Citing 'Stand Your Ground,' FL Prosecutors Won't Charge Teen Shooter

The state attorney's office in Marion County says no homicide charges will be filed against an Ocala teenager who shot and killed a 40-year-old man.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports prosecutors said Tuesday that the shooting was justified under Florida's "stand your ground" law.

Authorities say 17-year-old Tyrone Pierson shot Julius Jerome Jacobs in the head on July 5. Prosecutors say Jacobs got out of his vehicle after a verbal confrontation with the teen as they walked along a road in Ocala. He came toward the teen and two other teens with a big stick.

Prosecutors noted that prior to 2005's "stand your ground" law, Pierson would have had to retreat if he could do so safely, like the other teens.

The "stand your ground" law did away with that duty to retreat, the memo said, even though Pierson was breaking the law himself as a minor with a concealed weapon.

"In that under the current law, Mr. Pierson had no duty to retreat, Mr. Jacobs' actions make Mr. Pierson immune from criminal prosecution for any murder charges stemming from the death of Mr. Jacobs," the memo stated.

Pierson will face charges that include carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm by a minor.

The newspaper reports the Jacobs family is unhappy with the decision.

"He's getting away with murder," said Lateria Myhand, a cousin of Jacobs.

Myhand and another cousin, Rashundra Grimsley-Robinson, said Jacobs, a father of five and an assistant choir director for men at Welcome Stranger Missionary Baptist Church, was a non-violent person.

"It isn't fair to just shoot him in the face like that," Robinson said. "How does a 17-year-old get a gun? I could understand if he had a stick. It wasn't a fair fight. If there was any time to pray, it's now."

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