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By Brandon via

A Ft. Myers, Florida man claims self-defense after shooting his neighbor with the neighbor’s own gun, and then driving his body to his attorney’s office over 40 minutes away. That’s the story coming out of Fort Myers, and it seems that the two neighbors have had problems in the past. The man, 52-year-old John Marshall, is said to be very shaken up after the incident . . .

Marshall’s attorney, Robert Harris, described to reporters a little about what has been going on in the past few weeks between the two.

“This person had not wanted him to build in that area. I guess that’s what he was angry about, but there were some consistent threats. He had came at him with a gun, pistol-whipped him in the face knocking out a tooth or two. He’s got scratches and bruises. His clothes were filthy and dirty. He looks like a man who had been in a fight for his life”, says Harris.

During a scuffle between the two men, Harris says the gun went off after Marshall had wrestled it away from the neighbor.

He put the person in the back of his pickup truck and drove here. He says he doesn’t remember anything about the drive here.

Harris mentioned that his client contacted him just a few days ago with concerns about this very same neighbor, and he was advised to get a restraining order based on the information provided.

This is a developing story that we will continue to watch. As of right now, police say that Marshall will not be arrested.

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    • Your honor, my client is a DECENT MAN, who was SO CONCERNED with the legal consequences he took it upon himself to DRIVE TO HIS LAWYER’S HOUSE. Your honor, this is not the act of a guilty man, but of a man who was scared, yes, but went above and beyond to deliver evidence directly to this court!

      You could no more find him at fault than find Dominoes’ “30 minutes or less or its free” is a nefarious plan to hurt grocery stores. Your honor, both dominoes and my client have tried to bring a level of convenience to modern life.

      The defense rests, and might I say, that is a lovely shade of cornflower blue on your tie your honor.

      • I found myself very pleasantly surprised by Better Call Saul.

        Bob Odenkirk is a far more talented an actor than I realized.

        Its quite nice to see Tuco before he died in ‘Breaking’…

        Any of TTAG’s many lawyer readers have any comments on BCS?

  1. Frickin’ scary. Though, just playing devil’s advocate here, altering the crime scene by moving the body and then claiming it was stress-induced would be a great way to beat a murder/manslaughter charge. I’m not saying that’s what he did, but if he did, it was pretty smart.

    • Driving a wounded person to the hospital instead of waiting for an ambulance/911 response? Maybe…

      Driving a body to your attorney?

  2. what kind of moron would do this? Even if I knew absolutely nothing about self-defense I wouldn’t do this because of something called common sense.

    • He was probably in shock. Or worse?

      I would hope I wouldn’t do something so stupid, but who knows what was going through his head.

      Obvs this could all be absolute nonsense. Usually about 0% of what you hear in the first 24 hours is true. :p

      • Perhaps there was a fear of getting caught and prosecuted. Even if he’s fully justified, that fear could influence him into doing something stupid.

    • Hard to say, but there’s been a lot of mythology about crime scenes over the years. When I was a kid, my Dad used to do a lot of gunsmithing for cops in the area. Even some of the deputy sheriffs would tell us back then that, “If you had to shoot somebody, make sure to drag the body back in the house.”

      Times have changed.

  3. I was going to post something, but I just remembered I gotta get someone out of my trunk.

  4. Wait, let me see if I have this right; he has a violent history, he killed a guy and then drove the body 45 minutes away to his lawyers office and HE WON’T be arrested?? Man, I have got to move to Florida!

    My first question is did the g/s victim die on the scene or during the ride to the lawyers office?

  5. I can just imagine the attorney’s reaction when the guy showed up at his office. Had to be a huge WTF moment.

    • “We gotta make this look right. Stand still while I hit you with this gun and break your thumbs.”

      • It goes like this:

        Harris, I f**ked up a again. No – it’s not the McDonald’s guy that I hit with my truck and then ran away. It’s my neighbor. You know that weirdo buddist guy that loves the turtles? His body is in my truck right now.

  6. I can understand the kind of panic that might make someone do this.

    We need to remember a few things: 1) he didn’t attempt to HIDE the body, and 2) he didn’t attempt to claim that he didn’t kill the guy.

    Both of those are things someone guilty of murder might do. So the police may be relying on this fact in the decision not to arrest him as of yet.

    This doesn’t mean he won’t be arrested, of course; if they find any evidence at the scene or on the body that contradicts his story, he’ll probably be charged with destruction of evidence in addition to manslaughter.

    • Only licensed individuals may transport human remains so there’s another possible charge. Disturbing a crime scene or tampering with evidence are the more likely charges.

    • I agree it sounds like greatly diminished mental abilities from the stress. Like you said while his specific actions after the shooting were illegal they are not consistent with trying to get away with something or someone being logical at all for that matter.

  7. On the way to the lawyer’s office, did he pass a hospital? A police car? Lotsa questions here. We have to remember he falls outside what we are usually talking about, people who have considered/are considering use of a gun in self-defense. He may have never considered that in his life, may not know enough about firearms to know how to make it go bang. The tendency to go into shock may be very high.

