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Court Grants ‘Stand Your Ground’ In Domestic Case

Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

An appeals court Friday ruled that a woman should not face charges in the shooting of her husband because she was acting in self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law.

A panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal overturned a Brevard County circuit judge's ruling that Victoria Reid should stand trial for shooting her husband, James Wesley Reid, in the leg during a domestic dispute.

Victoria Reid was charged with aggravated battery with a firearm while inflicting great bodily harm but argued she should be shielded from prosecution because of the "stand your ground" law. The ruling by the three-judge panel said Victoria Reid contended "she was in reasonable fear that (James Wesley) Reid was reaching for a firearm when she shot him."

After an evidentiary hearing, a circuit judge denied Victoria Reid's request for immunity under the "stand your ground" law. But the appeals court pointed to testimony from the couple, a 911 call and the husband's history of drinking in siding with Victoria Reid.

"Both parties testified that petitioner (Victoria Reid) was afraid that (James Wesley) Reid was reaching for a firearm when she shot him," the ruling by appeals-court judges Thomas Sawaya and F. Rand Wallis and Chief Judge Jay Cohen said. "They also testified that Reid had committed acts of domestic violence against petitioner while he was under the influence of alcohol and that he had resumed drinking shortly before the shooting. The statements made by petitioner during the 911 call were consistent with the testimony presented at the hearing and indicated that she believed Reid was about to shoot her."