A 26-year-old man is facing murder charges after the shooting death of Rory Walker, his ex-girlfriend’s brother. The U.S. Marshals apprehended Alphonso Lingo on October 3. Lingo is facing charges of first-degree murder with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
A woman told police that Lingo, with whom she’d had a relationship, came to her apartment to talk and then slept on her couch. She also indicated that she and Lingo had an argument in the master bedroom when Lingo pulled out a gun, brandished it, and threatened to shoot her. He struck the woman with the gun and punched her, according to the arrest report. The woman told Rory Walker, her brother, about the incident after he stopped by to use the bathroom with his fiance and children. Walker asked Lingo to step outside and talk.
The family said that Walker was attempting to de-escalate the situation between Lingo and his sister. Moments into the conversation, Lingo went for his gun. Walker asked Lingo why he was clutching, but Lingo responded by putting a bullet in his chest. Walker was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.
Shortly after the incident, Lingo dropped his cell phone and fled.
Is There a Defense to This?
We’re in Florida, so there’s always a defense. In this case, Lingo could argue that Walker was reaching for a weapon of his own when he pulled the gun and fired. That doesn’t get Lingo off the hook for possessing a weapon while being a felon, but it might work to get Lingo off the hook for first-degree murder. The defense can argue that Lingo interpreted Walker’s request to “step outside” as a desire to escalate the conflict further. When Walker made an aggressive move, Lingo went for his gun and fired.
He won’t have any of his family behind him to corroborate his story, and the police report will cover only the family’s and witness’s versions of events. But even with all their testimony, the issue of self-defense will creep its way into the courtroom when there is a confrontation between two men that results in death.
Lingo could argue that Walker was so irate at his sister’s treatment that he attempted to harm Lingo intentionally. While Walker likely wasn’t armed, all Lingo would have to prove is that a reasonable person would have interpreted the situation as he did, as a credible threat. Then, a stand-your-ground defense might actually work here.
Chances are, however, that Lingo won’t get the benefit of a stand-your-ground defense. Not only was he on the property initiating a conflict with someone inside their own home, but he brandished a weapon as a threat. It will be difficult to get a jury to buy into such a narrative.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing serious charges, then you need skilled West Palm Beach criminal attorneys. Call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to learn more about how we can help.