A 50-year-old, fairly frightening-looking dad is facing a first-degree murder charge after capping his daughter’s boyfriend. The man told police that he would gladly spend the rest of his life in a 6×8 cell to keep her safe. Fifty-year-old Joseph Hamilton is now facing first-degree murder charges and is being held without bail. The vigilant father said it was all about his daughter’s safety.
Family members of the deceased have invoked the victim’s right to privacy under Marsy’s Law. The victim was taken directly to the hospital and placed on life support. He was taken off life support a couple of days later.
What Precipitated This?
Not much is known as of yet, but the daughter said that her father and boyfriend had unresolved issues. Hamilton could be seen outside of his daughter’s workplace discussing something with his daughter and two other women. By the end of the conversation, Hamilton appears angry and leaves abruptly. The heavily-redacted report indicates that one of the three women said that Hamilton told his daughter to go home with her mother and mentioned something about “shooting”.
Hamilton, at some point, confronted the boyfriend outside of his place of residence. The conversation turned violent and Hamilton said that the boyfriend “lunged” at him. That’s when Hamilton pulled his gun and shot the boyfriend. When police asked him where the gun was, Hamilton told them that it was dismantled and placed in various ponds all across Florida.
Is This a Crime?
Under Florida law, this incident will be very difficult to prosecute. Hamilton will likely raise a “stand your ground” defense against the boyfriend. Even though Hamilton went to confront the boyfriend with a loaded gun, the moment that the boyfriend lunged at Hamilton, he became a willing target. While the law in most states would not favor Hamilton, Florida’s stand-your-ground laws are much more lenient than elsewhere. Essentially, the prosecution must raise a stand your ground hearing where they will need to “prove” that the defendant “was not in fear for their own life”. In other words, the burden of proof on the prosecution is almost too high in any case where valid stand-your-ground elements exist.
Dismantling the weapon is a crime. Getting rid of evidence is a crime. But shooting someone who is lunging at you is not a crime so long as the prosecution can’t prove the negative “you were not in fear for your life when you fired the gun.”
Most folks reading this article would likely come to the conclusion that there is enough reasonable doubt concerning whether or not the boyfriend attempted to attack the father to ensure that a stand-your-ground defense would be successful. But we don’t know the entire story. The father may have given away his intentions at some other point.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you just popped your daughter’s boyfriend, then you will need a lawyer. The West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. can defend you from high-profile criminal prosecutions. Call today to discuss your situation in more detail, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.