutor for being a prize idiot. Filing charges is a discretionary act. All the police did was arrest the survivor and send the reports to the prosecutor. Another reason to have membership in a group that offers self-defense benefits such as bail.

    1. avatar James Campbell says:

      Some even include getting a check handed to you after they bail you out.
      I get a check for $1k at bailout, God forbid I’m arrested post shooting, and my firearm is taken as evidence for a pending trial.
      That $1k is NOT refunded should I receive my firearm back.
      Firearm Legal Protection also pays all fees UP FRONT. No “out of pocket”, to be refunded at a later time BS.
      Only total idiots carry WITHOUT insurance.

      1. avatar HUMBLE BAG says:

        But don’t tell us the name of the company that underwrites this insurance, because that might actually be helpful. And being helpful would undermine this idiot’s desire to let us know how much better he is than the rest of us.

        1. avatar James Campbell says:

          Hey Retard Bag, learn to read.
          Firearm Legal Protection!

  8. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    Remember the cops had to arrest this guy, and send the report to the DA, who then had to file charges. There was a judge who set that ridiculous bail, and probably multiple prosecutors in the DA’s office came and went on the case.

    For those of you defend the same cops who shut down churches and businesses under totalitarian governors, remember that it was the same cops who started the ball rolling on what was done to this man. We may not want them defunded, or killed, but they are also not our good friends or allies.

    To cops; when shit starts in November stay out of the way.

    1. avatar possum says:

      Just might be a bunch of cops pitch their badges, keep their gunms , and jump on your side of the fence. That was then , this is now. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Not likely. Cops have already shown they value their ill gotten gains over their own honor.

  9. avatar CentralVirginian says:

    You want a clear case of injustice against a black man, this is it. Chances are the libtards wont touch this due to stand your ground.

  10. avatar possum says:

    And Rittenhouse hasn’t went to court yet, reckon he’ll get probation and time served, har har.

  11. avatar NORDNEG says:

    “””FREE KYLE”””

    1. avatar Jerms says:

      Preachin’ to the choir, bub

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    We should all be giving thanks for the brave prosecutor and cops who put Mr. Dames in jail for having the unmitigated gall to defend himself. How dare he!

  13. avatar Valorius says:

    The real lesson here is that, even though totally legally justified- you might spend 2 years sitting in a cage before you’re exonerated.

    Pepper spray people – carry pepper spray -IN ADDITION- to your concealed carry firearm. I never leave home without either.

    1. avatar possum says:

      Don’t put to much faith in that pepper spray. Local cop to possum” I used three cans on her, she just kept comming, I thought I was going to have to shoot her” an escaped resident from a mental hospital. ,,, A drunk possum to bragging girl, ” I can spray that right in my eyes and still get yah” and I did. Might work better on a person that aint drunk, drugged, or in a rage. But how often are you attacked by Harry Potter?

    2. avatar Juice says:

      I guess it could be viable in the right conditions, but remember that when police use it, they normally have the option of at least one buddy providing lethal cover. It’s not something you can really count on in the middle of getting beat up, alone.

    3. avatar James Campbell says:

      Pepper spray? Uhhhh, NO!
      Be polite, de-escalate, disengage, until all three are NO LONGER possible options, and your life is in eminent danger.
      Be nice until it’s time to STOP being nice.
      Going for and/or presenting a can of pepper spray can get you killed when your life is already threatened.
      A prosecutor will also push the angle that you DID NOT FEEL AS IF YOUR LIFE WAS IN DANGER WHEN YOU PULL A SEASONING CONTAINER INSTEAD OF YOUR FIREARM.
      Have fun explaining to a jury how YOU escalated the situation to the point where you shot someone you first pepper sprayed.
      Take away here? If your life is TRULY in danger, DO NOT season the threat, neutralize it. You do not have LEO or Military training on how pepper spray actually effects people, OR know the proper manner in which to go “hands on” to subdue the suspect, especially when the suspect could be larger and/or stronger.
      Mess with and corner the bull, get the horns.
      Take the shot, and OWN the shot. Your life is your life, don’t play the “escalation of force” game when milliseconds matter. You are not LEO!

      1. avatar John Bryan says:

        Pepper spray is for unleashed dogs on the local nature trail – not to defend yourself in a life or death situation!

        1. avatar James Campbell says:

          Exactly.
          Even Bear spray is nearly useless when the animal charges you from an upwind position (on a breeze day).
          It’ll just make the first few bites of you taste spicy to the bear.

