Delinord Dumercy was convicted of second-degree murder just recently over the slaying of his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, James D’Angelo Peoples. The twenty-four-year-old West Palm Beach resident’s first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked. Dumercy used a stand-your-ground defense in the first trial. While both sides admit that Dumercy shot Peoples, it was unclear whether or not Peoples was an aggressor and Dumercy had reason to fear for his life. Dumercy initially testified that Peoples threatened him. However, the victim’s girlfriend told her that Dumercy had previously threatened both her and her unborn child.
The Day of the Murder
On the day of the murder, the girlfriend was in her car with Peoples. She told police that she had picked her little brother up from a school dance and was in her car when she saw Dumercy riding his bike. She told police that Peoples told her to stop the car at a nearby shopping center. People apparently followed Dumercy, but Dumercy shot him. Her little brother corroborated her statement and a witness told police that he saw the shooting. All of them attested to the fact that Dumercy was the shooter.
Dumercy turned himself in the day after the shooting. Police believed that he had submitted a confession. Dumercy confessed that he was angry at People who dated his ex who was pregnant with Dumercy’s unborn child. He also told police that he stood over People’s bleeding body and fired one last round into him while he was grabbing his leg.
In light of this information, it’s hard to imagine how a stand-your-ground defense would work in this case. After Dumercy had shot Peoples, he effectively removed the immediate threat. Once the immediate threat was removed, Dumercy continued to fire at Peoples, killing him. However, Florida’s stand-your-ground law allows for a wide variety of situations where an individual has a credible reason to feel threatened. In this case, Dumercy claimed that Peoples did threaten him prior to the shooting and that seems likely. It is also likely that Dumercy Threatened people. However, because Peoples got out of the car in an apparent attempt to confront Dumercy, which proved fatal, Dumercy had a viable stand-your-ground defense which led to a mistrial in the first attempt to prosecute.
A second trial did not prove so lucky. The jury convicted Dumercy of second-degree murder which is not as bad as first-degree murder but Dumercy could still face life behind bars without the possibility of parole. For a first-degree murder charge, the prosecution must prove that there was a specific intent to kill. Since it was Peoples who approached and confronted Dumercy, that was a tall order to prove in court.
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