    • Considering he was involved in a hit and run a couple weeks earlier – I’m not so sure. That alone shed some light on his character.

  8. This incident supports two of the standard talking points in the anti-gun narrative:
    1) Having a gun turned out more dangerous for the neighbor.
    2) It’s possible to have your own gun wrestled away and used against you.
    Oh, if only he’d had a smart gun, able to go off only at the owner’s bidding.

    • Agreed. It did not help Hubbell’s situation to take the CC pistol with him to Marshall’s residence. However, as life and it’s events are so immeasurably complex as they are stochastic in nature, it could have just as well gone the other way. We can’t look at just one case and say look – it didn’t help him here. Furthermore, he should have the ability to decide for himself. That said, in general, it is probably not a good idea to go to people’s private property armed when you are not wanted there (even though him being armed was for defense only). I think other choices would have been better here.

  9. Not only should you not touch the body you stand exactly where you were when you pulled the trigger if possible. You want the police to the scene as close to way it happened as possible.

  10. You all are missing a HUGE point here, he was able to see his lawyer without an appointment. Had he wanted to get away with it, just dump the body in a river or big lake, a gator would have had a meal. The gator would have stuffed the body under a log for a while then go back to enjoy it after it was tender. Welcome to Florida land of 4 legged body disposal units.

  11. Personal defense tip #1: Don’t try to kill people with your vehicle

    Don’t try to run over a man at McDonald’s with your vehicle, lie to the police, have witnesses and victim’s accounts verified by surveillance footage before killing a man and driving his body to your lawyer.

    Personal defense tip # 2: It helps to be kind and courteous to your neighbors:

    Friends and acquaintances of Hubbell said he was a kind and somewhat timid soul who practiced Buddhism and was never aggressive.

    Bill Rousseau said he purchased a Cape Coral home from Hubbell four years ago.

    “He was the nicest guy in the world,” he said. “He took care of my grass after I bought the home.”

    Rousseau said that while the two were never close friends Hubbell would always lend a hand at the house if needed.

    “He loved the outdoors,” Rousseau said. “He went out of his way to show me things about the house. He was a helluva guy.”

    Hammer said Hubbell was afraid of Marshall and Pierson urged Hubbell, who had a concealed carry permit, to keep his firearm in his truck for protection.

    Marshall had called the police on Hubbell in the past week over placement of a portable outhouse at the edge of Marshall’s property by Hubbell’s home, according to Hammer.

    “Ted had asked him to move it because of the smell,” she said.

    Hubbell told Pierson he couldn’t believe Marshall called the police on him. “It made it look like he’s the aggressor,” Hammer said.

    The outhouse was not the first dispute between Marshall and Hubbel. Marshall was clear-cutting his property and burying gopher tortoise burrows, Hammer said. Hubbell uncovered the burrows and told Hammer that Marshall swore at him and reburied them.

    Marshall had called Harris days before the incident saying he feared for his safety, Harris said. The lawyers said they had advised him to get a restraining order, he said.

    Personal Defense Tip #3: Avoid people who see you as a clear threat

    When all the neighbors see you as an aggressive person, who murdered the community handyman and helper, don’t go back to live there. Bad things may happen to you and your property.

    Speculative alternative story:
    Pierson recommended Hubbell keep his firearm on him for protection as the two did not trust Marshall. Marshall was known for being aggressive. Marshall moved his outhouse on the very edge of his property next to Hubbell’s home. Hubbell took his concealed carry pistol with him on a visit to Marshall to discuss the stinky “outhouse issue.” An argument ensued and a fight was started by probably the aggressive one. While pinned by Marshall, Hubbell pulled out his CC pistol and pistol whipped Marshall in the face. Marshall took the gun or wrestled the gun from Hubbell and shot him with it. Marshall then loaded up his truck with Hubbell’s body and drove over to the lawyer.

    • That is possible. Of course Buddhist /= peaceful, as one would know if they studied e.g. how Buddhists treat, threaten and kill Christians in Sri Lanka and India. Never got why they are always assumed to be any more peaceful than other men.

  12. Don’t use a gun to solve problems a gun can’t solve. If you have a routine legal dispute with a neighbor, use mediation/arbitration, the HOA, the city code dept., or the courts to handle it. Don’t show up with a gun, even if you’re right in the original dispute, because you’ll come off as the aggressor, or worse.

  13. “Personal Defense Tip: If You’re Involved in a Deadly Defensive Gun Use, Leave the Body at the Scene”

    Maybe John Marshall is trained as a deer hunter and didn’t want to waste the meat.

  14. and then driving his body to his attorney’s office over 40 minutes away. That is quite a long haul to the Attorney’s Laboratory, er , Office with a corpse in the back. Police say that Marshall will not be arrested. Gee, I can think of a lot of legal violations on his one besides the actual shooting.

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