  14. avatar lew says:

    I don’t know if he had a carry insurance policy, but it seems likely that it would have helped in this case.

    Hmm my bail coverage only goes up to 500k, I guess i am going to increase to 1MM.

  15. avatar anarchyst says:

    Cases such as this are a primary reason why “immunity” must be abolished for ALL government officials, not just police. Prosecutors have total discretion and can indeed “indict a ham sandwich” should they choose to.
    A good example of prosecutorial abuse is that of the case of the St. Louis couple that is facing charges for merely defending their property against a mob that broke into their gated community. The mob is not being charged with anything.
    Government officials are not above the law and should not enjoy special “protections” which shield them from responsibility for their actions.
    As to police, their failure to reign in abuses that they commit “under color of authority” is coming back to “bite them in the @ss”. Those who are aggrieved see the uniform rather than the person wearing it.

    1. avatar Kevin Nicholas Stich says:

      Agreed, I am very tired of prosecutors who use their offices to ram their political agendas down our throats to put innocent persons behind bars. It is time for prosecutors to be held accountable for mistakes whether politically motivated or to protect their own posteriors. The judge in this case needs to be held accountable for the injustice of excessive bail. Perhaps a stretch in prison would help. I hope that Jason Dames becomes a wealthy man.

  16. avatar Jaque says:

    While Florida is listed as a gun friendly state, and was a leader in the development of CCW and stand your ground laws, many Florida Police and Sheriffs are predominantly anti gun leftists, as are the prosecutors and judges. Many Florida mayors are also anti gun leftists. So getting a fair trial involving gun use in Florida is highly dependent on good lawyers, and which county the event occurs, and on the sensitivity of the responding law officers. There are cops who dont believe in the CCW laws and who think only they should be armed.

    Even Nikki Fried, the woman who is in charge of issuing Florida CCW permits is a hard core leftist involved in efforts banning our repeating rifles and std cap magazines by way of local ordinances and anti gun groups in Florida.

    https://m.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2019/12/26/agriculture-commissioner-nikki-fried-breaks-with-gov-desantis-sides-with-cities-and-counties-on-gun-law

  17. avatar BeoBear says:

    Every single official involved that let this happen should be put into the same jail for the same length of time as penance for this travesty. Perhaps officials would be more likely to do the right thing when it’s their own freedom on the line.

    I really hope this man sues everyone responsible and financially rapes them.

  18. avatar Hannibal says:

    “Dames’ attorney blamed Fort Pierce police for ignoring mounds of evidence showing that the shooting was clearly justified, and resulting in Dames rotting behind bars for two years…”

    I’d blame the police for the guy spending the first few days in jail- but it’s the prosecutor’s job at that point- and a judge’s job to check the prosecutor. Right to a speedy trial? What’s that? Shush, we don’t need to worry about that.

    But the prosecutor can’t be sued. The judge can’t be sued. Full immunity. Maybe that’s a problem. Imagine if judges and prosecutors had the same qualified immunity as police and they could be sued for willful or gross misconduct. Maybe we would see slightly fewer nutcases get elected to push their political agenda and they would have some tiny bit of motivation to actually follow the law.

  19. avatar And the police wonder why people don’t trust them?????????? says:

    Sue the living shit out of those rotten few cops and the prosecutor that charged him!

  20. avatar GS650G says:

    750K seems excessive even for a shooting. It wasn’t premeditated. He wasn’t a rich guy like Epstein. Probably no priors or record.

    Even 10 percent would be a stretch for many people.

  21. avatar Top says:

    “Nah, Mr. Dames wasn’t guilty of being black. That’s why bail was only set at $750 K!” is what I get from this. Yeah, wonder why cops get a bad name? You shouldn’t. This arresting officer made it quite clear. She did a great job giving her whole department a bad name. No wondering necessary.

  22. avatar Tom Worthington says:

    So the moral seems to be: A firearm and training is not enough. A very good attorney on retainer is also required to utilize your rights? Take care and equip accordingly.

  23. avatar Dan says:

    Two years…..time this man will NEVER GET BACK. No amount of money can make up for two years of life WASTED behind bars. The ONLY way “justice” can EVER be served is for the Prosecutor and EVERY LEO involved in putting him behind bars to do TWO FULL YEARS IN PRISON…..only THEN will true justice have been done.

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